Monday, July 30, 2007


still can't get on.

can do pretty much everything else.

think i possibly need MORE time .... but on an evening when one has been to work and has the law to mow before it turns into a hayfield......

together with sarcasm from someone because i forgot to take the stool back saturday - i said, at least i didn't leave it where it could be run over.... (wasn't in the mood for sarcasm at all by that stage!)

Sunday, July 29, 2007


was so worth seeing/hearing. Excellent. all he did was sing. his only mistake was saying "hello newcastle" - he was in gateshead (it's called Sage Gateshead...) but that's what happens when two cities market themselves together, people get confused.

the house got cleared.

Molly got fed.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

the madam

wouldn't stand still at the stool for me to get on.

did some rope circling - left, right, stand, back, forward

did some longlining - she stood stock still whilst I attached the long lines, and whilst I took them off.

Then she followed me to the fenceline where I'd left the reins (next time I'll have them wrapped round me - I also wanted to get the longlines out of the way rather than leave them all over the arena...)

so when she wouldn't stand still, we went back to the circling etc., then tried again; and again; and again; and eventually I looked at the time, we'd been at it over an hour and I had to think abot stopping as I knew I'd have to pick partner up at the local railway station..... so we finished on her going right in trot.

the stool is at a height where if she steps into it she gets my legs and I HAVE to go back off it. she knows this, I think .... depressing.

So we'll keep trying.

Possibly not tomorrow though; have to finish clearing partner's parent's house so it's empty for the buyers.

and - we've got tickets for Kris Kristofferson at the Sage Gateshead tomorrow night! really didn't expect there to be any, but there we are, sorted!

Friday, July 27, 2007

flat tyre

came out of our redcar office late - lengthy meeting with client - to find the off rear was flat. tried to undo the spare - it was seized up. happily, staff members husband assisted (in fac did the entire job) and i had to drive back slowly with teh spare on (it's one of those thin ones that you can only use as a spare).. so first job in the morning is get tyre sorted. the cause of the problem? a house screw.... some builder not clearing up!

and Molly? got her in and straight into the arena without so much as showing her a grooming brush. we got trot right rein AND i managed to keep it going.

So only 5 minutes, but a good 5 minutes.

mounting block? ask, was how to get one made. asked my mate if her partner would, and she said yes (course, what he says when she tells him.... apparently, his mounting blocks are now in demand, so second string occupation if he gets sick of being a horse vet, unlikely but hey).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

i shouldn't have used the "R" word

rain, that is.

it teemed down all afternoon. stopped as i left work, but Molly was still wet, too wet to groom, and was clearly going to rain again (as I left, it started).

so i swept the junk out of the stable instead, i hadn't done that for a while given that she's out ....

I'm thinking about asking my friend to ask her partner to make a mounting block, he's made a wonderful one for them...alternatively, IKEA do a nice stool for about £10 but too low for my liking, and I found one on Robinsons website last night for £28.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

and better

much better right. by the finish she was consenting to keep trotting (or i'd got better at asking for turn in before she decided to walk, which should end up with the same result....)

it's amazing how hard she works and thinks when in fact it's not nearly as intensive as e.g.a full on lunging session. which i won't be doing for ages if at all.

think i'll try the longlining tomorrow if it don't rain. I'm concerned that our arena is really too small to do that effectively in.. will have to see.

and I MUST buy a new mounting block, some plonker having broken my stool (I think someone took it out of the arena to use to mount, and then someone else drove over it, it's the only explanation and I'm annoyed...)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

this is so working....

Molly is really paying attention. still prefers left to right, but will now stand where i put her, go back, come forward, de dah. still an issue on right rein though that I will have to work through - turning in for herself instead of when i tell her. on the other hand, she is going right when i tell her without too much of a battle, and thinking whilst doing it. hopefully she's not thinking of new ways to avoid it...

Monday, July 23, 2007

good work...

sorted out the training halter, I finished up with it right last night and checked with pictures when i got home; Molly was working better tonight, thinking about it all more. A bit of a challenge right rein, but doing it without the huge strops. a bit of a challenge going to her right from a standstill, but that will come. A bit of a challenge getting her to turn in straight to face me when she's been going left (she wants to stand so i am on her left slightly) but easily sorted by moving myself slightly and pushing her back using the visual cue of the snaky rope. And an oddity - stand her facing me, and she moves backwards; does she think that's what I want her to do? not sure. Clearly what I want is for her to stand where I put her. and on right rein - took a lot longer to get her to a place where she would keep a trot going, so stopped after I'd got that.

Onlooker commented that it looked good.

Jean, the event i missed would have been dancing horses AND dancing people (probably together on occasion... saw something part of the same thing when we went to see Appassionata last year). Very disappointed not to have got there....

the skin condition improved substantially to the extent that the hands were just about clear by this morning and the feet were able to wear socks all day yesterday and today.

By the close of business tonight, though, I can see the hands starting to give up again, so that leads me back to the contact dermatitis to something at work.

the legs are a lot better but not perfect and there's other bits still not right, but a substantial improvement on where i was even on the day I set off for the holiday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

more photos

the Bilbao guggenheim

the moon and venus, believe it or not; I was surprised this worked, and it is faint, but that is what it is...
the view from the terrace of the house...

photos from france

This is sunset over the Atlantic, very late on Saturday 14th July, I'm very pleased with this.

These are some saddles and stuff in a display at the Château in Saumur; vintage western, and vintage French army that are, you have to say, very like modern Portuguese/Spanish.

And this is the house in which we were staying for the week at St Jean de Luz. Between 5 couples, it wasn't bad at all...

back to work

Molly was pleased to see me, even after my two week absence she came over to the gate!

Very muddy so got a good scrub up, and then to do some groundwork. I think I've forgot how the halter goes, will have to review the vids to remind myself. I think the only think max forgot was that he'd put the halter on molly when I wasnt' actually there watching ... and I'm sure i manage to upend it somehow in transit, it fell off it's hook when i was driving home.

but we'd remembered most of what we needed to remember!

I bought Molly one of those crocheted fly head pieces in France, rather nice, and here she is with it on - I'm rather pleased with it, it's much nicer than any i've seen over here...

I was very tempted in the same saddler by a leather lunging roller with turrets and black girth, euros 99 - actually would have been a really good buy and i will wish that I had, but decided I already had a roller and didn't need another no matter how good. I was wrong - I haven't got on with turrets and a matching girth in leather, but there we go! I was pleased at myself for NOT buying it, since as we all know it's very easy to go mad in a saddler, especially when there's bargains of that sort to be had....

holiday notes - photos later

Well if I'd had my brain in gear I could have typed up the events of each day and then uploaded the whole lot all at once.... I had my Palm and its keyboard with me (the palm has satnav....) but I didn't even think of that until this morning.

The satnav anyway didn't work in France; I think the full map of France was all too much for it, so whilst I had mapping, I had to work out direction myself. Useful nonetheless, especially when mislaid in a town and having to wrestle with the one way system as well.

Anyway, the highlights and adventures of our holiday.

Drove down to Folkstone late Monday for an 0530 am train; in fact got the 0337 train, so were there even earlier then planned, probably just as well. But I really mustn't do that again, much more sensible to drive down the day before and book a night in a travelodge! Straight to belgium (about ½ hour) on arrival for cheap baccy, then a couple of hours shuteye in a laybye.

Took us most of the day to drive to Saumur, which isn't really that far but kept having to stop and sleep! Eventually got there about 11pm, mad, and overslept for breakfast the next day.

Saumur is very nice, lots to see. Spotted that the Cadre Noir did a demo show every Thursday – but, this was the only week it was cancelled! They'd gone away somewhere for the week to do a demo elsewhere.... Freebie tour of the place instead. That was Thursday morning, having spent Wednesday looking at the town and the château, which had an interesting display of old saddles etc... very reminiscent, and probably in fact exactly the same as, modern Portuguese/Spanish styles.

Thursday drove down to near Bergerac, Friday was the christening to which we'd been invited, lovely day had in good weather. Then Saturday down to St Jean de Luz in Convoy .... 5 cars, us, 3 American couples and the American/French couple whose 4th child was the one being Christened. Massive villa booked – and there was a room for us, which they'd thought there wouldn't be but there was. So that made it cheaper all round and saved us finding a campsite.

Sunday spent some time on the beach; Monday – went to Bilbao to the Guggenheim. Realised shortly after arriving that it was no distance at all to Bilbao, so off we went, so pleased we did. Mind the art it contained didn't do HUGE amounts for me, but the building is fantastic.

Tuesday partner joined some others (essentially, one person per couple) on wine hunting trip whilst the rest of us stayed home and minded the kids (of whom there were 10, not including the non walking baby....).

I'd got a flyer for a dressage/flamenco show that night, but no one wanted to go with me and when I set off I realised I was out of petrol – and i already knew that the local supermarket, which had the only 24 hour petrol station, didn't like my card as I'd had to pay cash for the shopping. So I didn't go, which was a disappointment.

Then Wednesday we went into Biarritz and Bayonne, which were interesting, and Thursday to ST Jean town in the afternoon and then the adults went to Hendaye just on the French side of the border for dinner, there having been a babysitter found for the kids.... early start Friday morning and drove up to Calais in one go ... not too bad, if lengthy, and a 2 hour lunch break in Poitiers.

Found a hotel with a room in Folkestone Friday night, then Saturday morning went to Hastings to see my uncle (rang the home he was in to say was it ok to come, to be told he was in hospital....really glad I went!). Got home 9 last night.....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

home at last

after a rather good holiday!

drove from St jean de luz to calais yesterday, won't be doing that again! found a hotel at folkestone then went to see uncle in hastings - in hospital!!!! was glad i'd gone, may well be the last time i see him .....

catch up tomorrow, it's too late at night and we've still to unpack the car!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

a dry day!

with sunshine for most of the day, amazing. lots of laundry done. was able to get molly in without getting soaked! she was dry so she got groomed & flysprayed!!!!

my feet are feeling vaguely better; shame the hands are still struggling, but they're easier to deal with in some ways, being more accessible!!!

hopefully by the time i come back from my hols i'll be able to put socks and boots on comfortably..

not packed yet, but at least we've got clean clothes!!!!

and a tent..... eek..

Saturday, July 07, 2007


city ... that was where i wanted to go for my birthday, only 2 1/2 miles down the road, so that's where we went.

there was various musical bands playing at various points around the town, including one from Rajasthan in India, the Jaipur Kawa Brass band, very good, a New Orleans style jazz band, and some others.

bought myself an expensive handbag, the cheap ones keep collapsing (straps snap) - i like the back pack style of bag which are not easy to find at all.

also a book or two (a new Jonathan Kellerman) and some new summer shirts... shorts didn't suit me, even though i needed some it's very hard to get them to fit.

we're going to go see molly soon and then go to the pub for dinner..

favourite blogs

do you think i should re-organise that list? it's getting very long, and i think it might help to put the horse people ones together.....

Friday, July 06, 2007

will it ever stop raining?

doesn't look like it at the moment... although they say we'll have a dry day sunday!

blogging in the horseworld is becoming even more you'll see from my links...another added...

Molly is doing well, waiting for me every night - whether she would if she knew she'd have to work for her supper is another matter! I do hope the anticipated southern french sun sorts my skin out! put my boots and socks on tonight because of hte mud, and rather regretted having to.. not comfortable yet!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Tonight molly had her teeth done; the person is a young lady called Ruth, so I have her in my diary/contacts as "ruth the Tooth" - happily, she's ok with that, quite liked it!

Molly was very good, much better than last year when she really had to be held down and we had to give up a wee bit before we wanted to ...

this year, yes she had a bit of headshaking, but in the scale of things no problem, and we were all done in good order.

the only problem was, the heavens opened as I got to the yard, so we all got wet afterwards....

two people came back off their hols - they'd been where we're going, apparently it rained all the way down and all the way back and was grey cloudy all the time they were there bar one day.... pah! hope it improves for next week....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

winnats pass

a photo of the pass i drove through yesterday on the way back...

I drove through here yesterday; fantastic, and the sun was shining. goes down to Castleton and then you cut down to Sheffield via Ladybower reservoir...

photo from; don't know whose the copyright is but credit to them....


june & the 4th of july

June was apparently the wettest june since records began.... july isn't going to be much better at this rate.

4th of July - american independence day - this is for jean & james and any other american readers. I live not too far from Washington - the original washington, site of washington Old Hall where George Washington's family originated. They have a friendship arrangement thing with Washington DC, and today there was lots of Independence Day celebrations. They even have the John F Kennedy primary school (that's for children under about 7 ....). so that made the local news.

and here's a picture of Molly's leg....
it's looking vast amounts better, i'm really pleased with it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

west bromwich

is one hell of a drive & back..... just made it back to our local petrol station on fresh air and was shaking with tiredness and hunger I hadn't felt till i stopped as I put petrol in... just chucked some chunks of cheese down my throat and cup of tea to hand....

and i called at caroline's on spec but they weren't in as we know....will leave C to post the photo I took!

trip was worth it though, and came the slow way home and found some interesting places for us to go see...

Monday, July 02, 2007


apparently it did rain momentarily, but I missed that, it didn't where i work. so Molly got groomed, being as how she wasn't soaking wet, and also sprayed with fly spray....

i hold with my decision not to start work with her again until after my holiday, there is little point for the sake of a week now and anticipating improvement in my skin over the period as well!

if only my feet would stop overheating as well!

i'm still fairly sure my hands are something at work, but will have to wait for hospital appointment and tests.... as for the rest, who knows!

got to go to west bromwich tomorrow; 4 hours each way! hope it don't rain and the roads are ok...

Sunday, July 01, 2007


you MUST check this out - again, found by someone on EE, superbly funny...

and the makings of a good book, i should think!!!!