Not house but bloghome. I've discovered that dotmac is actually quite cool now and that I pay for it already with my email address so I am now here. There's lots of news so go have a look!
Do you ever feel like someone has pressed the fast forward button on your life. I feel like the whole summer has passed in a blur and any minute now it will be Christmas again. Depressing! I could blame the weather for this, I think we have all spent most of the year waiting for summer to arrive, but I think it has more to do with the munchkin having started preschool earlier in the year. I have to admit that I have missed it through the holidays. No more than she did I might add, judging by the huge hug her teacher got and the fact that I had to wrestle a goodbye kiss out of her as she hurried to join in the painting.
Really I was relieved that she seemed so happy to be back. I have really tried to keep her entertained and stimulated at home but I don't think there is any substitute for contact with other kids. Also there is a limit to how much colouring I can do before my attention wanders. (If you ask me preschool teachers have the patience of saints.)
Thursday was her first day back and I got that wonderful heady rush of freedom as I dropped her off. That sounds such a terrible thing to say, she's no trouble really and I love her to bits obviously but it is just so nice to have a few hours of being Mandy not Mummy. I rode my horse, did some shopping, had a shower and tidied the house. It was lovely, just to be able to concentrate on one thing at a time. Whoever it is who has the remote has pressed play again.
The horse has been great by the way, really quiet out hacking and he was quite good at the show. He did get upset about the ponies pulling traps (for some reason they scare the bejesus out of him) but apart from that he seemed happy with life. He had one fence down which wasn't too bad. He felt a bit flat but the ground was a bit hard so I decided to leave it at that.
Also, Annie is jumping at Spruce Meadows in Canada this weekend. She was 4th on Wednesday and 10th on Thursday. That's over $3000 she has won already. Di's out there watching and I bet they're having a great time. I wish I could have gone, maybe next time! You can see the results here. It is also on Sky Sports Xtra at varying times over the weekend.
Well, it's been a totally weird year horse-wise. Last time I posted I was all up in the air about what to do with him. First of all I advertised him for sale. (Not very extensively I might add, as I wasn't quite sure I could do it). I had a couple of calls but everyone seemed to think he was too old and no one came to see him. In the meantime a friend of a friend said she would be interested in sharing him. This would mean he could stay in Shaftesbury where he is happy and I could ride him twice a week and take him to the odd show. The rest of the time the other girl would ride and look after him and help pay his livery. Perfect!
With this all arranged I re-registered him with the BSJA (which is quite expensive) and took him to West Stour show. I missed the Discovery which is our usual class and so went straight in the 1.05m. He jumped really well and we were sixth and so qualified for the final in August. I was really pleased with him and thrilled that I had everything sorted out. Unfortunately it only lasted for a week!
I don't really know what happened but the woman who had agreed to share him changed her mind. I don't think perhaps she realised just what a time commitment she was making. Also I think he was a bit lively out hacking with her and I'm not sure he didn't scare her. Anyway I was back to square one.
I then had another offer of a loan home. The problem now was I had spent money registering him and he was going so well I didn't want to give him up! The final that I had qualified for was 1.10m (that's the height in metres and I know it doesn't sound very big but when you're the one on the horse a 5cm difference can seem like a hell of lot!) so I thought I had better have a practice. I haven't jumped a course that big since before I had the munchkin. So we did the 1.10 at Stourhead and we were 5th which was great. Unfortunately the actual final didn't go that well. I shouldn't make excuses but the ground was quite slippery and they had built these big parallels going downhill which were horrible! I felt like we didn't really get into a good rhythm and I had 2 down and some time faults. (Coincidentally they were both the parallels going downhill which probably means I messed it up because I was gutless!) It was okay considering I wouldn't have even attempted it at the beginning of the season, but a bit disappointing as we'd been going so well. You can see the photos from that show here.
Balu is now at Leigh near Sherborne which is about 20 minutes away. He is on part livery whereby they muck out and turn in and out for a very reasonable price. It means if I can't get there every day he is taken care of but I do all the riding, grooming, etc. There is a small indoor school which will be great for the winter and an outdoor school as well as good hacking. So far I am really impressed. It's busier than Shaftesbury but everyone is really nice and I can't believe how quickly Balu has settled in. He can talk to the horse next door and they seem to be great friends already. His stable looks onto the outdoor school so there is lots for him to look at all day long. He goes out at night with three other horses in a nice big paddock and seems to be totally relaxed there. Not at all like he was here at home. I haven't hacked him out yet (this was what we had problems with before) but I think he'll be fine. I've ridden him in both the schools and if anything he was a bit lazy.
So now I'm really happy again. Going to shows is still a lot harder work now I have a child to worry about but a few rosettes sure seem to make it all worthwhile! I'm hacking out this week and taking him to Dorchester show on Saturday so lets hope it all stays good!
Our little corner of the world has gone Simpson mad. We live nearby the Cerne giant whom many of you will be familiar with. Today he appears to have a friend. Apparently the pagans are all upperty about it. I think it's cool. It's a bit of fun, it will wash away as soon as it rains and meanwhile the giant has never been so popular. There were loads of people there today and helicopters and everything. Big news in the village I can tell you! Although I'm not sure that many of them will be rushing off to see the movie!
This is me and my boyfriend, Balu at our most recent show last month. He is an absolute star and I love him very much. I've had him for nearly 10 years now and and he's taught me so much. He's always done his absolute best to please me and I'm very attached to him, so why am I thinking about ditching him?
It's very complicated and I can't decide what to do. I've worked really hard on getting him and myself fit enough to compete again, but now were doing it I've suddenly realised that I don't have the same enthusiasm as I had for competition before I had a baby. I don't think it's nerves, although I did have quite a bad fall before Christmas which made me think, it's more that it just seems like such a huge amount of time, money and effort to get to a show and then it's fun but not that amazing. So I've been thinking about giving up. The thought of all the money I would save and the extra time I'd have is very tempting but then I look at this picture and realise how lucky I am. There are not many people who have a lovely horse like this that they can load up in their own trailer and take to show and be confident that they can enter a class and have a fair chance of coming away with a rosette.
So I don't know.
There are also some other factors, such as that he is not really happy at home here with just the pony for company. I also don't have a school here and I don't enjoy hacking him that much so keeping him fit in the winter was a nightmare. He's much happier at livery in Shaftesbury but it's too far from here to drive more than twice a week and pretty expensive too.
So I don't know.
Obviously the best thing to do financially is sell him, but he is 14 years old now and does have a bit of arthritis so I'm not sure that would be all that easy. Also it might just break my heart.
So I don't know.
We're also trying for another baby which obviously means no riding for a while and I'm not sure that if he had another year off I would ever get him fit again. It was a struggle this time what with foot problems and arthritis issues.
SO I DON'T KNOW.
I think my best option would be to try and loan him for a year. If I could find the right person who I trusted then maybe they could carry on having fun with him and he might just have some fun too. I'd feel like I was abandoning him to a stranger but then maybe he'd be better off with someone who had more time for him.
SO I STILL DON'T KNOW.
Am I being pathetic? Am I being selfish? Am I being totally self absorbed? Answers on a postcard or better still in the comments please!
So we've been back a week and yes, it already seems like a distant memory. We had a great time though, except for the weather not being all that good. Apparently Cyprus was unbelievably scorching in April then the week before we arrived they had really bad thunder storms. We just caught the tail end of this with a few overcast days and the odd shower. It made me worry more about climate change though (I kept an eye on the shore in case the water got sucked out!!).
The Munchkin was really good. I bought a book with jigsaws in the pages which went down really well and kept her busy on the plane. (Of course I nearly went demented doing the same jigsaws over and over again for 4 hours but heyho!) She also loved the creche and I have to say I was totally impressed with Powder Byrne. The staff and facilities were excellent and we will definately be using them again.
Weird thing. There was a guy at the hotel who looked remarkably like someone I went to school with, Simon Hall. We were quite good friends at one point I seem to remember but I wouldn't have seen him for about 15 years. I kept looking at him trying to figure out if it was him, he probably thought I was nuts and I dread to think what his wife thought, but I just couldn't decide. I thought his voice sounded too different. (I was listening too!) The thing is why didn't I just go and ask him? It's strange but at a hotel like that (mainly British couples and young families) no one really talks to each other. We did talk to one couple on the beach, only after I offered them a dry nappy for their baby, but apart from that it was just the staff at the hotel. I'm just as bad as anyone else by the way. J is much better he'll talk to anyone but I don't know, when everyone is in couples in a romantic setting you feel like your intruding or interrupting or something. We decided its a British thing. Americans for instance seem much more open. We've met some lovely people when we've been on holiday in the Caribbean. I don't know why but the British seem stiff abroad, its a bit like being on the tube, everyone together, separately. So my resolution is to be more friendly, and in this way at least a little less British!
Meanwhile I never did find out if it was him or not and now I am destined to spend the rest of my life wondering. Oh well!
We're off on holiday. You will find me here. My apologies to anyone flying on the same plane as me, you're probably going to get my cold (it still hasn't gone!). I see it as payback for all the times I have been infected on flights. I also feel it is my duty to give your immune system a work out. You'll be stronger for it in the long run.
I intend to lie in the sun, drink cocktails at the swim up bar and visit the spa. The munchkin is booked into the childrens club which I'm hoping will be a success. We also have a babysitter booked for the evenings, needless to say we will not be leaving her unattended at any time.
I've got a cold. It's horrible and just not right in this sunny weather. In the winter I sort of expect a cold and there's even something comforting about wrapping yourself in a blanket and drinking lemsip, but it's hot and sunny and I want to be outside enjoying it :-( Still, we go on holiday next Friday so at least I should be over it by then. I'm afraid it's the price I pay for those few hours of freedom I get while the munchkin is at preschool. Children are disease ridden I have discovered and they have these weird and wonderful bugs that they can infect you with. Munchkin has already had hand, foot and mouth and this latest is slapped cheek virus. I was much happier when I didn't know what these things were.
For Christmas my father-in-law made me a bird table. It is a work of art. I love it and him for making me such a nice present. I love bird tables and my last one got left behind when we moved house so I was very excited to get this one set up and see who came to visit. At this house we have a big mature garden with a stream at the bottom and I have seen loads of pretty birds flitting about so I set up the table just outside the sitting room window and looked forward to seeing what would arrive. It took quite some time for the birds to figure out there was food available and then another week or two for them to build up enough courage to investigate the actual table. Of course the Great Tits were the bravest and they soon gave everyone else the all clear.
Since then I've seen lots of finches, robins, blackbirds, mistlethrush, what I think is a dunnock and of course all the tits.
Now at my last house we had woodpeckers as regular visitors and also nuthatch and long-tailed tits which are all quite unusual. We are quite a lot further south in different countryside now so I was looking forward to seeing something equally exciting and unusual.
And here he is.... The damn thing has taken up residence and just sits there scoffing his face and frightening everything else away. Occasionally he waddles over to the windowsill and smiles at me through the glass before settling down for a nice a sleep. He's not even a nice wood pidgeon, he's just one of those flea-bitten types like you get in Trafalgar Square. His only saving grace is that the munchkin seems rather fond of him as she can get really close to him when he sits on the windowsill. Still I'm thinking of a pie.....
By the way, I found the fish. He was under a peice of bogwood and very dead. I don't know what happened to him but I fancied another one was swimming a bit funny this morning. I'm the worst fishmum ever!