Cultivating the art of timewasting

So the girls have gone off to Latitude Festival in Suffolkand it’s very quiet here. I’ve spent all day listening to music on and realising that I’ll miss them both so much in September when they go to university.
Claire and I had a nice ride yesterday, the girls were up for it as soon as they felt the grass beneath their feet. I had to shout to Claire to stop cantering because my back was hurting (the pain specialist doesn’t really approve of me riding!) We resumed control and had a lovely ride beside the Jubilee River .

I’m going to Harefield Hospital tomorrow to have my a bone scan. This means being injected with radioactive stuff which shows up the bones. I’m also having an

my beloved pony

my beloved pony

MRI scan at the end of the month. Hopefully this will get to the bottom of the reason for the pain I get in my hip and back. “On XRay the artifical hip looks fine so we’ll just have to see. I should have had these tests and been back to the orthopaedic clinic by now but someone messed up the referrals so lucky I chased them up!

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm  Comments (1)  


Yesterday the field where our ponies graze was being divided to separate the mares from geldings (because there has been some kicking going on lately) Some posts were put in and a coloured rope was laid on the ground between them. Celeste jumped over the rope but then realised that Apache hadn’t come too so she jumped back. Then she jumped over again as if to show Apache how to do it so then Apache walked over it to join her! Meanwhile Clown walked all the way down the middle of the field to the gate end where he walked round the post  to the other side.

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  


There was a robin’s nest in Apache’s stable and the time came for the babies to learn to fly. One of them seemed to be doing quite well but the other took a few steps out of the nest and didn’t like what he saw so went back in. The next day one of the babies was on the floor in the stable so Claire couldn’t do the mucking out. After a while we became quite concerned for his little creature so a friend got a ladder and some gloves and he caught the little one, climbed the ladder and put him on the beam near they nest. Then he found the other robin. We’re hoping that they are getting on alright now, we’ve seen the parents are still around, in fact one was sitting on the rim of one of the feed bowls having a little snack.

We had a rude awakening this morning. J who I’m pleased to say is a lot better having had a cocktail of about nine different drugs, several intravenously, was sleeping in the lounge when she was woken by a magpie. We’re not sure if one of the cats brought it in or if it fell down the chimney. One of the cats did the cack-cack noise they make when they see prey. Our dog showed a singular lack of interest, preferring to stay in bed with me and my husband- and he’s a Springer Spaniel!

Luckily, Claire was here and she has worked at Swan Lifeline and Heathrow Animal Centre when she was studying animal care. She braved the flapping, charging bird and opened the french windows and, with the help of Patch the cat, encouraged it to fly away.

Yesterday I posted a form to the Nursing and Midwifery Council relinquishing my registration as a nurse. That felt really weird, worse than the act of retiring last June. To go back now would mean taking a course. Not that I have any intention of nursing as I am less mobile than I was last year and I’m enjoying retirement.

Talking of retirement ,the ponies are enjoying being semi-retired. It is a great pleasure to see them in their stables after they have had their supper as they nod off like the elderly ladies they are. I would hate to live without animals.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 8:35 am  Leave a Comment  


Some recent horsey events. Windsor Horse Show, a great day out- wish we’d had loads of money to spend at the tradestands! Claire saw the queen, I “misdrove” (well Hilary can mispeak after all) a mobility scooter. Our friend didn’t get placed despite us toasting her with champagne, the weather was beautiful.(Claire got fingermarks where she hadn’t been able to reach with her suncream, well it proves it works.)

On Saturday Getting Older Dressage (GODS) put on a pantomime for the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at Fulmer. Claire “rode” Black Beauty the pantomime pony. She was Lucinda Bloomin- Stony- Broke (very apt). The children loved it and Claire bonded so well with him she almost went to check on him after the show.

Our friends made amazing costumes and all the horses and ponies were wonderful. There were clowns, fairies, Star wars and the Strictly Come Prancing Competition(all on horseback apart from three clowns).

There were two RDA riders who put on individual shows of a very high standard. One girl only had one arm and the other had no legs and short arms.Very humbling. I imagine that as well as loving their riding, as we all do, they must get a sense of freedom and great achievement. The riders are only allowed stirrups if they have artificial legs (to stop the legs falling off). Their position in the saddle and the communication with their ponies showed up many able bodied riders, myself definately included. I think over £500 was raised from the sale of tickets and a raffle and everyone had fun.

I must get my finger out and make more effort to ride.




Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Death in the Family

Sadly, our little friend Pickle has died. He was a dear little guinea pig who squeaked a lot, making a noise that sounded like “weep,weep”. He was a good age and had lived on his own in a big hutch which he used to share with his dear friend, Punky, until he died and Mopsy the rabbit moved in. Sadly, she died too! She was a wonderful little black minature lop who lived to a ripe old age. She used to come indoors and climb up my husband’s trousers to get poppadums. (if we were having a curry!)

Now we only have two cats, two ponies and a dog. The ponies are off on their travels again on Saturday, we’re moving them to a yard which is nearer home. We’ll be sad to leave the yard we’re at at the moment but it should be easier for us to look after them,less gates and hills.(We do have lights there now and we really like the other people but it’s time to move on..)

The work on our house is nearly finished, thank goodness.

We’ve been on a couple of train trips recently, firstly a weekend in Scotland and then a day trip to Milford Haven. The Scotland trip was quite a marathon with rather too many coach journeys for my liking! It’s quite a feat when there’s a train load of people to discourge- five coach loads!

We went to Tobermory, which was very pretty. That weekend the Isle of Mull had a car rally so there were lots of motor racing types around. The racing takes place on roads which are closed to traffic but we saw lots of cars as the pit stop area was in Tobermory. Our coachdriver was very friendly and interesting, a born and bred Mullion, don’t know if that’s the correct term!

On the first day, we stopped in Penrith and went to Ullswater where we had a trip on a boat which was lovely. We also visited a castle and a fishing village near Stranrar over the weekend and went to New Lanark but the Tobermory trip was the best. Met a lovely policeman on the ferrry back from Mull, he kept Claire and I entertained for the whole journey.

I really must find a more suitable location for my computer, it’s uncomfortable and I have to keep gettting up to let members of the family through to the lounge.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m still here!

Did anyone wonder if I was still here? Well, I am.
Jenny went to Queen Mary University of London nearly two weeks ago,very nice campus. It’s in the East End. We miss Jenny but it’s a good thing she hasn’t been here as we’ve been having loads of work done at home, decorating inside and out and block paving outside, All work ongoing. We keep saying it’ll be nice when it’s finished! It was quite tricky choosing colours, we’ve got a blue bedroom,green lounge….sorry I’m sure that’s really boring!
The ponies seem happy in their new home, it’s a lovely setting but there is no electricity connected yet! Fingers crossed as it will be very difficult mucking out in the winter. Claire and I now look after them ourselves, apart from turning them out which we pay for. (Actually, you’ve guessed it,Claire does all the work, I just do the feeds and empty the odd wheelbarrow)!

Published in: on September 26, 2007 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tut tut

I haven’t written anything for ages. This is partly becuase the computer is not very conveniently situated, which is partly because it has to be somewhere where Ralph is allowed otherwise he whinges. He really is head of the household!
The biggest news is that we have moved our ponies to a new home. The yard where they used to be is turning into a non DIY yard with all sorts of facilities for competition horses. There is also limited grazing in the winter. Two of my friends had already moved to our new yard so when a vacancy arose we took the bull by the horns (or the ponies by the manes) and moved too.
They behaved impecably and have settled in very well but Apache is being a bit mean about the field shelter and won’t let Celeste in. I rode for a little while yesterday, the first time in ages.It was good , although I had to climb on a hay trailer to get on as there is no mounting block.
We are having a lot of work done on our house so we are expecting chaos.
A level results this Thursday.

Published in: on August 13, 2007 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Retirement is getting closer

Well I wrote a longer post than usual and kept saving it but it got gobbled up and didn’t publish, except for the title and the tags. Annoying! Perhaps I do need to retire, especially as I can’t really remember what I was waffling on about!

I rode Apache on Saturday, just a little walk but lovely to be able to ride again. (Pain clinic specialist told me not to ride but I’m not taking any notice of that and besides the physio said it was fine).

Talking of physio, I went for assessment on Friday and managed to jigger up my neck/upper back which was a pain, literally.

Yesterday, however, Claire and I finally got around to going to the gym to get our programmes and it was actually quite enjoyable! Stoke Park Club is absolutely fabulous. It’s where Goldfinger was filmed although the Pavillion, where the health club is, wasn’t built then,it was all golf.

Jen is off to London to do some recording for a band today, hope that goes well, it’ll be nice if she can pick up some session work like that.

I’ve managed to kill off my second SPV M600, last time it was the calls, now it seems as if the phone has unaligned itself. Orange can see from their end that it’s knackered and they’re sending me a Sony Ericcson to try. I’ll have to have a new contract but it’ll still be premier which means I can upgrade in 9 months and I still get through to the helpline super quickly.I can’t fault Orange.
Talking of good service, sadly our vet is leaving. She’s been so good and I love the way my number is on her phone as Apache. (I’m hoping Apache hasn’t secretly got a mobile, because I don’t want any more bills)! Apparently the vets from the Royal Veterinary College rang her to ask how Apache was! She’s such a gentle pony, she’s put up with all this carry on and hasn’t needed to be sedated. All she does is donate pooh to the vets when they examine her. I think I’ll try and publish this now, as I don’t fancy losing another post.

Published in: on May 21, 2007 at 8:47 am  Comments (1)  


Apache went to hospital yesterday as if she was going on holiday.Settled herself in to her hotel room all chirpy. She had a scan which wasn’t very conclusive so she had to stay in last night to have another scan and scope today. It’s not good news. Her uterus is distended and she’s still bleeding but the reason that the blood is altered is because it is building up in her womb and then coming out when it’s no longer fresh. So there’s a big risk of infection. If they wash out her uterus there’s a chance they can find the bleeding point and tie it off . Otherwise the washout may make things much worse, I suppose that means a hemorrhage.

If they don’t proceed , she may not be with us for long. The vets are going to speak to specialists tonight and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Everyone is gunning for her and amazingly, she’s still bright. We’re not going to let her suffer. Not much more I can say at the moment.

Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 6:47 pm  Comments (3)  


We thought that Apache was better as she stopped bleeding and seemed fine.She finished her course of antibiotics (with strawberry yoghurt) and anti-inflammatories but the very next day,she started to bleed again. This time the blood was old and dark as if it had been stored up somewhere. The vets are mystified and she’s going to have to go to their hospital tomorrow to have a scan and scope. If appropriate, she’ll also have her uterus washed out and antibiotics instilled. She’s fine in herself and lots of people are looking after her and worrying about her. We’ll be packing her overnight bag with her medicines, yoghurt and her “bally” (which is a big red ball that you fill with pony nuts which trickle feed out when she pushes it around.) My friend, who used to share Apache, is going with her as I can’t really take more time off at the moment.

Yesterday the ponies had to be wormed and Claire had to do Celeste because she is difficult to worm. Claire had Cess’s tongue in one hand and the wormer in the other and they performed a dance round the stable till Claire finally manged to squirt the wormer in, Celeste then refused to look at Claire and was huffy with her for a little while. Luckily Apache takes hers very easily. It’s no good trying to hide wormer in Celeste’s food because she just wouldn’t eat it.

Tomorrow we will have to put Milly in with Celeste as she hates being on her own and will miss Apache.Milly is a pony who should have a children’s book written about her, she has a habit of escaping and wandering off in to other people’s fields. She achieves this by leaning on the fence, snapping a post and then climbing over the lower rail backwards. Sometimes she manages to get over the water trough. If she’s tied up at the rail she craves attention by putting her leg on the metal railing by the school and pretending it’s going to get stuck. Yesterday she and Celeste were mutual grooming over the fence and poor Milly literally bit off more than she could chew because she got mouthfuls of Celeste’s hair. Celeste, being an old girly, takes longer to shed her winter coat. When she rolls she leaves piles of white hair on the ground.

Things have settled down at home , thank goodness, I didn’t talk to my husband much for a couple of days but we’re back to normal now!

Published in: on April 22, 2007 at 3:55 pm  Comments (1)