Friday, November 30

Thankyous with a capital T

without wanting to be a bit (yaaaaawn) boring, those of you who have
followed our exploits know the road to Bruce's transformation from a
hunter to a well schooled and confident riding horse
has been anything but straightforward for either of us.

We've both had to face some hidden fears-
me realising that I'm not as good or brave a rider as I thought
and his unaccountable panic attacks have brought to the surface
the simple fact that we both put on a glossy exterior
to hide the quivering jelly laying dormant underneath!

It's taken me a lot of work to accept and befriend that
quivering jelly (who used to be my arch-enemy) but you know,
she's proved more beneficial than I'd ever thought.

I've found being afraid doesn't matter, because it makes you listen.
Whether listening for clues to guide you through the situation
or for someone to say "you don't have to do this",
listening is something I've not done much before.

I talk, I busy, I potter and natter and do, and do more
and fill the space and time with busyness for which I've
rewarded myself in trophies of achievement.
Stillness has been an anathema, a waste of precious time

but listening- wow!
It terms of my journey with Bruce it's enabled me
to find immense pride in the smallest gains.
The flick of an ear back to me for re-assurance when he
stiffens with panic is a major breakthrough,
and spending 30 minutes riding circles in the paddock as the
wind blows a hoolie all around and his whole body says "run",
but there are tiny moments of joy when he relaxes enough
to do the stepping-under movements he finds so hard-
I never felt such pride getting 4 small strides of shoulder-in
when previously I'd have felt failure for not getting more.

To have him stand still when the pheasant shoot burst into
action across the hedge, quivering, trying so hard to
focus on the huge task I was asking-
to me, that was like winning the Olympics!

Listening to his breath change to a rythmic softness as I concentrate
my own breathing gently in-&-out,
listen as his walk and trot pace regulates when I mentally count the tempo,
listen to the amazing response when I think "halt" on an out-breath
and, relaxed and soft he gathers himself into a perfectly square halt.

And listening to advice and help?
phew! who sent those wise and wonderful people who showed me
actually, I don't know it all. In fact, I know very little but by listening
I can know more.

I won't deny I wanted to compete; I wanted to fly round
cross-country courses, take my beautiful horse show jumping
and have those stunning paces judged in dressage
but it aint gonna happen.
Instead, I've begun to enjoy the journey with him
and with my life in general, rather than fixating on the end goal
(for which we're endlessly moving the goalposts anyway!)
and it seems a more comfortable way to be.
I've not gone all new-age but I've got a useful way
to pick a path through my life.

They say you get the lesson you need when you need it
although you might not always agree at the time.

They say that as you grow up, you start to reach inside
and learn how to grow down.

They say rejoice in where you're at; don't worry about
where you aren't (Mark Rashid)

and I say a very very humble thank you;
I guess Bruce and I somehow found each other
(eyes across a crowded stable)
and Kirsty who found us both, just in time to save the day,
I'm eternally grateful- I couldn't have done it without you xx

Tuesday, November 27

briefly miz

I know it's always best to look on the Bright Side
but sometimes, just sometimes, I feel a very small voice inside
who wants to have a moan
and a grumble
and a bit of a stomp
for no real reason apart from the fact that
after all that rain we haven't got flooding
but we've got mudding
and incessant brown gloop has lost its fun-factor,
and the sun (in those brief seconds when it shines)
doesn't get above our trees all day and I long for it's cheery respite,
and I'm freezing now and its only going to get colder,
and the older chickens are mercilessly picking on poor little Edie
the new recruit who was "rescued" altho she wouldn't think it,
and I want to hide from Christmas
(I want to hide from my birthday too),
and there aren't enough hours in the day to do
all the things I want to do because I'm too busy doing
the things I don't want to do,
and Bruce is up to his old tricks again which is very unsettling
(not to say unseating),
and our phone land-line has a fault which can't be found
(is there a collective name for groups of BT engineers?)
and without a mobile signal at home there's no goss,
and the house so continually looks like an antique shop in transit
with fair preps and eBay packing and photo shoots
that I've forgotten how I originally furnished,
and I've developed an addiction to custard creams,
and I shrunk my cashmere sweater (major boohoo),
and no matter how hard I try my crochet squares look like splats,
and and and
and you know what I've just read this back
and laughed at the crap I've written,
maxed up the radio and danced round the room to Roxy Music
and actually I do feel lots better. . .

people who live in a field have to expect mud,
it's November,
there's no sunshine; get over it,
it's cold; get over that too
pecking order? the clue is in the words,
Christmas- its just a day,
Birthday- its just (a lot of) years,
not enough hours? there never has been and never will be,
Bruce; detach yourself emotionally and deal with it,
phone line? faults get mended,
a house top-to-bottom in vintage? some people's dream come true,
custard creams? enjoy and repent next month,
shrunk cashmere? find a small child,
crochet? aim for an abstract crazy quilt

ahhhhh, the power of blogging!


Tuesday, November 20

ups-&-downs of a morning's work. . .

so, it's first thing in the morning
(well fourth thing really if you count doing Bruce,
 letting/cleaning out the chickens and eating breakfast)
and I've got the laptop in the kitchen
 checking my eBay sales from the previous evening.

All well and good;
lots of things sold, lots of things paid promptly, lots of parcels to pack.

Then I open two emails.

The first is from a newbie purchaser who bought her item
and then decided she hadn't really meant to do it-
it was "just a bit of a lark and she wouldn't
be completing the sale" but was "sure I'd understand".
I do understand
I am annoyed
(very annoyed actually)
but thank her anyway for letting me know immediately.
No-one died.

The second email
is from a bidder who missed the auction she was watching
and is annoyed (very annoyed actually)
because she really really REALLY wanted that item
and is "prepared to offer well over the winning bid price"
if I sell it to her
£50 over the winning bid price.
No, it's not the same item as above
that would only happen in a fairy story

I email her back to say thanks for the offer but I
wouldn't like to disappoint the winning bidder
and actually, that's not the way I do business
(Although £50 would be very useful right now)

I think about the ££s I had
the ££s I could've had
and the ££s I don't now have
and it makes me smile
because that's business I guess
and its all a blimmin' nuisance
I use my yardstick for not getting het-up about stuff
. . .no-one died.

The postman knocks at the door with a smile
(our postman always has a smile- must be from wearing those shorts)
and hands me the envelope.
£25 from the Premium Bonds

Friday, November 16

horse topiary!

it's that time of year again for
The clippers come out and I spend a couple of hairy hours
giving Bruce his winter trim.

He doesn't get a hugely woolly winter coat but it is thick enough
to make him sweat when ridden, which then makes it difficult
to turn him out in the field afterwards (snug in a waterproof rug)
or leave standing in the stable wearing a thermal cooler
without a risk of getting chilled as he cools down.
I completely remove the hair on his tummy and neck
and leave a "blanket" back to keep him warm,
long stockings to protect against thorns and scratches
and enough hair on his face and ears to protect against the rain.
When the weather turns colder he has an insulated neck cover
attached to his outdoor rug- there's no danger of him
not being molly-coddled for one single minute!

and does he mind?
tucking into a a tasty net of hay
he's completely laid back. . .
until the next frosty morning that is,
when his antics make it quite obvious
he's feeling a draught somewhere!

Tuesday, November 13

this week. . .mainly wallpapering. . .& it's only Tuesday

well it all started when I found Amanda's fabulous blog

and saw the wallpapers she has for sale in her Etsy shop

I mean, a girls gotta do. . .

(but the dilemma is,
do I leave this pine cased set of mahogany drawers in it's paint
or. . .???)

Sunday, November 11


My dad used to march with his ex-servicemen's regiment
each Remembrance Sunday.

I suddenly thought of it when I let the hens out this morning
and felt the cold frosty air on my face.

Childhood memories of the feel of that same frost against his cheek
as I kissed my daddy, and patted his medals
and felt proud

all those years ago.

It seems like he died yesterday;
 that awful black day is etched forever in my soul,
and yet it could've been 100 years back
because it's put away,
firmly put away in the place I don't care to go.

Remembrance Sunday
all those people
all those memories

and today, one more that I hadn't expected

Thursday, November 8

mainly milking...

how will I be spending my afternoon?

today I'm soooooooooooooo excited
I'm going to learn
milk a goat!

(Peapod, I promise to warm my hands first!)

how are you spending your afternoon?

Friday, November 2

unashamedly pimping VINTAGE SHEETS

Ok, so we know each other well enough by now. . .

you all know I sell on eBay and you all know I started out blogging
to shout it from the rooftops (or the laptops)
and then found out how nice blogging was
just for blogging's sake,
and that unless I had something so
super duper extra deliciously special
and couldn't contain my inner Power Seller a moment longer,
photos wouldn't spill over onto these hallowed pages. . .
well, things don't get much better than vintage Dorma sheets do they?
1970s originals
Double size
Flat 70" X 100"
in their original packaging
one fabulous sheet?
two fabulous sheets?
wait for it
all identical
all listed this week
with my head held high I hit the publish button.

Unashamedly pimping vintage sheets

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