Friday, 27 June 2014

Happy Friday!

So I'm going to attempt my first ever scheduled post.... I hope it works! .... Erm... Clearly it didn't as it's still showing as a draft on my phone! Sorry! 

I am currently on "holiday" with Fern and one of my best friends and her horse.
I use the word "holiday" very loosely as it is more like a boot camp!
We get back Sunday late afternoon and I've got to throw everything back in the tack room and jump straight in the car to head to London for a couple of days.

This week has been busy busy:

Wanted to ride Fern after work to get her over a couple more jumps before we go away.
I called and called but the nags didn't appear so I had to trek down the fields to find them.
They appeared out of the barn but wouldn't come to me so I had to go and capture them and walk all the way back up the big hill. Little darlings!
Did a bit of jumping on Fern. I'm so proud of her. Her confidence has improved so much but she still has an attitude!
I went to the 24 hour Tesco half an hour away to stock up on biscuits and cider for our "holiday" - even driving home at 11pm I had the windows open!

Bootcamp in the heat... not so much fun!
Used a gizmo called a TRX - I spent most of the time on my face but it was funny!

Riding BH after work - he was a tit. Jogging and prancing and just being an idiot. 
Spent the evening (til gone midnight!) cleaning the horses bridles, which haven't been done for months, and watching a One Direction DVD. A good job jobbed though!

A day off work to get organised!
Packed my stuff for camp and then for London, packed Fern's stuff plus spares. It was like paying Tetris to get my saddle and various other bits in the Tack Pack and I've still got to get my friend's gear in as well! 

Fern's stuff for camp. I've got 2 huge bags to add to this!
I cursed at the torrential rain and did a sun dance for the weekend! We do NOT want to get wet this weekend!!

Let's do a sun dance!!
Set off to camp around 7am and stop for breakfast at Sheppy's Cider Farm on route. We did this last year to kill time as we were ahead of ourselves and it was so good, we're actually planning a stop there this time! Hopefully the horses won't wee in the car park like they did last time... It was on a slope and there was a wee river flowing across the car park! Delightful...

Hopefully the weather will be nice to us.

What are you up to this weekend? 

Catch up soon

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review - The Cake Nest

The Cake Nest
Mother bought me a 3 month membership to the cake club for my birthday in April and I thought it was a great idea and a novel idea for a gift.

Their website can be found here.

You can select which flavour you get for each month or just have a surprise.
Mother chose chocolate for my first one and then surprise for month 2 and 3.
I got Gingerbread for the 2nd and Coffee for the 3rd.

The cake comes in a little cardboard box through the post. It is wrapped in paper and plastic and is a good size.

I'm really struggling to rave about this product because it was simply mediocre.
The cakes were tasty enough but I wasn't blown away.
They weren't too dry which was good but I think for the money (£20 for a 3 month subscription) it wasn't good enough.

I like the idea, a slice of cake through the post once a month. I'm so busy I forget about it and then when I go and fetch the post in and there's a little brown box... boom! Cake day!

When the last one came, I unwrapped it and it was supposedly a coffee cake. It had a sort of very thin layer of chocolate or something on the top (which got stuck to the packaging) and the sponge underneath. I think the coffee flavour was probably in the chocolatey layer but I'm not 100% sure. The sponge was yellow - not what I would think a coffee cake should be!
It was ok though and I sat in the sun with a cuppa and my kindle to munch it.

Cake and a proper cup of builders tea

The gingerbread one I got for month 2 was nice and moist. Probably the best of the 3.

It's a good idea if you're really stuck for inspiration but it's a bit pricey for what you get.
Definitely just average.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Early Bird Saturday and Sight Seeing Sunday!

Eeesh.... I am POOPED! I have had such a busy weekend!

Saturday started with an 04:45 alarm (yes... pre 5am on my day off!!) and loaded up Fern to take her to a village a few miles away. 
I was on board by 6.45am and it was lovely! Nice and cool and hardly any flies. 

Early morning shadows
I wasn't planning to go to the beach but as I was only a mile and a half away, it would have been rude not to! 
We arrived on the beach at 7.15am and had a blast around at low tide. There were only a couple of dog walkers so we had it to ourselves. Bliss! 

Happy place 
Fern absolutely loves the beach so was dragging me about but she wasn't out of control like BH would have been! 

Happy horse!
After my previous post about hating beaches - I still don't like them but I didn't have to touch the sand and it was so blimmin early, there were no kids to get in my way.
We stayed on the beach til about 7.30 so not long. It is the same beach they filmed International Velvet on years ago so I like to pretend I'm in the film galloping about on my horse!! 
Here's the video from my helmet camera:

Apologies it is not edited or anything - I have no idea how to do it and I also don't have time to faff about making it look fancy.

I carried on and explored a bridleway in the village but headed back to the trailer about 8.30 as it was getting too hot and too many flies about.

I loaded up and ran the gauntlet of drivers who panic when they see a large vehicle and trailer (one woman made me reverse my great big truck and trailer when she had just passed a passing place.... I glared.... She was lucky it was just a glare!!)
I was home by 9.15 so had the whole day to take the dogs to the park, do some cleaning (boring!) and I cooked a couple of meals up and waited for a friend from Leeds to arrive about 6pm.

We rode both horses out in the cool evening and I didn't manage to poison her or us with my cooking which is always a winner!

Sunday started with the Race For Life in Plymouth. 5k on a hilly route in boiling sunshine..... Hotttt!! 
I was really pleased I ran the first 3k before I had a walk between 3 and 4k (which was all uphill anyway!) and completed in just under 37 minutes. I did it in 31 mins last year with lots more preparation and a less hilly route so I was  pleased with my time today especially in the heat!
Mother took the dogs for a paddle in the sea while we ran and on the way back to the car I carried Dix for a little way because it was so warm.

Hot dog, hot human!
The Princess being carried
Afterwards, Mother and I took the dogs over to Mount Edgcumbe on the ferry.

Ferry selfie
Royal William Yard from the ferry
We had a cheeky half a cider at the pub before setting off for a mooch round the park. It was so hot but the dogs coped brilliantly and had a lovely time exploring. 

The view from "Thompson's Seat"
We had our picnic in the shade on "Thompson's Seat" and walked round the lovely grounds and up to the main house which has stunning views down the avenue to the sea and Plymouth.

Looking down the avenue from the house

From the front doors of the house

Mount Edgcumbe House
We mooched around to the old Stables which have been converted into a tea room but still have the old stalls and stables. 

Old stable still with manger and tie rings

Inside the Stables tea room
You could sit in the yard or in a stable. They still had the original stone floors and food mangers in the stables. It was lovely and I daydreamed about what it would have been like when it was full of horses.

We had a delicious cream tea with vintage china, English grown tea and lovely cream and jam on an enormous scone! Yummmmy!

Can't beat a good cream tea!

A mini pond in an old trough
After a nice stroll back down to the ferry, I bought the dogs and ice cream (I know! spoilt brats!) and Monty found a baby's dummy to chew which looked absolutely bleddy hilarious! A dog with a dummy! I couldn't get a picture because I was laughing too much!

Monty with his dummy at home

Royal William Yard
We got back home about 6 and just sat in the garden reading and listening to my iPod in the sun.

We had a crazy busy weekend but it's been great! I loved Mount Edgcumbe and definitely want to go back at some point. 
I can't wait for our next adventure! 

What did you get up to in the sunshine? 


Friday, 20 June 2014

Happy Friday!

The sun is shining and it's Fridaaaayyy!!
This week has been pretty standard but made all the better because the sun was shining. Everything is better when the sun shines!

Here's a quick rundown of my week:

Didn't ride my horses because I was cleaning all day. Booo! I had a little breakfast buddy who had to have the chair pulled up so close so she could touch me. It was either that, or sit on my lap while I tried to get breakfast from plate to face without a small dog getting it en route!

Breakfast buddy

and then while I was cleaning, she got comfy in my duvet and stayed there all afternoon. Lazy madam!


Work and then an evening doggy walk to show Mother a walk we found. The tide was in so that meant playing the stone game in the estuary. Dixie got in as far as her toenails but Monty was swimming and I was a little worried he might swim off into the sunset!

Come back!

Nothing interesting. Circuit training in the evening was hard because it was so hot but we managed to stay in the shade quite a bit!

I rode Fern after work and whilst I was out, my friend called and asked if I wanted to go and cuddle her Labrador puppies.... erm... YES!! I was going try a new recipe (butternut squash and spinach lasagne) but that got shelved in favour of cuddling little fat fluffy puppies. CUTE!

An evening with one of my best friends. We watched 21 Jump Street and ate pizza and chocolate cake. Ate way too much but it's gotta be done occasionally!

I want to ride after work, take the trailer for a run out as it's been sat still for a while and attempt to cook the lasagne I didn't get round to doing on Wednesday!

I have been animal/plant sitting for a couple of weeks and their plants looks so pretty.

Pretty flowers

This weekend I'm hoping to take Fern (and maybe BH) out in the trailer so we can go for a ride somewhere different. I have a friend from Leeds staying Saturday night and then I'm doing the Race For Life on Sunday with my best friend and her Mum.
My mum is going to be bag and dog holder and we are hoping to go off to Mount Edgcumbe afterwards for a mooch with the doggies.

The weather is set to be beautiful so I'm looking forward to it!

Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?


Beautiful Beaches in the Summer? - No Thanks!

Whilst procrastinating earlier, I came across this link to Buzzfeed:

A quick scroll through and 6 of them are in South Devon, all within an hour of me.

Soar Mill Cove
Gara Rock Beach
Babbacombe Beach
Torquay Harbour
Slapton Sands

They all look so lovely when the sun is shining! We are in the middle of a spell of lovely warm weather at the moment so everyone flocks to the beaches.

Torquay is known as the English Riviera (or Torbaydos) because of it's lovely beaches and Mediterranean feel.

We are lucky to have such wonderful places so close to us but as a local, I only ever see them out of season because they are so rammed with tourists (and kids) in the summer, I avoid them like the plague!

Hope Cove - December 2013
Hope Cove in Summer!
Personally, I don't like beaches. Living here in this beautiful area with beaches on our doorstep is slightly wasted on me because I only go to the beach to walk the dogs in the winter and I love blasting along the beach on Fern.

My "Go Faster" look...

Beach ride!!
I really hate sand (it gets everywhere!) so I always wear wellies to the beach and the sea makes your skin so sticky and then seaweed touches you when you're swimming.... aaargh! Horrible!

The car parking is limited and the roads to get to these places are narrow and therefore a complete bottleneck when everyone is trying to get to and from the beaches.

I don't have time to lay about doing nothing on a beach all day so I never go just for the sake of it. If I get time, I'd much rather chill in the peace and quiet of my garden or down by the river than on a beach with everyone else.

Anyone else a bit of a hermit?? Any other beach haters?? 

No?? Just me then!


Monday, 16 June 2014

My Favourite Apps - Timehop

Apart from all the usual Apps I use on my phone like Facebook, Google Maps, Instagram etc; there are some other great apps about.

At the moment, I'm enjoying Timehop which is a great app that can be linked to your various social networking sites as well as your photos and it tells you what you were doing on this date 1/2/3/4/5/6 years ago.

You are able to share the posts to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and have a bit of a reminisce.

When Dixie was a baby and used to come to work with me

At the moment, mine are showing that a year ago was when Mum and I travelled back up to Northamptonshire to collect Monty from his breeder when he was 8 weeks old. He was so darned cute!
Seriously... So Darned Cute!

Why did he have to grow up?!
At this time 3 and 5 years ago, I was getting all excited about seeing Take That in concert up in Cardiff. It was A-MA-ZING and we were right on the front row and got to actually touch them... They put on a fantastic show and it was just spectacular.

What an amazing day this was.. or perhaps "Greatest Day" ....

Aaaanyway... I digress!
Go and check out Timehop and remind yourself what you were doing several years ago and have a reminisce with your friends and family.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sunny Saturday and a Seaside Wedding

The view up the estuary

Wow, what amazing weather we've had this weekend. Weren't we lucky?!

Saturday was boiling hot and there was an awful lot to pack in.

I took BH out first thing and he was pretty well behaved. I haven't ridden him for ages as I've been saving time by leading him off Fern so it was nice to get out on him.

Whilst i was eating brunch at about 10 past 11, I realised that I needed to leave the house by half past 11 to make it to a midday wedding in a nearby village! Oops!
I managed to shower, wash my hair, change and make myself look half decent in 20 minutes and left on time at 11.30! 

The wedding was beautiful and very emotional. The bride and groom are old work colleagues of mine and I hadn't seen them for about 4 years. It was a lovely service and they are such a great couple and very happy together. 

After the service, I stopped for a cuppa and natter with my friend and her gorgeous baby who live near to the church. It was lovely sitting in the sun and she's got a cracking view from her garden.

I shot into town in full dress and hair piece and went to the farmers merchant... yup.... 
As always, only needed some fly repellent but ended up coming out with another brush and a new fly mask as well... I have a problem with horsey shops...

Back home to get changed into my grubby stuff again and ride Fern. I took her in the field for a jumping session as we're going away in 2 weeks and she's hardly been airborne.
She was on form despite being eaten alive by horse flies and being chased round and round by Monty. (I tied him to the fence in the end because he was doing my head in!)
She jumped so well and I was really proud of her. The last fence we did was about 2'9" which is big for her as she's a big old bird and not designed for jumping, bless her.

We had time to take the dogs for a walk round the village before I had to shower and change ready for the evening wedding reception! (Deja vu!)

Looking towards the mouth of the estuary and the open sea
 The reception was held in a local seaside town at a lovely venue with wonderful views over the estuary.
We are very lucky to have such beautiful places right on the doorstep.

As the weather was so nice, we were able to spend most of the evening on the terrace watching the sun go down at the end of a fantastic but busy day!

Panoramic view from the terrace

Did you get out and enjoy the sunny weather?

Friday, 13 June 2014

Happy Friday!

I LOVE the Minions (Pinterest)
Who doesn't love a Friday?

In my previous jobs, my working week was Tuesday to Saturday so Friday was a bit of a nothing day because I still had work the next day. Booo!
Now I have an 'ordinary' office job, I get weekends and Bank Holidays off which after 2 years, is still a novelty and I completely sympathise with those who have to work weekends and Bank Holidays!

Here's a quick roundup of my week:

Monday: Mother Hall came home. I didn't get a text until midday so my lunch break was spent frantically tidying the house and dog toys strewn everywhere, doing the washing up and cleaning the dog beds.
The moment I got in the door after work, I banished the dogs to outside and hoovered like a maniac and made the place look a bit more respectable!
We walked the dogs and went out for a late dinner at the local pub and there was a cuuuute poodle puppy that was only 8 weeks old. We wanted to bring her home!!

Mmmm.... Cider!

Tuesday: I went to work and I went to circuit training in the evening. Dad and I put my car up on a ramp to see what it was likely to fail its MOT on... turns out... quite a lot!

Wednesday: I can't even remember if I did anything on Wednesday except go to work and then do the animals in the evening. Clearly nothing interesting happened on Wednesday!

This animal is so handsome!
Thursday: Car failed its MOT miserably. Have set a budget of around £100 to repair it. Thankfully Daddy is a car whizz and can hopefully fit the parts for me.
I rode Fern and led BH out for a late evening ride. It is quite difficult to ride and lead but luckily both horses were pretty well behaved last night. We saw a gypsy pony and cart at the local pub - what a perfect evening for it!

Riding and leading on an evening ride

Super shiny pony
As I have now seen the first horse flies of the year, the horses are wearing their space cadet outfits to protect them from the fly bites. They look ridiculous but it keeps the flies off! They were only cheapo rugs at £20 each so we'll see how well they last. I give them a week until i see at least some damage!

Space Cadets!

BH in his space suit

Friday: not much planned for today. I would like to ride again this evening when it cools down a bit. I also want to sit in the garden with the puppies and sup my last cider and read Harry Potter but I know that won't happen. I might just sit in the sun for a bit though!

Gimme a kiss!
I've got a wedding on Saturday but will hopefully be able to ride as well and on Sunday, I have no firm plans right now. I might see if Dad is free and take him out for lunch or a cream tea or something as it's Father's Day or I might just take the dogs for a lovely walk on the moor....

Have a great weekend!