Tuesday, 23 December 2014

One Year...

Last December, I went to Totnes Christmas Market and got £20 from the cash machine. It gave me 4 very crisp, freshly printed £5 notes. It's not often that a cash machine gives out fivers so I was quite surprised and who doesn't love a new note?!

They were so crispy, I couldn't bring myself to spend them and for some bizarre reason, I've been carrying them around in my purse ever since! I don't even know how I haven't spent them in the last year.

When I went to Totnes Market a couple of weeks ago, I realised I still had them in my purse and that I was a complete saddo to have still got them a year later!

I wonder how long I can keep them in there for...


Monday, 22 December 2014

Brown Horse goes to a Gymkhana

On Sunday, my Riding Club held its annual Christmas Gymkhana. A Gymkhana is a series of different games/races played on horseback.
There were only 4 of us on horseback but there were quite a few spectators.

Everyone get all dressed up and humiliates their horses by dressing them up too!

Antlers and Fairy lights!
BH had his antlers on and fairy lights in his mane. I just had my red velvet hat cover and a Christmas jumper on. The lady that won the fancy dress painted her horse's hooves with sparkly red hoof oil and it was covered in tinsel and she was dressed as an elf.

Christmas Gymkhana
I like to say I just go along for fun but I definitely find myself getting over excited and rather competitive! This excitement transfers to the horse and it gets really exciting and a bit out of control then!!

 The games we did were:

The bending race - you have a series of cones or poles and you have to weave through them up to the end, turn round and weave through them on the way back. 
BH thought this game was great and he managed to win it although he was enjoying himself so much he didn't really want to listen to me telling him to steady up and slow down!

The potato race - you go thundering up to the far end or the arena where someone is standing holding out a potato. Try not to run the person down as you go round them and dash back to the start and drop the potato in a bucket. First to get their 3 potatoes in the bucket wins.
BH got way too excited at this one and nearly ran the poor helper over a couple of times and then trampled the bucket so I couldn't get the spud in it!
We didn't win this one because it ended up as a demolition derby and I can't remember which place we got.

The potato and spoon race - exactly like the egg and spoon race... but on a horse... at speed...
This is quite tricky to keep an eye on your potato and spoon and try to steer and control a horse that is enjoying himself way too much!
We managed it though and just scraped a win by a nose!

The sack race - race up to the far end, come back halfway, leap off your horse, climb/trip/fall into the world's smallest potato sack and leap down the arena and across the line.
I kept getting the heel of my boots caught on the bag so wasn't very quick! I think we might have come second but I wasn't keeping track of the scores. I was having too much fun!

Chase me Charlie - this is a game where they set out a single jump and everyone jumps it once then it goes up a notch. It keeps going up and up until there is only one person left in. If your horse refuses or knocks it down, you're out.
I had intended only to pop it a couple of times as BH isn't really supposed to jump due to his arthritis. He was absolutely flying and he felt so good. We got very competitive and ended up coming joint first at a height of around 3 foot! Oops! But it was so much fun! BH has done some really small (max 1ft) jumps over the summer but he hasn't really jumped for about 4 or 5 years so to have him flying something huge was amazing!
I will now be monitoring his arthritis closely with a view to letting him perhaps do a little bit more jumping next summer. He is a bit wild so I'll be keeping it to a very low level and preferably in a contained area!

We had a great afternoon and will be back next year to defend our title!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Pictures from my iPhone

I've been taking quite a few pictures on my phone whilst I've been out and about recently so I thought I'd share some of them here!

Tree in the garden that looks like it might not last much longer!

Leaves in the garden. 

Pretty leaves and scruffy dog

Lovely autumnal colours in the garden

The pond in late afternoon sun

Ombre tree in the garden

I don't even know...

This dog is weird

Brother's car in Hope Cove - Dad and I borrowed it

Hacking down our lane

Lovely crisp morning on a bridleway

Stream crossing ahead!

Nice horse, nice view!

Can't beat a crisp winter morning ride!

Woodland dog walk

River in the late afternoon sun on our woodland dog walk

Reflection in the river on our woodland dog walk.

Health and Safety?! This is how we do it in Devon!!

House in the village. Raises hundreds for charity every year.

Spot the pathetic dog...

The view from our barn at work. Not bad... not bad!

This dog has no respect for my personal space...

Office dogs under the desk.

Really bright moon

Cat pretending to be a dog...

The dogs are terrified of this!

First Aga fatality of the season. Very well roasted vegetables!

Beautiful December sunrise

Stunning December sunrise over the horses' field.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Don't mention the C-word!

Don't say it... 
The C- word... you know... Christmas 
Oh OK... as it is now December, you can say it!

No one is allowed to mention the C-word until December. I don't understand people who go crazy in November... seriously people.... get a grip!
It bugs me that the shops put Christmas stuff out in September when it's still sunny and warm (usually!)

We don't do Christmas in a big way at all. We'll go and dig the tree up around the 21st or something this year I expect. 
We usually get a big real tree that goes in the hallway by the stairs.
One year we didn't get a tree or do Christmas so I dug out my horrible little artificial tree from when I was at uni and set it up in the hallway where the tree usually goes. It looked pathetic at about only 3 foot high when we usually have a huge tree! but it was quite funny! That year I also got a "Happy un-Christmas" card from my best friend.

Mother's birthday is on Christmas Eve so it's pretty rubbish and very stressful for her! I always threaten to buy her a pair of boots or something and give her one on her birthday and make her wait until Christmas Day for the other! My best friend has actually done this to her mum whose birthday is on the 17th December haha!!

Every year, I put antlers on the horses' bridles which amuses me and makes people laugh at them when we're out and about!
They are good for getting traffic to slow down as well!
Fern the reindeer
BH competing in a Christmas gymkhana
Last year was our first Christmas with the dogs so they got a Santa outfit and a reindeer outfit. This year they have got actual Christmas jumpers that I found in Peacocks! I was looking for an outfit for a posh dinner but came home with just these instead!
Christmas jumpers! 
She hates it
Christmas Eve this year will be spent (weather permitting) riding the horses and walking the dogs. 
Late afternoon on Christmas Eve there is a carol service in one of the churches in town. It is not a religious service and it is just a really good sing song! It is so popular, you have to get there about an hour early to bag some seats!

We have a bit of a get together at our house on Christmas Eve with all of the neighbours and we get very er... merry(!!) There are only about 6 houses in the hamlet we live in so it's nice to get everyone together. We'll cook a big lasagne or something and obviously there will be a selection of delicious puddings!

House in the nearby village. He raises thousands for charity each year doing this.

Christmas Day will be like any other day. I'll get up and go and feed the animals and ride the horses. Weather dependent, I might go to the beach but I imagine it will be far too busy and I will just go a different route instead!

Bh with lights in his mane and all dressed up.
We will try and take the doggies for a nice walk somewhere. If I can get the horses ridden in time, it would be nice to go up on the moors but we shall have to see!

Mother and I are off to a local hotel for Christmas dinner this year. We went last year as it was just the two of us and it was amazing! 7 courses or something ridiculous and only £30 a head!

We are very much looking forward to that again this year! Mother has declared in an exasperated manner that she cannot go all day on Christmas Day without drinking (I know...) so that means I will be driving.

We will probably open our presents when we get back from dinner as I suspect we will probably be busy running round feeding the animals and getting clean and ready to go out for dinner beforehand!

Boxing Day will hopefully be bright and lovely and I will go hunting for the day. We meet in the town centre and I usually go crazy and put fairy lights in Fern's mane as well as her wearing her antlers. I don't rate tinsel unfortunately. It looks naf and the colour comes out when the horse sweats (as I have discovered in the past - oooops!)

We don't get into Christmas too much and there's no Christmas spirit in our household (except the alcoholic variety of course!)

We will snooze in front of the fire and watch trashy telly but that is probably only because there's nothing else to do and we don't want to disturb our friends when they're spending the day with their families haha!

Do you go crazy for Christmas?? 

Bah Humbug!