Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Startling revelation

I realised at around 4am this morning that the near 60,000 words I have written this year (New Project) is utter shite. I've been trying to dodge round it, but really that is the reason I've been avoiding it - it's dreadful. 'No problem,' I've been telling myself, 'first drafts are always a bit rough around the edges.'

There is a world of difference between 'rough around the edges' and solid shite.

This morning I have begun the overwhelming task of rewriting from scratch. Oh, hell. I have only myself to blame.

Not going to go north to the show. Not self punishment, just horse not looking right. Gangly youngster. Going to go to Goresbridge next week instead, in search of a quick pony who will jump, not stop, and not be too strong for Jack. Have had a quick look at the catalogue; most are 14.2s but there are some 13.2s. Will only buy if decent. Will not buy on whim. Taking Lowri, to be sure.

School sports day this week. Going to rain.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Two old friends (Pat & Liz) came for a quick visit en route (sort of) to look at a couple of Connemaras. I love when my friends in the UK use me as a stop over on the way to see some horses; fab chance to catch up and talk shop.

Broached the subject of Pony Club teaching and mild desire to improve the quality of my instruction.
Liz: Sit the II! Easy. Perfectly capable.
Pat: Exams hard. Lots of jumping.
Liz: Lots of help first. Easy!
Pat: Wonderful instructor already [err, thank you] is stress of II necessary?
Liz: Is teaching high priority?
Me: ... no.

Not a priority really, just am doing it more and would like to know all is not going wrong. But PC girls and ponies are improving rapidly, which surely I have something to do with...

With bottle of wine and L&P to help, have entered NPS area 32 summer show. Will have lorry completely full:

Fin: M&M lead rein; Shetland gelding in hand; young handler
Greta: M&M novice first ridden; young handler
Mascot: M&M first ridden; Welsh A in hand; young handler
Cari: M&M novice ridden; Welsh C in hand
Scooby: M&M open ridden; Olympia qualifier (am I mad?)
Anna's pony: M&M open ridden; Olympia qualifier (not mad)

Have also entered the two yearlings and one three year old, in case those 6 can't go. Can't believe I've entered 9 ponies in one show. I must miss the NPS more than I realised. Spent a ridiculous amount in entries. Quite embarrassed. Especially since classes are bound to clash. Always do. Extraordinarily expensive day out for the whole family.

And cannot believe that I've been talked into doing an Olympia again! Jeez... It's been a wee while. Wonder if hacking jacket to match Scoobs fits me... Doubt it. On a crash diet.

Still waiting for Mara to decide to foal. She's dropped a fair bit and is quite soft now so hopefully she'll not be toooooooooo long. Bound to wait until we've gone to the Balmoral show.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Back from London

... and a very nice weekend it was, too. The whole point of the trip was Charlie's second London Marathon, which he completed in under 3 1/2, but more than 3, hours. His next attempt will be Edinburgh (hooray!) on 31st May. Apparently the route is not too hilly (err...?!?...hilly city, anyone?!?) and the kids will be on summer holidays from that weekend so I'm hoping to stay for the best part of a week and catch up with some people. (Cannot get used to summer holidays starting with the first week in June! Scottish schools will be in until the last week of June.)

Damara didn't foal while we were away ... She seems to have decided not to bother - either that or she didn't trust her on-call midwife...

Work has come to a complete standstill. I'm out of ideas and motivation - I know ideas are not important but I'm annoying myself. I need some sheer bloody determination and Charlie's relentless training is using up the family's determination quota. He's running to Bray (and hopefully back) tomorrow. He puts me to shame. Adamant that he's going to do a marathon in under 3hrs this year, so will be checking online tonight to see what he can enter.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Encouraging gambling?!

Maisie has absconded with my Horse & Hound, and is pouring over the racing pages. It would seem that since her flutter on the Grand National she's hooked. Oops... (Come on, 100-1?! How was I to know she'd actually win?!)

We're all going to London tomorrow straight after school to cheer on Charlie in the marathon. He's only just home from a rather exhaustive trip and is in no fit state to be running 26 miles at the weekend but there you go. He's aiming for under 3hrs this time. (Pricey odds on that too I think - perhaps Maisie can have another flutter...) Fabulously, big sister (mine) is also going to be in London for her annual birthday holiday - she hasn't slept in her own bed on her birthday since her 17th and is determined not to break the tradition. That was a wee while ago now..! So we're going to have lunch somewhere nice on saturday.

Damara doesn't feel like foaling yet, she's now a week past her date (not that that means much) and will probably wait until the place is quiet and she's only got Anna spying on her before she does anything.

I have joined the Twitter revolution...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Greta's in season, then.



Charlie decided this morning that it'd be nice to take Alice out on Maisie's pony - why he thought this without checking with me if Greta is really up to the job (babysitting a 3 year old) is a mystery, but there you go. Away they went, Jack and bike and Iona the dog in tow, for a morning of lead rein and Alice's constant chatter.

They were away for about an hour and a half, and when they came back Alice was not on the pony. She skipped over to me and told me (in a very excited voice) "Greta show noff hers BOTTum at va STALLyon!" and then did a little impersonation of the pony prancing around.

The Grangers over by the Valley (he walks fast...) have bought a new colt and stuck him in the paddock at the side of the lane. Greta - who until now hasn't shown the slightest hint of being in season - decided to spin and prance and snort and wink shamelessly at said colt. Swear to god, Greta has never pranced before in her life! Poor Alice got a bit of a fright and decided she didn't want to ride any more, and poor Charlie was quite stumped re explaining why cutesy wootsey ickle Greta turned into a firebreathing flirtatious monster (growing four inches in the process). He did actually manage to deliver some Alice-sized sex education (well done, dear) but I think he needs to lie down now.


Monday, 6 April 2009

Blah blah blah

Right, I have a new blog. I hate how I keep doing that, but I'm sick of the other place I was (or sick of some of the people) and ... no, I have no other reason. I'm blogging here now.

The kids are on their school holidays - it's easter. (Nearly.) I'm not in a good mood; three were supposed to be going to their mother at 9am for three days of whatever they do at her house. She phoned Charlie at 11pm last night and said she couldn't take them. No reason (or at least no reason she felt like sharing, or no reason Charlie felt like passing on) just "they live with you, they can stay with you".

Jack refused to wake up this morning. Maisie is being kind and polite, which means she's up to something. I've had to forcibly remove Eloisa from the piano twice today. (Cue two tantrums.) Alasdair is being downright unpleasant to Alice. Lucie's just being Lucie...

Jenny's husband may or may not be being made redundant. He was told he was, then he was told he wasn't, then he was again, then he wouldn't be if this other guy took voluntary redundancy in his place - and the other one wants to, he just hasn't done it yet. Meanwhile they carry on from day to day not knowing if he'll really be keeping his job or not. He applied for another one and went back to work from his interview in his suit, and was hauled into the office - the boss insisted that they did want to keep him on and said he'd get the situation "sorted"...

I'm trying to get transport for the new pony sorted. I had hoped (somewhat unrealistically) that he'd be able to get here for the holidays, but no such luck. It'll be the end of this week at the earliest.

Decided against entering the Royal Welsh after all, but we are going up to the Balmoral show next month. (Lugs in the hunter breeding, Jack's doing some jumping, Maisie is going to try plaiting up for SHP, and Ellie will be in the lead rein if we get a pony. Lugs may do well, the others are just going to see what a big show looks like.)