Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Happy Birthday to me......

I was planning to make some fantastic link between the fact that on the day I was born Winston Churchill was being laid to rest with an awe inspiring, ceremonial State Funeral with full military honours (the criteria for being honoured in this way I am not quite sure of i.e. what level of PM gets the said honour…something to mull on, Tony Blair?!)…This is an event that my mother has reminded me of frequently..In those days it was as important as missing the Christmas episode of Emmerdale /Coronation Street/ Eastenders all rolled into one (A more innocent time to be sure) but whilst he was being escorted with due and solemn honour down the Mall she was squealing like a pig in an anonymous Nursing Home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire (her words not mine). She has never quite forgotten that it is MY fault that she missed the TV event of the year. However, on browsing the Internet as one does I noticed that today in 1983 the wonderfully named Hilbert Von Thumb became European Skating Champion, which I much prefer, you would kill to have a surname like that and he was surely born to greatness. Oh, and another moment of note, when I was celebrating my 18th birthday poor Joan Valerie, actress (who? I hear you cry, well she was in “Pier 13” so we are all non the wiser), was dying of pneumonia. Enough of this, I had a lovely day with breakfast, presents and cards from the kids before school and then a ride out with Howard and Myrna (through typical Jan 30th weather of drizzle and wind) and then a meal with the best of friends tonight. The planned Indian take away was not available due to the Indian inexplicably deciding to have a night off, ditto the Chinese so we had Pizza, and very good it was too. God bless to friends and family without whom a birthday would not be complete and as it says in one of my cards (you know who you are!) “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age” In conclusion I see nothing to lie about…being 21 (again) is wonderful!
N.B The author of the above takes no responsibility for any grammatical/spelling mistakes but refers the reader to Messers Ernest and Julio Gallo etc.
Oops just noticed that I managed to miss my birthday by several minutes so all that happened yesterday!

Saturday, 27 January 2007

"Trec..Working for every horse and rider"..... ( Hmmmmm

Today Woman and horse were in some disarray when confronted with the rules of Trec (a kind of equine orienteering with additional random tortures thrown in), excellently presented by Dilla at Argyll Adventure. What sort of madman/woman (the fairer sex can be just as evil) invented a sport that involves the participant cantering under a fearsome framework of scaffolding albeit expertly constructed encouragingly called “The branches”?! These branches are set at a mere 20” higher than your horse so imagine the position that must be adopted to avoid what I would imagine to be a fairly neat decapitation. Obviously most of the younger participants, and actually almost everyone else, now I come to reflect on it, managed this at a very elegant and controlled canter again and again whilst Lewis and I crawled under at a WALK with cries of “keep your bottom down” echoing around the ring as that particular appendage (mine not his) threatened to bring the whole thing down. The children did very well although Toby was a bit white faced after Barra showed his deep disapproval of the whole thing when expected to step up a concrete shelf like step and then down again. Mind you, so was Howard, Barra’s winter owner after he took Barra round for a second time, this was quite plainly a liberty. This is all practice for the real thing in a month or so. All I can say is that Lewis and I were in total harmony in our fear of the whole thing! Will post pictures when Toby has downloaded them. Normal family life resumed this afternoon, Freya has a friend for a sleepover, who has alarmingly had stomach ache and felt sick two or three times but did not wish to go home… a sleepover hostesses nightmare. No glass of wine for me tonight then, especially as Garret is on duty.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

The day when we all Address the Haggis.....

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

A wee nod in the direction of Robert Burns born this day in 1759. Having had our haggis with the children earlier we will raise a dram in his direction once I am home from the PTA meeting and Garret from transporting the children to and from Karate, which is held in the coldest hut ever in Loch Awe village. What a fascinating and busy social life we lead!
I am aching after a rigorous workout (pyramid running for those in the know..a discipline quite obviously developed by a totally sadistic PE teacher) last night with the Lochgilphead jogscotland group led by my running/swimming/ partner-in-crime Lizzie (more of her another day). Living out in the sticks it was a novelty to me to run by night amply lit by street lights….the wonders of modern science.
Highlights of the day included helping Rosie (see picture)with her “Haggis” project (of course) and washing out the compost bin. Hey, it might not be top of your list of top ten best points of the day but everything is relative. It sure beat trying to muck out the small space by the side of Freya’s bed, which has not been visible to me since she erected a small curtain around the bed to ensure privacy.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

A day off

A riding day again, yippee! Left behind were the care worn worries of self employed B&Ber and mother as Lewis and I trotted off into the Kenmore woods together. The picture is of Freya with Lewis as none of the ones with me and my equine boy pass my rigorous standards for public viewing. We ended our ride with a paddle in Loch Fyne, which nearly turned into an impromptu swim for Lewis as I tried to get to the smooth sandy bit beyond the seaweed covered and hence slippery rocks. I did realise just as the water began to tug at my boots and so we turned to a shallower part, it is not really the ideal way to clean the saddle. Lewis bears my flights of fancy with remarkable stoicism; standing in the water looking out at the white-topped hills above Strachur was excellent! The return to the land of Motherdom came soon enough as I trundled off to collect Rosie from Kurling club (sliding “stones ” on ice whilst aiming for a target for the un-initiated, the ice being substituted by the school hall floor with wheels added to the stones for that essential slide) and visited Inveraray’s excellent fish van to get mackerel for tea!

Monday, 22 January 2007

Of bleach, books and blue skies

A gorgeous day here in Mid Argyll with brilliant blue skies and more than a hint of frost. Unfortunately, despite the pull of the outdoors I have spent the morning trying to re paint the B&B signs that I cleaned yesterday. Memo to self: - do not clean plastic sheeting with bleach if you then wish to apply black gloss paint to the surface…it does something to the polymers so the paint does not stick. Actually I made that up about polymers, it just sounded good. All I know is that it is back to the drawing (or painting) board for me. The children spent yesterday attempting to sledge up and down the lawn at the front of the house on anything they could find ranging from plastic bags and old water skies to an actual sledge. All this on about ½ cm of crispy snow, such dedication. I managed to finish my new Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben) book so a good day all round.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

snowy scene

After the sleet yesterday wetting our winter appetites and raising the hopes of sledging in little (and not so little) hearts we had the first really proper snow of the winter this morning. Alas, only the adults could enjoy it (by going for a run,of course)as the small people were off to school as it started and I fear the temperature is already rising and so it will be a memory by the time school is out. Ah well at least we took a photo so they will know what they missed.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

First post!

Here we are, the first post and nerves abound! Many thanks John, for getting me as far as this, no mean feat considering our Luddite like refusal to change anything on the computer that we feel we know so well it is part of the family. I am nice and cosy inside watching the first proper snow of the year outside (Actually it is sleet now but when I was trying to compose this in my head earlier it was briefly snowing and snow sounds more romantic). Went riding this morning along the side of Loch Fyne on Lewis, our winter loan horse. Despite the laden skies, which subsequently dumped huge quantities of icy rain on us, it was very beautiful, all grey hills and grey shiny water. I managed to take Lewis a wee bit beyond his comfort zone (i.e. away from his normal treks), cantering along the forest track alone was the best! Garret is away to Ardfern working and kids are at school so peace for now. Now that Christmas is past I have to contemplate the list of jobs for the new season of B&B but not today…….