Diary of an Equine Mum

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Such Blistering Heat!

I cannot believe the blistering heatwave we are having and its October on Saturday. The horses were hot and flustered and it was only 9.30am. Me and Bev decided to pick a shady route out this morning as the sun was so searing. It was beautiful up there, the trees are starting to turn golden but seemed odd when you riding out in 26 deg! We mainly walked and trotted and when we got back Zeb and Shamus were dripping in sweat! Trouble is they are getting wooley now because the previous weeks have been cooler so the coats have got thicker! Do we clip or not? It's a bit early for me, I normally clip Zeb at the end of October.
I went out in my police dressing up outfit again. This is the new range from Equisaftey which says POLITE notice, please slow down....and yes I do look formal in my "polite" attire. The traffic seem to respect it, so who am I to complain even if I do look like a complete plum in it! If it makes them slow down I'll dress up Dame Edna Everage and ride out.....hmm perhaps not!
Anyway long may this hot spell reign - everybody is loving it!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sorry Would You Like Whiskas Meatballs For Dinner?!

I consider myself to be an ok cook so why do my teenage sons sniff and pull a face when they look at the pot on the stove like I'm cooking s**t au vin! I was cooking beef cannelloni tonight which is just a glorified lasagne, with a lot of faffing about, but tastes much the same and tastes nice I might add. 
I don't like tomato sauce with mince, I don't like that pasta rolled..... Whats that white stuff? It's ricotta cheese I replied. I don't like that, was the reply. Well I took no notice and served it up, to watch them prod and poke it around like I had served them up Whiskas meatballs....now there is a thought. I'm so tempted, haven't got Whiskas but the cats have got some Felix "Good As Country Meat" pouches. Pour some Ragu over it and they would never know the difference!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

It Also Felt Mediterranean .......

We woke up fairly early this Sunday morning, so decided to leap out of bed and go for a walk. I couldn't believe how warm it was, so with that we headed down to the coast at Cooden to walk along the seafront to Bexhill. Such a lovely morning, it almost felt mediterranean. We are lucking living in the Weald as you are 30 mins from the coast, Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings are all on our doorstep. We are 30 mins from Tunbridge Wells, Gatwick, or the EuroStar. We do however pay a premium for living here in house prices...but that is another story!

There is a lot of regeneration going on in Bexhill with lots of work on the seafront and especially in front of the fabulous De La Warr Pavillion. I also couldn't believe how many shops are in Bexhill. It has got the reputation for the coastal town for the elderly and you can see why.... but I think with a lot of this regeneration it could be up an coming! My mum is thinking of moving in the next year or so, so we scoured the estate agents windows and there are bargains to be had!
Such a lovely morning and the first Sunday in ages that we have actually had time to go and do something different other than cricket, football or me with the horses (don't you worry, I'm hot footing down the yard this afternoon.).....

Friday, 23 September 2011

Where Are The Years Going?!

I went out last night and celebrated my super friends Janet's .......60th Birthday! I cannot believe she is 60. We worked together 12 years ago at Vauxhall in Customer Services which was a good working time in my life.  I was pregnant with Miles and Billy was just over a year when Vauxhall took me on, on a temporary contract. I was stunned to start a job 4 months pregnant, but they were not worried as long as the job was being done. I wonder how many companies would do that today! After Miles was born, I went back for one morning a week to begin with when he was 6 weeks old and then spent 4 years there in a part time position - increasing my hours as the boys got a bit older.
I made great friends there, including Janet and I worked with my dear old friend Gail (from my Goldwell days) who pulled a few strings to get me the job. These years are just whipping past and I'm now (cough) in my very early 40's and friends who I worked with are now hitting their 50's and 60's.
It's my mum's birthday next week and she is going to be 67. She said yesterday as we were arranging her birthday she didn't think she would make 65!! Oh well mum, you are on a winning bonus now..... Days, weeks, months just pass with the constant calender turning. Seasons to me seem to merge into two instead of four a year now.
Anyway, I wish Janet well into her new decade. I told her 60 is the new 50, which is great as I must be perceived to be in my 30's then - result!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

University.......Is It The Right Route Now?

I've been watching the news this morning about the ever rising costs of going to University which is I know a big topic at the moment. We have a couple of years to think about it with Billy as he starts 6th Form next year, but currently he is planning that he wants to go to Uni as he wants to be an architect. With rising tuition fees at 9K a year and then living costs on top, if Billy does the 7 years required, I cannot even write down what debt he will come out of Uni with...... We have some funds, but do we fund it? What about Miles who at the moment doesn't want to go to Uni but wants to go into training for a skill (unsure as to what), we cant plough money into one and not the other? We would have to fund both children to make it equal.
So these next two years will be a lot of decision making as Miles will be leaving school as well. Jobs and training are few and far between which I "hope" will improve for them in the coming years. I think its a very difficult time for teenagers coming out of the school system and deciding what the right thing is to do. I know many that have gone through University in my day, and they are doing nothing with that qualification now....... 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It Was Also Thanks To Red Rum

I was really saddened to hear about the death of Ginger McCain yesterday. To see clips of Red Rum again on the news bought so many memories of my childhood and where my love of horses began. My much missed dad was no betting man, but he always had a flutter on the Grand National. I can clearly remember watching the Grand National on a Saturday afternoon on our black and white telly. My dad had put a few pounds on him to win and when RR romped home, my dad was absolutely elated! Ever since then, he would put £1 on to win for me on the Grand National, and something I have done every year since that Red Rum win in 1977. I have probably more losers than winners but I will always follow it, however controversial the race can be. So from 1977, I started watching FollyFoot Farm, Flambards and Black Beauty. From that day on my love of horses started. I am the only person in my family who is a horse lover. I asked dad not long before he died I wonder why I have got this horse bug from a very non horsey family? Apparantly the only horse connection was that my great grandfather was a farrier. So there is an equine gene somewhere! My love for horses will be with me forever.......

Sunday, 18 September 2011

It's That Time Of Year Again...Find The Rugs!

That's it now....Zeb went into his light turnout rug yesterday after having a blissfull 4 months or being naked! All through the summer I've been sorting, washing, and dragging them to the local rug washer to get ready for the winter. Some I have washed myself, a big broom and some horse shampoo does a great job. What's worrying I seem to have enough rugs to cloth a whole Pony Club...... I think my rug collection is probably worth more than Zeb! No doubt in about 3 months time I will be whining on here about peeling off a soaking wet, filthy dirty and smelly rug off him and struggling to get them dry. I will be moaning that he has yet again, pulled off more leg straps, never to be seen again in the muddy bog which was the field. I will be at my wits end when he comes in with a dirty great rip on the back end, with half the stuffing hanging out of it.....hmmm I cannot wait!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Please Don't Go.......

I Love You Flick - Please Don't Go.....
I was feeling a bit better this morning and went down the yard to see Zeb and the girls. It was such a lovely sunny morning that I thought, havent ridden all week, I just walk/trot him up the lane and back as I was feeling still not my usual best! I decided to go out with Sue on Flick and then turn round at the top of the lane while she carried on to do the so called "big block". We have done this before when we ride out together and another horse left to go off elsewhere and the horses have been fine, a little funny to begin with but are generally fine. I certainly had no worries that Zeb would play up by Flick leaving him....or so I thought! 

What a nightmare ride home, he called and called, danced about in the road, went to go up a few times and then going so fast, I felt he was going to flee to come back to the yard (probably without me). I knew if I got off he would be worse, so stuck with it, booting him on and thank the lord I saw one of the ladies who lives down from the yard, walking her dog. She kindly said she would walk back with me as he was so upset. At least if I was dumped in the road, she was there to see it!! Anyway he was marginally better but created all the way back until I got back to the yard in one piece! Deep joy! He wasn't happy and but then he got back to his normal self when Flick arrived back 10 minutes later....I didn't realise they loved each other so much. What an exhausting morning, shame you can't have alcohol on anti-biotics!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It Would All Go Belly Up If Was Ill!

I have been suffering with lower left back pain for about 3 weeks now. I began then feeling quite rough on Sunday, as more symptoms showed I realised I probably had a urine infection...deep joy! I hot footed down the docs on Monday and yes infection was confirmed and handed a prescription for anti-biotics. Having been well for many years and not even bought a prescription I couldn't believe it was £7.40!!!

Anyway after about 2 lots of anti-biotics I began to feel so much better. So yesterday I hared around as usual, horses, work, gardening, cooking a steak pie, stripping the beds etc etc and then last night symptoms back and worse. So today I am taking it easy and drinking pints of water to flush this "bladdy" infection through.

It has however made me realise how much I do and many other working mums with animals actually have to do on a daily basis. Honestly, if I got laid up in hospital it would all go belly up in this household and I'm sure I am not alone on that one. We do so much and sometimes we do all these jobs because your better off doing the job properly yourself rather than explaining it 68 times to a teenager! 

We need to slow down a bit and take a little restful times for ourselves. Easier said than done though.Why do I feel a bit guilty if I sit down and watch telly for an hour, or read a book. I'm always thinking, I must sort those emails, I must clean the toilet, I must get to the bank, I must do the food shopping......the list goes on. Anyway I have got to go to the Post Office in a minute to send a parcel, but I promise after that I will sit down!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cats - Who Would Have Them?!

This Is Dizzee 
Why oh why have I got 3 cats!! They drive me mad! I get lured by the lovely cute fluffy kittens, and all of my cats have come from my so called friends. When any of friends have any kittens, I pop round for a cuppa to a have a look and then these words come out "ok, yes I'll have one!". Why do I say it?! Anyway these bundles of cute fluff turn into hunting, leaving fur and grit everywhere, eat smelly cat food and scratch too much machines. I don't want to add up what I spend on wormers and flea treatments for them. I know, I know this is part of being  a "pet owner"
Yesterday at 5.45am I had to rescue Dizzee who had jumped out of the bathroom window and was then stuck on the ledge. After alot of tugging and pulling I managed to drag him back in. Not yet 10 minutes later he has somehow jumped in the passenger seat of Stephens van. He only noticed when he was about to pull out of the drive he had a furry passenger! Dizzee was run over about 2 months ago. Luckily the women who stopped to pick him up was a Reiki Healer and healed him back to life. I rushed him to the vets as he looked like he was going snuff it any minute. Got the vet to see him (out of hours, yes oodles of £££) and the minute he got onto the examination table, he seemed to miraculously recover, purring and then jumping off the table....over £200 that little trip out cost me....... The other two seem to just eat and sleep and shed hair and dusty grit everywhere. The best thing I love is them sleeping on the dining room table (note picture below), which I hasten to add they would never do when I'm around, they just rule the house at night doing whatever they like.  It's great when you go and eat your dinner there and the table is covered in grit and grey fur! Delightful! Blue is allergic to flea bites and after numerous vet visits they think the only answer is monthly steroid jabs. No thanks, tea tree oil and homeopathic tablets does the job more than efficiently. There is a story about Blue in her younger days but if I tell here on the world wide web, I would have the police called in under the "Dangerous Cat Act"!
This is Jinx the nervous wreck of a cat that constantly gets harassed by the other two. She comes through the cat flap commando style with the fear of being pounced on by Blue and Dizzee. She is a lovely cat, with a very short tail (as per pic). We think she was run over, her tail being the brunt of it and again after numerous expensive visits to the vets, it eventually fell off!! I hope I have not put you off buying that fluffy kitten - I actually do love having them around and they are real characters. Must go, got to clean the work top again from muddy footprints, and give another poor mouse that has been mutilated a decent burial...in the bin!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A Very Sobering Day

Bronze Wall Memorial At Ground Zero
I was very fortunate to visit Ground Zero last year on a trip to mark my (cough) 40th birthday.. It was a very sobering place to visit and I was staggered at the enormity of what happened in New York, ten years ago today. You cannot imagine what it must of been like, as those two mega structures came tumbling down with all those poor people inside.... I visited New York on my 30th too, 8 months before 9/11. I bought a painting off a street vendor outside the Twin Towers of the New York skyline, showing clearly those two enormous skyscrapers so prominent to New York.
Miles Aged 13 With The Bronze Statue At Ground Zero

The Everyman Businessman at Ground Zero
I remember quite clearly where I was ten years ago today. I was opening up a clothes shop with my friend Sandra and we were busy painting and decorating the shop before the opening at the beginning of October. Miles (who was just 4) had just started the reception class at school and in those days finished at midday. He came with me down to the shop, to "help" me paint. I had Radio 1 on, and they stopped all the music to broadcast what had just happened. At first, like everyone else, I thought it was just a hideous accident. I went and picked Billy up from school and then turned the TV on when we got home. There I remained for hours, watching in utter disbelief as to what was happening.....
Ground Zero - June 2010
I will remember those who lost their lives, ten years ago today. I love New York, its just a great place to visit. I will probably go for my 50th too, and visit again Ground Zero, the new memorials and see the skyscrapers that have been replaced....however that is a few years away yet.....

Saturday, 10 September 2011

All For Such A Great Cause

I had a great night last night with many friends at the charity fashion show. My old business partner Sandra, put on a fashion show all in aid of Cancer Research UK. Most of the models were friends of mine with all ages and sizes which was very refreshing to watch! They were very brave girlies as if that had been me I'm sure I would of had a Naomi Campbell moment with probably a temper to match afterwards!
Luckily there were no accidents and all the models kept upright in their heels and super outfits from Halo. Saw some great clothes for the coming autumn and winter and the hair and make up on the models was fab, again friends of mine who run Black Door Beauty and CoCo Hairdressing. We all had a few tipples and my irish luck on the raffle continued by not winning a thing as usual! On my walk home last night, the Big C word which the night was all about, reminded me of my dear friend Jane who we lost to cancer last year after a very short illness. There was also a friend at the show tonight who has just successfully won a battle over breast cancer. This Big C is a big b*****d of a disease and the fight to remove from all our lives must go on!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More Grand Prix Road Nails Please!

Well I left the farrier this morning (with his new young trainee) with instructions to put more road nails into Zeb's shoes. We have had a major problem with the council resurfacing the roads (which I know is much needed) with a sleek black shiny tarmac. The lanes don't look dissimilar to the Monaco Grand Prix race track! However lovely they look, they are lethal when riding a horse in metal shoes. The horses, including Zeb are slipping badly on this surface, its like riding a horse on roller skates. Anyway we have spoken to the council and they admit there is a problem but financially cannot do anything about it. I do understand, road saftey is paramount for drivers compared I suppose to the small numbers that use them on horses.....I just don't fancy coming off Zeb when he is doing the splits and I'm forward rolling down the road!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Teenage Hilton Hotel Is Shut!

Well the very, very non-profit teenage Hilton Hotel shut its doors today. Yes the free loading hotel for teenagers that I ran for the last six weeks over the summer holidays needs a massive overhaul and refurb. Clothes are strewn everywhere, together with moudly plates and empty crisp packets. The bank account has been ran dry with the never ending handouts to them, the cupboards are bare after feeding B and M together with all their friends. I am typing this post in complete peace and quiet. Its bliss...... No MTV blaring out, or FIFA 11 in the background. No mobile phones ringing or can can you give me a lift and pick up everyone else and drive them around the county! Oh well, roll on 3.30pm when they fall in the door, bags thrown in the corner, shoes chucked and the first words they will utter is...."what's for tea!" Don't you just love them...actually I do x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Autumn On Its Way

Well it felt positively autumnal this morning as I went down to the horses this morning. There was a definite nip in the air and I had to find my wellies as I knew I would need them with the recent rain. I schooled Zeb and Shamus this morning and the leaves were blowing into the school and around me. I cannot believe summer is slowly getting behind us.... However, I love the autumn colours and especially riding the horses through mountains of leaves. Mother nature can keep the snow though, I cannot face looking after horses in that awful snow we had last year again......

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Last Summer Party?

Oooh my head hurts this morning..... Too many g and t's and cosmopolitans at Sandra and Darren's party last night. A very good time was had by all, sumo wrestling, surf boarding, hog roast and dancing to The Cure and Amy Winehouse to name a few!  B and M came along too with alot of their friends who were camping over night. Luckily they were behind the marquees as you wouldn't of wanted to see what was going on with about 30 fifteen/sixteen year olds! At least the team of parents were there to supervise if needed. Anyway they are all still sleeping it off this morning. I'm going to wake them early tomorrow with school on Tuesday - normality back! I'm now off to go and sort the horses. I ought to ride Zeb really but the thought of putting a riding hat on my sore head.....

Friday, 2 September 2011

Roll On Tuesday!

Roll on Tuesday, back to school! The teenagers in my household can then return to a "normal" daily routine. B&M have started to live a nocturnal life style which is winding up Stephen no end. They are not rising until midday and then roll their eyes at me as I ask them to turn down the stereo at 11.20pm and tell them to go to bed at night. Well this seems to be ignored as their Facebook's posts are shown well gone midnight and beyond. Also roll on Tuesday and hopefully my bank account can recover, I feel like I've been mugged over the last 6 weeks, £10 here, £5 there £50 for new shoes etc etc. I'm amazed my bank haven't rang me to see if my card has been cloned. As for the shopping bill -  I cannot even begin to add up what was spent in August. Our bank statement reads Co Op, Tescos, Sainburys, Co Op, Co Op..........Feeding two teenagers is fairly expensive but its the feeding of the teenagers friends too! The kitchen cupboards look like we've been burgled with only lonely wrappers are left or empty boxes (why can't they put them in the bin??)
I have said that this is the last summer holidays of them doing sweet f.a. Billy is 16 later this year and it is time for him to work. I know its hard out there, and jobs are hard to find BUT the Hilton Hotel that they have been enjoying this summer is shutting down for summer 2012!