Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

That TV advertisement is right, dammit! I do need to remove stubborn stains and I am worried about damaging the colour. But lo my friends! There is a product that I simply need to dip my stubbornly-stained clothing into and behold… the stain is gone! This must be magic. Or sorcery. Anyway, back in the real world…

Earlier I managed to spill my craftsman-like constructed cup of tea all over the kitchen worksurface.

No significant damage was done, but so great was the crisis that once the damage was repaired Die Hard 4.0 and a significant quantity of ice cream followed.


I haven’t ridden this weekend – the weather’s been awful – but I have finished the very last task at the yard of clearing up Beech’s things. Much poignancy.

I’ve also emailed Jo (new trainer) to postpone our next session – I haven’t had time to put her ideas in to practice from the last time yet.

Vinnie looks good, I wish I was giving him the quality of work that he deserves.

Gary’s repaired the power steering feed pipe on the lorry (yay!), but we don’t have anything booked in the competition schedule – though I’ve just noticed there’s some dressage on Sunday 16th December down at Huntley in Gloucestershire.

And here’s a thing… those Southern Comfort television commercials. Haven’t the advertising agency realised the awful truth yet, that they’re being handicapped by the fact that the product tastes like sickly cat wee?

We had breakfast at Little Chef this morning (yeah, rock’n’roll!), a token of apology from me to The Lovely S for behaving like a complete and utter twot yesterday.

After breakfast a trip to the yard where I cleared stuff up, as previously mentioned.

Then shopping in Kidderminster (woo!) where I scored a rather nice two-piece pinstripe from Next. It’s a smart suit and the cut on the trousers emphasises things very well.

Then home via Blockbusters where Die Hard 4.0, a tub of ice cream and a large packet of chocolatey things invited themselves in to my possession.

And now it’s the hysterically delicious Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Interspersed with fcuking irritating fcuking adverts.

We were going to the cinema today but the reviews that The Golden Compass has been getting are absolutely awful, so we passed.

Christmas looms.

The place I’m working closes down for the Christmas/New Year period.

Christmas Day sees the annual fried breakfast and Buck’s Fizz at the yard – even those on full livery have to do their horses AM and PM to give Sue at least one day in the year off.

Christmas Day evening and Boxing Day will see a visit to the outlaws; time will be spent in the company of Damien, the child who bears the number of The Beast.

A post-Christmas trip to Spain to visit Daughter is becoming a possibility, there’s lots of arranging to be done to make it so, but the chance of a few days in her company exists.

I have two books that shall be reviewed over Christmas and have made the conscious decision that OU submissions may well be late while I settle many tasks down at work.

And The Lovely S has decided that when the last episode of Buffy has been viewed we should perhaps move on to 24. Whilst I see merit in the suggestion I can’t help wondering where Angel fits in to the plan.

There doesn’t seem to be any less going on in my life but it does look as though I’m managing things more efficiently.


Out to dinner (and other meals)


Breakfast in bed with The Lovely S followed by an episode of Buffy then a frantic scrabble to get dressed and out of the house in time.

Drive The Lovely S to her work then onwards to the yard.

Hot chocolate while waiting for the fog to dissipate.

It doesn’t.

Start up the lorry and take it for a spin.

Bag to the yard after frightening helping a couple of particularly stupid motorists appreciate how slowly they should be driving in extreme fog.

Too much fog, decide to school.

Drag Vinnie out of the field, unrug, groom, tack up and because it’s still too foggy, school in the arena.


Untack, groom again (he’s way too sweaty – needs a clip but I decide to wait until I’m back from Rome as I won’t be able to ride him next weekend), rug up, feed apples and turn him out.

Karen, Christine and Young Laura arrive in their new lorry. I had a good beak around; it’s a very nice little lorry but – I don’t think I’m being too biased here – mine’s nicer. 🙂

Hot chocolate.

Clean tack.

Drive home via a very long-winded route so I can stop en route and have a

Double fried egg bap and a mug of tea at a roadside burger bar.

Read coursework for an hour.

Drive to Worcester to get my hair cut.

Worcester is the capital of chavdom. Even the street beggars (got any spare change mate?) look like chavs.

Had a good natter with Kate while she’s clipping and shaping: X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Best Comedy Sketches (Fools and Horses were robbed!) and many other things of great significance. She also did a head massage thing which had me purring like a six-month-old kitten; putty in her hands. I mean I was putty in her hands, not she had putty in her hands.

Drive back to the yard, help get the horses in for tea.

Drink hot chocolate.

Pick up The Lovely S from work.

While I’m waiting I ring Joanna a possible new trainer. I think the world of William but by the time I’ve boxed up, driven to his place, unboxed, tacked up, had a lesson, untacked, boxed up, driven back to the yard, unboxed, groomed, put Vinnie away, cleaned the lorry up the whole day has gone.

One evening last week I found an accredited trainer on the British Eventing website, Joanne is based about half an hour from my yard.

We have a long and detailed conversation and arranged for her to come in on Wednesday evening for a trial session.

Then The Lovely S and I drove home and watched half an hour of X-Factor, got changed and went out.

To the Riding Club AGM and Dinner.

It was A Good Night Out (but bloody hell, we were both shagged out when we got home!).


Cup of tea in bed followed by…

Bathroom stuff, get dressed then a drive to Worcester.

Brunch and much hot chocolate at Cafe Rouge.

Walk around the shops, visit Woolies and spend way too much money at the Pick N Mix.

Drive to the yard, put Wednesday’s training session in the diary.

Back home, divest clothes, climb in to bathrobes and do much snuggling in front of a DVD whilst alternating between a bag of grapes and a bag of Pick N Mix.

Send text to Sue asking if she can clip Vinnie before Wednesday evening. She can. Wahay!

And now The Lovely S has just made me a mug of hot chocolate while I sit here watching The Simpsons.

It really doesn’t get much better than this.


Just feeling a bit bloated

My stomach feels as though it’s the size of a small Channel Island.

Just a small one, not Jersey or Guernsey.

Maybe Sark?

I must not be so generous in my cooking portions.

Ever again.


An apology

It’s come to my attention that when I made this statement yesterday about not eating any longer in the staff restaurant my words could, in a certain light, be open to a small degree of accidental misinterpretation.

 So in the interest of setting the record straight I need to add this very small condition.

When J, S and R all decided an hour ago that the time was right for lunch and a visit to the restaurant was in order…

And when J and S queued for hot food (R, wise before the event, having brought sandwiches)…

That I only joined them in the hot meal option out of a sense of politeness.

It would, after all, have been massively ill-mannered of me to sit with them – chatting about all manner of things (as we did) but with an empty place before me.

I just feel that I need to make it clear that although I wasn’t exactly forced to go upstairs to the restaurant, and although I wasn’t literally compelled to eat from the restaurant…

That – contrary to how this scene could have looked to an external observer – I was actually making myself eat with them out of a – perhaps misplaced – sense of… duty.

Yes, that’s the word, duty.

And I only had very small quantities.

In a manner of speaking.

There, I hope that’s set the record straight and clarified a few things?


The food of love

I’ve got a big, serious-looking blog in progress but I just had to dump this one quickly

I can’t carry on.


I’m sad that it’s come to this but, in a nutshell and not to prevaricate about the bush, the time has come.

To bite the bullet.

Take the bull by the horns.

Grasp the nettle.

Make difficult choices.

We’re all grown-ups here, right?

So we have to be adult about this.

A time for unpleasant things.

But hey, good things can come out of forward movements.

And the time is, most definitely, time for moving on.

And letting go.

And it’s the letting go that we need to discuss today.


It’s been what seems like a long time but, let’s be frank, it hasn’t been that long really, has it?

Couple of weeks?

Time to bite the bullet (You’ve already done that one. Ed).

Grasp the nettle by the horns (Look, you’re making them up now!).

Too many cooks spoil the broth (Can’t you even keep them relevant now?).

But you see that’s the root of the problem.

There are too many cooks – though they’re not spoiling the broth.

Today has to be my last lunch here.

The staff restaurant…

It’s having a direct influence on the tightness of my trousers.

So that’s it then.

No more.


I’ll miss you!

Don’t forget to write, let me know how you’re getting on will you?

And those deliciously tempting little scents you keep sending down the stairs, you won’t stop making those will you?

Spicy vegetable stew today.

It was lovely.

Perhaps it’s best to end like this after all.

You know, finish things on a high note; leave when they can’t get much better.

But it doesn’t alter the fact…

I’ll miss you.

Take care now.


Today’s big learning experience


The band.


Track called ‘High‘.

It rivals cold baked-bean and Worcestershire Sauce sandwiches* as a Truly Great Thing.

Oh yes.

* Look, I had a traumatic time as a student and this became my metaphysical crutch. And it’s a bit like having a Pot Noodle addiction; you’re never completely safe from it. Even if (like cold baked-bean and Worcestershire Sauce sandwiches) the addiction is to an excellent hangover cure. Or just a brilliant item of food stuffery. And hey… it’s veggie!


Mushy peas are excellent

You’ll probably never find mushy peas on a Michelin menu but last night they saved my bacon (euphemistically speaking).

I concentrated so hard on cooking the main bits and bobs that comprised tea and getting the timing right that I completely forgot to cook the veg.