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.


A serious bit

The Lovely S is not a happy bunny.

She is a combination of angry and frustrated.

She gets angry and because she gets angry she becomes frustrated because she is unable to deal with her anger; has to bottle it all up inside – until she can get home where I can sit and listen and talk and we discuss and eventually, after some time, sometimes quite a lot of time, we cuddle and smile and agree that yes, people really are stupid fcukwits who don’t know better but really should.

People treat The Lovely S as though she’s a lowly serf – a know nothing sack of sh*t not fit to shine their shabby, chavvy shoes let alone be worthy of being treated as an equal.

But the truth is that The Lovely S is several million times better than the people they will ever be.

No-one should be treated the way some – not all, not by any means – members of the public treat The Lovely S. 

And her workplace – they treat that as if they personally own the building and everything inside it.

Why do people do that?


The Lovely S is, as I’ve said, an unhappy, frustrated – and just a little angry – person.

That’s not the person she is.

Normally The Lovely S is a beautiful, delicate, sensitive, compassionate, caring person capable of bursting in to tears at the softest, emotional thing.

And she’s fearsomely intelligent too, have I mentioned this?

I think I must have; how I fell in love with her intellect weeks before we met?

She’s not normally the hard-arsed, intolerant, staring-eyed sweary person that she was earlier this evening when she wrote this.

I’ve fed her – she needed that.

I’ve listened to her (and I sympathise).

But now it’s time to take her to bed, to cuddle her, tell her how much I love her and to tell her once again that some people really are sh*ts.

And we can cuddle up in bed, watch Big Brother (cringingly) or read.

I shall kiss her and by degrees she’ll get back to her normal self.

My poor lovely S.


Do you want fries with that?

How often have you been stuck in a bumper-to-bumper, not-going-anywhere-at-all jam on the motorway?

Too often?

While you’ve been stuck there have you wondered how long it would be before some enterprising person came along and opened a fast food stall there?

Tonight I saw this on the M5:

Unfortunately this burger van was the cause of a closure for the southbound traffic – having jack-knifed.

But I did wonder if the owner fired up the grill and sold some chips while waiting for the recovery vehicle.


Sunday’s combined training at Allenshill

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.

Boy did Dickens get it right when he penned that beginning to Tale of Two Cities!

My age of foolishness peaked (I’d like to think) with the thought that Vinnie and I were ready to step up a gear and tackle a more competitive environment.

Not ready enough, it would seem.

The Lovely S was on hand (bless) to capture some pretty excellent dressage.

This photo shows he’s pretty relaxed with the whole thing and that he has an unexpectedly extravagant trot movement (for a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse):

The second photo shows he can be extravagant (though less so) on the right rein too:

I like this third photo, it shows he’s relaxed right down through his back and he’s working in to a really soft canter:

And finally the last movement – ‘Halt, Imobility, Salute’. Unfortunately Vin is supposed to be doing his ‘bit’ of the salute – standing in an outline ‘on the bit’ with his head toward the judge. Sadly he seems to have seen an unguarded pint of cider in the other direction and he’s gauging his chances of quaffing it before I notice. Ah well, horses, eh?

Unfortunately the dressage was the high point of the day.

He just didn’t want to know anything about jumping.

The Lovely S didn’t seem to bring back any photographs of our attempt to hurdle the Allenshill show-jumping track at 90mph. I think she had her hands over her eyes.

But – being positive and optimistic – Vin’s competence in dressage continues its upwards climb. Saturday’s marks show the trend improves with every competition.

So there’s some good in the day as well as some not good.


I went out with a member of the Sealed Knot once

The reason for exposing this hitherto undeclared piece of information is entirely due to having just watched the funny/infuriating period/modern day film ‘Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story’ of which more later; maybe.

The subtitle for this piece should be ‘Infuriation‘.

Insert parental advisory warning about possible strong language here.

I am bloody infuriated.

I’m reading ‘All Fun and Games until Someone Loses an Eye’ by Christopher Brookmyre.

And it’s infuriating.

How – no, go on, answer the bloody question f’crissake – how on bloody hell’s earth is it possible for Mr Brookmyre (a Scotsman, by all that is wholly! And yes, I deliberately used the ‘W’ word!) to be such a bloody good bloody good (I know I said it twice!) bloody writer?


How is it possible?

Driving back from today’s combined training competition (of which perhaps more another time) I find my head full of Brookmyre-esque catch-phrases.

The trouble is he’s already bloody thought of them.


But the thing is…

He’s such a bloody clever writer.

Not in a devious, manipulative way (though he is a devious and manipulative writer, but just not on the same level of cleverness that his authorship inhabits because his authorship is on a whole higher level).

I mean an intelligently clever writer.

He has the gift of capturing the zeitgeist in effortless prose.

Anyway, as we drove back The Lovely S looked at me and said ‘Brookmyre’s really inspiring you isn’t he?’


I don’t know why he’s inspiring me (I know I could never even get close to sharpening his pencils) but yes, yes, yes, yes, yes – he is.

So I declared, ‘What we need to do is come up with some Brookmyreish turns of phrase.’

Time passed – not much, but a little.

And we spoke similar thoughts aloud at the same time about – strangely – the same previously undiscussed topics.

I giggled and announced ‘We’re having a Bluetooth moment’.

Really zeitgeisty, eh?

I love that phrase – but you can’t have it.

I’ve copyrighted it, registered it and trademarked it – not the word Bluetooth, I mean the whole phrase, ok?

It’s mine.

Anyway since the groundbreakingly historical moment of me coining a phrase to sum up the here and now that our early 21st Century zeitgeist truly is…

Since then.

We did lots of things at the yard.

We stopped off at McDonalds drive-through for a milkshake and McFlurry each (what can I say? It’s hot and we were both very dehydrated).

Then we retired wickedly to bed (it was 18.00) where various things occurred – including the watching of the aforementioned ‘Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story’.

OK, now for that film.

I’m not going to do a full crit of it.

But it was funny.

And also infuriating.

But there was a scene in it in which a gang of period-costumed extras (led by the side-achingly funny Rob Brydon) charge across an open field in the dead of night while the dark is lit by coloured flares.

Flip back a number of years to the time I went out with a member of the Sealed Knot.

Should I add at this point that it was a girl? Or that we went out once before – at the end of the evening – we agreed upon a divorce based on historical incompatibilities?

I’ve only just realised that I’m wittering on about period pieces and the current photo in the header of this blog contains an image of me in a different kind of period costume!

Anyway, knowing just a little about the period I asked what activities the re-enactment females got up to while the re-enactment chaps all ran around pretending to be musketeers or pikemen or poachers or NCP car-park attendants or whatever.

‘Oh, we girls just stand around and gossip or sit around and knit and gather leaves and wood for fires. The more adventurous skin rabbits.’


I wonder what the infuriatingly clever Christopher Brookmyre would have to say about such oddball behaviour?

He’d probably think about it for 2.48383325954 nanoseconds before making an acidly burning observation that compared yesteryear’s domestic drudgery with today’s slogging up and down aisles in Sainsbury looking for the right kind of toilet cleaner.



Half man, half couch…


* Drove The Lovely S to work, then to the yard

* Groomed Beech then turned him out in a very small paddock

* Got Vin in, groomed him, tacked him up (dressage saddle)

* Schooled Vin (flatwork concentrating on transitions and balance for tomorrow’s competition)

* Untacked, groomed then turned him out

* Cleaned his bridle

* Cleaned his dressage saddle

* Cleaned his show-jumping saddle, then

* Retired to the horsebox living accommodation with a hot chocolate and a good book

* Fell asleep

* Woke up after 45 minutes

* Drank cold hot chocolate

* Got Beech in, groomed him again

* Came home

* Got changed

* Made hot chocolate and a sandwich

* Sat on the couch to read

* Fell asleep (again)

* Woke up

* Drank cold hot chocolate (IYSWIM) and ate sandwich

* Washed up

* Went shopping at Morrisons

* Drove to The Lovely S’s workplace, picked her up

* Drove home

* Prepared tea

* Cooked tea

* Loaded the OU software on my laptop

* Served, ate, washed up and now I’m sitting here

* Watching the hilariously deluded and sadly talentless in the first round of The X Factor

* Too tired to move

* Wondering why I’m so tired these days.


The Lovely S has just come in to the lounge.

Wearing one of my shirts and nothing else.

Starting to feel perky again.



Beech (and) leg (and) vet (and) broken (and) not!

Jess rang this evening.

I missed the call (don’t touch the phone while I’m driving), but the voicemail she left said that she’s chuffed with today’s x-rays.

There’s no sign of the fracture now and we can begin a programme of gradually increasing his turnout so that in a couple of weeks he can be out 24/7.

And then we can begin slow and gradual exercise.

Yay for Beech.