Saturday, 30 April 2011

Post wedding thoughts...

Well as we all know William and Kate were married yesterday - and in other news, the residents of our little street got together for a 21st century street party aka a BBQ and we all got along wonderfully.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Chocolate overkill

Moving on from the fragrant eggs of my last post, we are now the other side of the Easter festival and the lure of the chocolate variety is wearing thin. Not that my daughter would agree with me, as she happily tucks into yet another sweet treat.

A bit of commercialism here...

In my day-to-day role as a freelance writer I'm often contacted by PRs who have new products to promote or services to try, and yes, I do take them up on their offers from time to time, usually when I'm writing relevant features. It hasn't happened to me in my capacity as a horse lover and equestrian blogger, sadly... until now.

I have recently been sent a product for dogs (dogs and horses often go together and I'm no exception, see the cute photos of Spice), which has an unusual purpose - to keep those brown pee spots off your green lawn.

It's a rock that sits in the dog's drinking water, and the minerals it contains are supposed to neutralise the effects of urine. It's harmless to your pet but it just stops your grass going brown and patchy.

Our dog is a tiny creature and has an equally tiny water bowl, so I've bought him a big one to try it out (it's so big he could probably bathe in it). It will be a while before I see results, good or otherwise, but I'll let you know how I get on.

Now I just need a friendly PR to send me samples of their spring/summer clothing ranges for horse and rider...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Puppy love

In all the time I've been blogging over the past year I don't think I've mentioned our little dog Spice. He came to live with us last May as a birthday present for my daughter, who has wanted a puppy for years. Spice is a cross Jack Russell Chihuahua - a Jackahuahua - and is the most adorable, feisty little fellow that ever lived (and I'm not exaggerating).

As the smallest in the litter, little Spice didn't have too much to say for himself, he was quiet and the object of much rough and tumble when his brothers and sisters were playing. But when they all went to different homes and Spice came to us, well it became a different story. The shy little puppy found his voice and his character - and he hasn't stopped telling us all about it since.

He's a little man with a big attitude, he barks for England (unfortunately) and he will grrrrr you as soon as look at you but he's adorable and Anya loves him. We all do. Here's a few photos of him as a puppy last May/June, playing in the snow with Anya last winter and him as he is now...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Egg-citing treats

I love these Easter goodies from Lush. The cute chick would make a great present, while the bath bomb eggs are one way of enjoying sweet treats without the calories.

Hippy Chick bath ballistic (£1.90). Fragranced with bergamot, frankincense and grapefruit.

Candy Fluff Egg bath ballistic (£2.95). Jelly beans, candy floss and marshmallow mix in this heady bathing beauty.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Stress less - I wish

I think it's a constant in life that you are most stressed when it's the least convenient time to be so. Or should I say for me it's a constant. It doesn't matter how well I try and plan in advance, - work, time, weekly meals, meetings, visits - there's always something pops up to throw things out of kilter. And I make lists. I list tasks, pieces of work, things I need to do - and I feel satisfied afterwards, as though I've achieved something great. Then at the end of the day, when I look back at my list, I realise almost everything is still on it! How is that? How can you work all day and still not be able to tick off your list?

It's one of the mysteries of life, along with where do all the second socks go and what happens to the chocolate I buy that vanishes into thin air when I'm not looking...

Camping out... almost

The horses at our new yard live out during the summer and, thanks to the lovely weather we've had this month, some of them have been living out for a few weeks already. Now, I have never left John out all night and I have no idea if he lived out before he came to me, but one reason for moving yards was so that I could try it. Everybody I've spoken to about it says their horses love it and of course, living outside is natural for horses in the wild.

Nonetheless, for us it was another one of those big steps we seem to encounter regularly, and I was prepared for a night of camping out at the yard with a sleeping bag and flask of coffee to hand, to keep an eye on him.

Except my friends refused to stay with me and as I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to being outside in the dark, on my own, in the middle of nowhere, I bottled it. I went home and worried instead.

When I went to see him the next morning he was a picture - I have never seen a horse look so tired, his eyelids were drooping and his head hung down heavily as if he was about to drop. I guess he hadn't gotten much sleep the night before.

The second night was better - he still looked tired but seemed happier.

The third night I decided to bring him in for his supper and a hay net, and if he seemed content, to leave him in his stable for the night.

I had convinced myself he was unhappy out in the field and preferred the creature comforts of his own space, with soft shavings to sleep on. Well, he polished off his supper no problem, then he started to call for his field neighbours. His calling became more urgent and he began to pace around his stable. At that point I got the message. He didn't want to be in, he wanted to be out.

So I led him back to the field and since then I've stopped fretting about him. He spoke and I listened.