Daughter sent me a message –
“Opened a new bale so you don’t have to mess about in the dark and cold. You’ll know which bale when you see it”
The one thing I hope people at the new yard aren’t too fussed about is Razz and I having our ongoing rows over his constant and deliberate thing he does to drive me nuts – shitting inside his water bucket. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is or how infuriated I get more so because he goes to some lengths to do it.
Planned to put a camera up there just to see for myself how he gets into positions that allow him to shit in that water bucket when I’ve placed it so it’s virtually impossible for him to shit inside it but he does.
We really do fall out as well it’s something we normally do in private but I’ll have to be careful not to let that one get out of hand like a drunken couple screaming in the street at 2am
“OH RAZZ WHAT THE FU… C’mon you’re taking the piss now.
I go out of my way to make sure you have plenty to drink and leave you fresh water filled right to the brim so you’re never thirsty and look… LOOK!! It’s like you’ve been apple bobbing up here for fuck sake… LOOK!! Great big bobbles of shit floating right on the top and spilling over so that means you didn’t even drink any of it first.. didn’t even drink any!
Why why do you do this? Why?? I’m trying to look after you make sure you always have plenty to drink and you stop me from looking after you by shitting in the bucket for drinking water. You must have shit in that bucket within seconds of me leaving as well. I don’t know why you make it so hard for me – I’m doing this for you. Not for me this isn’t all for my benefit it’s for you!!
I’m sick of the same argument… it’s just stupid. You know what? Forget it. Forget it.
I’m not bothering any more now you can shit where you like for all I care just shit everywhere I don’t give one. I’ve done my bit and if you want to to leave yourself thirsty and get poorly fine. Not bothered.
You’re an arsehole Razz. Finished with you finished just get your stuff and go. I’ll forward your mail and you can see the kids at weekend but that’s it now we’re done.
Then out comes his sad face and cos he knows I’m angry and he’s all “How could this happen to me?? I made my mistakes.. nowhere to run”
God I hope we can tone down our rows in this new place.
The Christmas before last we were flooded out of our house when the river decided to burst its banks and pour right through the place. There had been a brief mention and my husband went “We’re on Sky news!” but having had several near-misses where the water laps the pavement we didn’t think it was quite time to panic.
The farmer whose land is behind us asked if we could gather up and go move his sheep asap so we wellied up, splashed what was a good few centimetres of water and got as many sheep as we could up to higher ground. Sadly not all the sheep made it and several stood there as the river burst and the torrent swept them way it was horrendous.
Once the rest were up in the top field we ran back home which is on a private road at the very bottom of a steep hill. My car was floating and so were several others. Wheelie bins bobbed around and my other dog was sat on the back of the sofa bewildered as the Christmas tree baubles floated and bobbed around.
A dampener it was but the end of the world it wasn’t. We’re insured and everyone was safe and sound which is all that mattered.
We moved into temporary rented accommodation which we hated beyond belief but it meant we were able to take the dogs. Insurance wanted us to take advantage of them paying for an extended stay in kennels but there is no way on Earth we’d leave them so I happily settled for a less than ideal place to live with us all riding it out together.
My eldest collie “Puddi” is / has always been incredibly astute and just tuned in to a point of it being weird sometimes. Over time I started noticing that for some reason she always seemed to know when I was going to bed. The few seconds before I was headed off she jumped up and bounded up the stairs and lay at the top which is where she liked to sleep. Think she liked being in the middle of action and at the top of the stairs she had eyes on where everyone was and could see anyone else coming in or out the house.
Mentioned a few times to my husband and kids “She always knows just when I’m going to bed have you noticed that? Just before I’m about to go she runs up ahead of me”
“Maybe she knows because you’re switching off lights / locking doors?”
“Nahh don’t think so. I’m not in any habits like that and besides it doesn’t matter if someone else is still downstairs she just seems to know?”
Anyway this carried on and I wondered how the hell she knew but didn’t think anything of it until one scorching hot day in July. She jumped up off the sofa and bounded upstairs lying at the top with her head tilted as usual.
“Wh.. What are you doing?”
2pm on a scorching day. What made her think I was going up to bed at 2pm on a red hot day?”
There was no mistaking it either she absolutely knew I was going up to bed for some reason – only I wasn’t. That sort of thing gets me thinking and like a dog with a bone (no pun intended) more so given that with Puddi there’s no getting things wrong or misfiring she’s the epitome of a well-oiled machine but something had told her I was going to bed.
Then after much thought and “I wonder if” back and forth with my daughter I decided to recap what I was doing just before she jumped up and ran upstairs.
“Ermm.. I had a drink. Put my glass down – nothing major” then I saw her jump and stand at the bottom of the stairs head titled looking at me. “What? What are you freaking out.?”
She jumped at the clanking noise of my glass. I went back and got the glass, run the tap and clanked it down on the drainer and off she went.
That’s when it dawned on me. The very last thing I do before going to bed is get a glass of water, empty and rinse out the glass then put it on the drainer. That day it was red hot and I’d got myself a glass of water and followed the same routine that told Puddi it was time for bed.
I didn’t even know that was a habit of doing it until then but Puddi didn’t miss a trick or switch off not even when she slept.
Started messing about and doing the routine of glass / water / swill and drainer but in different order. She was flat out asleep on the sofa so I ran the tap to see if it made her ears prick. Nothing.
I clanked the glass once but loudly. Didn’t flinch.
I left long spells between each action. Didn’t register.
Did them back to front it didn’t register.
I did them all as I would normally and the second she heard the last “clunk” it was like flicking a switch in her brain and she was up and at the top of the stairs.
That was a real “My God she’s smart…Not just smart smart – there’s no off-switch she really does hear, see and clock everything”
A guy I have a lot of back and forth online with is a former marine mammal trainer and said to me “What you have is the canine equivalent of the killer whale in that it is the most exceptional and intelligent of its kind that demands total respect and should never be underestimated”
He’s not wrong.
The pony we recently took on with issues and a sad backstory of abuse and neglect at the hands of some shit-lord is coming on really well. We’ve made firm friends and he’s learning that I don’t do anything bad and never hurt him but it’s small steps and slow progress.
Earlier today my daughter and her boyfriend were up at the farm with me and I needed to get a head-collar on the pony to bring him inside. More often than not he’ll follow me straight inside the stable but sometimes like today when it’s super windy and howling or pouring rain he needs bit of encouragement. (You’d think it would work the other way round really i.e. he needs little prompting to get out of the cold and rain but there you go)
“C’mon little pony let’s go in and get warm…. it’s OK you don’t need to jump or worry it’s only me… We don’t hit or hurt ponies here no… no we don’t – we like ponies here yeah course we do… here have a tic-tac mmmmm…. lime and orange tic-tacs mmmnnonnnmonnn” and in a few seconds the head collar was on no fuss or problems.
Then my daughter’s boyfriend remarked to her “Your Mum has a good way with horses doesn’t she? I’ve noticed that and how they seem to be happy with her around them doing whatever she’s doing. We should film it and record his progress really”
He had to say it.. HAD to say those words right at that moment as I slipped on a patch of mud and spent several seconds trying to keep upright and using an arm to steady myself on the gate and pony before eventually landing head face and arms first into thick, sludge and mud and shit.
This is why I don’t record myself when working with horses or dogs. It never works and I just fall over and swear lots.
On the plus side my epic falling, scrambling and frantic noises didn’t scare the pony away even though I’m sure it lasted longer than this guy’s nine second fall.
He just stood looking at me then put his head down and blew snot in my ear.
I wasn’t much of a natural when it came to being a Mother in that I never could bake or sew and was as impatient and short-tempered then as I am now but one thing I did well was Christmas.
Mark and I did a really good job of making Father Christmas an actual real-life not making it up thing and it’s one of the best things about having little kids.
Every year we had several nights stacking up presents and arranging into piles of what was “Father Christmas” and “Mum and Dad” with their biggest wishes and favourite toys always being from the man himself.
That sorted we would choose a wrapping paper that would be from Father Christmas and wrap all his presents in the same stuff taking care not to mix and match or wrap what was from us in the paper Father Christmas used.
Father Christmas wrapped his presents in traditional Victorian paper but the last couple of years we bought rolls and roll of brown paper, bundles of string, tags and ordered an ink pad to stamp them as having been dispatched to our address.
I used to stain paper in tea or coffee a few days earlier, hand write them both a letter in my Dad’s old calligraphy pens and then roll into a scroll, tie in red or green ribbon and leave in the empty fireplace for them to find.
Every Christmas Eve we got magic reindeer food (oats mixed with glitter) and scattered outside the house and up on the roof so they knew where to go and then left a glass of whisky, mince pie, glass of milk and a carrot before sending them off to bed and leaving us to start lugging the mountain of toys out of their hiding place and downstairs without detection.
Every Christmas morning we went through the same drill of waking up the kids, sitting at the top of the stairs and reminding them they mustn’t get upset if Father Christmas hadn’t been to us this year – he probably had to visit children that don’t have toys and they still had gifts from us anyway so don’t be disappointed OK? Promise you won’t get upset?”
“No we won’t be upset can we see if he’s been though?”
We’d let one of them open the door and sneak a peek inside the darkened living room and do all the dramatics between ourselves “I hope he’s been this year.. if he hasn’t it’s no big thing but I hope he’s been”
“OH MY GOD LOOK LOOK HE’S BEEN HE’S LEFT US LOADS OF PRESENTS LOOK!!”
The little things caught their eye and heart such as the crumpled foil tin from the eaten mince pie and the few bits of carrot left by the hearth and they’d see the scrolls tied in ribbon sat in the empty open fireplace and just go nuts. Father Christmas was always careful to throw in a reference to something that gave absolute proof he knows and sees everything and those little things were bigger, better and more exciting than any of the presents they had to open.
The year both kids remember the most was probably the last year they were old enough to enjoy it / starting to question there was even such a person as Father Christmas. We knew it would be the last one we’d get to enjoy as well so made it one to remember.
Having done what all Mum’s do in the lead up to Christmas which is clean every single thing in the entire house, I had them leave the usual snacks and drinks, tip-toe outside with reindeer food and then climb into bed.
In the morning we reminded them again not to be upset if he hadn’t made it and then my son opened the door to exclaim once again they’d been paid a visit.
Then I walked in and opened the curtains and saw what had become of my lovely clean and tidy house
Muddy hoof prints all over my nice clean floors right through the entire of downstairs. Big size 12 prints all over the living room and on my hearth and floors… IN MY KITCHEN?! THEY’VE BEEN IN MY KITCHEN LOOK AT THE STATE!!!”
Brussels I’d prepped the night before tipped up and strewn in the kitchen.. carrots I’d sliced just half chomped and littering my lovely clean floor.
Glasses and cups and plate I left their snacks on just left – just left without even attempting to get near the dishwasher I played holy shit.
Made the kids get a dustpan and brush and clean it up before they were allowed to touch any presents and they were mesmerized. I’m up and down waffling “Sick of this shit… every year he does this every bloody year! I’m not having this again next year that’s for sure I am gonna write and play hell over this.. Does he have no idea how long we spend cleaning??”
Kids just walking slowly around and holding munched bits of veg.. proof actual proof that Reindeer had been.
The empty foil and glass and big muddy prints on my floor.. “OH MY GOD FATHER CHRISTMAS HAS ACTUALLY WALKED THROUGH OUR HOUSE??!”
Even now aged 19 and 17yrs the kids both remember that particular Christmas the most and recall how fascinated they were to have all this proof right there in front of them and how they didn’t even mind having to clean up on Christmas morning.
This year I’m helping to make Christmas a little bit more exciting for one or two friends whose children are at that fantastic age by decorating our stables and making them a sort of hideaway grotto / secret place Father Christmas checks into a week before the main event and can’t wait.
Already ordered very subtle, cosy lights and things to turn some very ordinary stables into a grotto but for those of you whose kids are still young and whose bank balances already struggling I cannot tell you how much you can do to make Christmas even more magical for next to nothing in terms of price.
Our kids barely remember the gifts we got them but they will never forget the morning I made them clean up at 6am on Christmas Day.
We started a new tradition a year or two back which is to secretly add oddly placed, inappropriate items on the tree and then the rest of us had to find what had been placed since last time before leaving their own addition. It got really daft silly in the end our tree was just covered in nonsense by New Year but that’s what happens when your kids have grown up.
We also decorated the dog with as many Christmas objects as we could without disturbing her from a deep sleep.
Festive slice of bread
I’ve always known my horse is a former endurance champ that did well back in his day and sailed home to win regional and nationals and various championship qualifiers
I also recall him being likened to “Desert Orchid” whom I don’t know much about other than he was a grey racehorse. The reference was apparently his never ending stamina, ability to pull a last trick out the back and his sheer arrogance towards certain fences.
I went looking for videos of Desert Orchid on YouTube to see what the likeness was and sure as shit there he is!
So I went digging and looking up stuff to see how well he really did in trials back in the day.
He clocked up over 1000 miles in endurance trials. ONE THOUSAND MILES.
Knew he was an excellent endurance horse and I know he’s still got a fair bit left in the tank even now at 22yrs but to see that record and distance he covered made me go “Good lad Razzler… you’ve earned a rest”
I’ll come back to this and fill in the blanks / elaborate and include pics and videos but for now I’m just chuffed at how he played that card like a gentleman.