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Saturday, 5 December 2009

In The Bleak Midwinter

Mr O woke me up at ten to seven this morning. Who does that on a Saturday really? I thought I'd made it clear I'm not prepared to get up even earlier at the weekend than I do during the week. I said, "What on earth are you doing?" He said, "I thought we were going to ride early." It was pitch dark outside. Let's just say I was disinclined to acquiesce to his request.
I emerged a little later to find Mr O tacking Barnaby up. Keen, that's what I call it. In the end I decided to stay home and clip me 'orse instead, so Mr O set off and was gone for an hour.
Max looks pretty smart, even if I do say so myself (and I do!) This is the third time I've clipped him this year, which will fit in perfectly with doing him again in the New Year, then he'll be left alone as his summer coat will start to come through. I always do a blanket clip, which suits him perfectly. I think it's a bit mean to take it all off.
He did look at me as if to say, "Mum, why do you wait until it's minus three then shave all my hair off?!" I was trying not to laugh. He was very patient actually, and even let me get quite close to his nether regions, which is unusual. I never take his leg hair off. My life wouldn't be worth living. He's been known to attack grown men if you try it without sedating him, and as it grows back within a fortinight I've made the decision to leave him as nature intended. I can't sedate him every two weeks, can I? So I turned out my very smart boy and mucked him out while I waited for Mr O to come back.
He had been round the back of the Old Poets, on the bridleways up there. We walked it in the summer with Tessa, and there's no way on earth you'd have taken a horse up there. Since then the council have repaired the track and put a ford in now so you can get across the river and keep going. Mr O said the water came up to Barnaby's stomach, so it's just as well I didn't go, it would have been up to my knees!

We turned the horses out and set off for Sheffield to do the Christmas shopping. After my conversation with Lisa last week I decided not to waste the opportunity, and went straight into Hobbycraft. Words cannot describe the delight of this shop, it is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of craft. I have always had a thing about paper, you know, notebooks, writing paper, diaries, all that sort of thing. There must be every kind of paper known to man in there. It's a wonder I'm not still in there now, stroking everything. There was parchment paper, and beautiful tissue paper with designs on it, things for cross stitch, tapestry, decoupage, flower arranging, scrapbooking, everything you could wish for. There's so much stuff in there, I wanted it even if I didn't know what to do with it when I got it home! In the end I limited myself to a couple of tiny cross stitch kits and some stuff to make my own Christmas cards with. I'm so excited I don't know where to start. They probably won't be very good. I'll inflict them on the family this year, and maybe go wider next year if they are any good.
Then it was off to Toys R Us. We only go once a year, and I regress as soon as we walk in the door. I must have had a deprived childhood, because I desperately want all the Lego and Playmobil. I could sit there for hours playing with the Playmobil Zoo or the Emergency vehicle set. Ben 10 abounds. I succumbed. But I can't say anything about what else I've bought, as it's all for grandchildren, and the children read this, and I'm not going to tell you! I did manage to get something for Six and Nine as well though, so it was well worth going. It's all still in the boot of the car, as Six and Nine were running round here when we got home, so we don't want them to see anything. I'd better buy some wrapping paper.

Have a look at this: It's one of the other decorations I got from Chatsworth last week. The wings are painted with wording saying Happy Christmas. I need to get some tea lights to go in the candle holders at the bottom. I lurve it.

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