It seemed like quite a nice morning, so we tacked Max and Barnaby up, and walked out to the gate. A strange old man pulled up in a white van with ladders on the top and told us very firmly not to ride down Alton Hill as it was treacherous and cars were sliding on it. "Thankyou," we said and went on our way, deciding what to do, as that had been the way we'd intended to go.
We turned left and had only gone on a few paces when we heard a crash behind us. Max trotted on a bit, obviously startled, but didn't go mad. We looked behind us, and a car had crashed into the dry stone wall on the main road, where we had just come from. I turned Max round and rode back towards the car. A woman got out, and I shouted across to see if she was okay, and she said she was fine.
We decided they were, and continued with our ride.
Max was a bit of a prune, and I was very nervous because of the ice on the road, and I was dreading the black dog coming out of Flag House, as I didn't want Max to spook, but it was all fine. We decided just to go down to the bottom, turn round and come back up again, but as we went into trot, Max was being very energetic, and was bucking on the road. I find this totally offputting at the moment, and I knew if we turned round and trotted up the road he'd be off. More of this later.
So I got off and we walked back up the road together, stopping every so often for me to catch my breath (it's all up hill). Then as we got to the last stretch, Mr O said, "I think there's been another accident. That helicopter's really low." I couldn't see a helicopter at all, and didn't know what he was talking about.
But sure enough, as we approached the junction, we could see two fire engines, an ambulance, and the helicopter in the field, plus several other cars. We came up and a fireman approached us. He said, "Do you think you'll be safe walking these horses past all these engines, cutters and people?"
"Oh yes," we said.
"Well I'm not allowing it!" he said.
So we stood on the verge for half an hour while they cut someone out of the car and put them in the helicopter. I feel so awful for those poor people. But if that man hadn't warned us not to go up the hill, this would have happened right in front of us, or may have spun off and actually hit us. Protection from God?
Then the bit I wasn't looking forward to, when the rotor blades of the helicopter started spinning, then that incredible noise as the engine kicked in, and the whole thing rose gently up in the air, went backwards for a while, and then set off, presumably to Queens Med in Nottingham. Max and Barnaby stood there, chewing the cud, not in the least bit bothered. But, let's be honest, they've seen it all before once or twice (Mr O got helicoptered off to hospital after a hunting accident a couple of years ago). I was very proud of Max for not being scared.
The fireman came back and said we could go through, as the ambulance pulled away. Suddenly the car was revealed, on its side, up against the wall. We managed to walk the horses past the car and the fire engines and straight into the farm gate. Home at last. All a bit scary and strenuous.
This had put quite a delay on our activities and Mr O said we couldn't really go to Hobbycraft. We rang Lisa, but there was no answer, so we got cracking on the mucking out. Zak was totally sweated up as he'd been in on his own once Missis had turned her horses out. The original plan had been to come back, turn Max and Barnaby out and then for Mr O to ride Zak, but all that was scuppered by the delay. We dried him off and turned him out, where he went mental, galloping up and down (and looking rather stunning to be honest!) and rolling, which set everybody else off and they were all filthy when they came in.
So eventually we were able to set off and pick Lisa up, then whizzed off to Sheffield, with Caelan in the car seat.
I dispatched Mr O to a different shop so Lisa and I could concentrate. She was so helpful, as I took along the book which has the picture of what I want to make for the christening of our niece's baby girl in March. She helped find the aida fabric and all the colours I would need which we had to translate from the DMC number to the Anchor number. I also bought some pink gingham which is the background for the cross stitch (I'll show you when it's made and all will become clear). She bought a stunning kit that is the wording to Footprints with a beautiful background of a beach. It'll take ages to do, but will be well worth it.
I also bought my cardmaking magazine, which had a free set of beautiful papers with it, plus some blank cards and some plain paper and card. I've also bought some fabulous vellum to play with, so we'll see. Loads to inspire me, anyway.
We dropped Lisa off and came home, and I got in the shower as I'd booked us a table at the village pub for a Burns Night celebration. I switched the iron on and all the power went off. Marvellous. Mr O and Pongo spent ages walking backwards and forwards, checking everything, trying things out and discussing wire and fuses. By the time it was fixed we'd missed our slot and I had to ring and let them know we couldn't make it. Bit gutted really, but not the end of the world I suppose. We got a Chinese takeaway instead. It's not haggis, but it'll have to do.