It's been a very hectic weekend. We went to a competition on Sunday, and I want to tell you all about it, but there was a professional photographer there, and I want to use the photos we've bought to explain what went on, so that post is on hold until the photos arrive.
In the meantime, Mr O and I decided to go on a hack on Saturday morning. He rode Barnaby and I rode Maximus. I asked Mr O where he wanted to go, and he said, "Ashover," and my heart sank.
This ride involves going up and down some very steep and bumpy bridleways, which I'm not very keen on at all. We rode down towards the village and met a man coming the other way (As I was going to St Ives...) leading a donkey. Now Max is scared of many things: rocks, flowers, cows, to name but a few, but most of all he is frightened of donkeys, and turned, without further ado, and fled up the road, with me hauling on the reins trying to stop him. We pulled up about 50 feet further on, before he realised he'd abandoned Barnaby in an 'every man for himself' moment and turned round to see how he was faring (but pretty certain Barney would have the upper hoof).
The donkey was small, dark brown and called Maud. I got off Max and led him up to say hello. Barnaby was already introducing himself, "Hello, pretty." Maud batted her eyelashes. Max insisted she wasn't pretty at all, and smelled funny, and could we get on, please?
I managed to get back on and we continued into the village, past the Post Office, round the corner to the pub, and then up the road into Milltown. This meant we avoided all the steep bits so I cheered up considerably. We rode down to the river, then through the ford. The water was up above Barnaby's knees, so as you can imgine, it was up to Max's stomach. I was quite pleased, as when we got home I discovered his feathers were really clean! If I'd known that I'd have stayed in it a little longer.
We followed the river bank round, then up a steep bit, and back onto the road, to make our way home. Deeply satisfying.
We had to go to the opticians and pick up our new glasses, and mine are... hideous! When I had my trying-on session I liked a different pair, but Mr O and the optician said they were too big for my face, and I let them talk me into getting this pair. I have such bad eyesight that if I take my specs off, I can't see what I look like in a different pair with no lenses in. Now the opticians have a machine which takes a photo of you in the trying-on pair, then you can put your own specs back on and see what you look like in the photo, which is a brilliant help to someone like me who is as blind as a bat.
So I put my new glasses on and part of me felt I looked about sixty and part of me looked as if I was six. I seriously hate them, and now I'm stuck with them. I always take time to adjust to a new pair, but these are a mistake. Next time I will trust my own instincts.
Then I had to have drops in my eyes, to dilate my pupils, then go in and have a retina check, as I am so short sighted, to make sure there are no tears in my retina. This involved the optician getting very, very close to me. I found it very invasive, and it went on for ages. I was very uncomfortable with it, and couldn't wait to get out. Not a great experience all round, really. There's nothing wrong with my eyes, anyway, apart from my blatant short-sightedness, thank goodness.
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