The water is completely different to Worksop water, too. My niece always used to complain about the taste of the water when she came to visit, and I didn't know what she was talking about until we moved here. The water here is beautiful, clean and pure. I've had cups of tea in Worksop and, to be honest, they are pretty disgusting compared to what we have here.
What other differences are there? Oh yes. I now have to walk down the drive to collect my post. Some of you may be thinking, "Wow, I wish I could do that," but believe me, it's a pain. Sometimes I even forget to do it. I have to take the dustbin all the way down the drive, too. Even when it's snowing and wet and muddy.
And don't forget
I live in a pigsty.
No, really. The bit we live in wasn't part of the original farmhouse, it was actually the pig pens. Then when it was refurbished it was included as part of the house. The walls are three feet thick. You can tell because the original stonework is still visible by the front door and all the window sills are like window seats. This makes the house beautifully cool in summer, but absolutely freezing in the winter, with one pathetic radiator by the window. It has been a work of sheer technical wizardry deciding where to put heaters to get some warmth in here. We've put a curtain across the stairs up to the kitchen recently, and it's made a huge difference, it's beautifully warm and cosy in the sitting room now. My only regret is that we haven't got an open fire. I'd absolutely love it, and so would the pets (and Mr O too, I dare say.) I've noticed a wood burning stove in the main house, but I don't think they ever use it, as the dining table is right next to it.
And the other big difference must be the absolute silence. Sometimes you can hear the wind, and the birds, and possibly a dog barking in the distance, or a tractor rumbling up the road, but mostly... mostly there is silence. No radio, no television, no children, just blissful silence, peace, quiet, and I love it. Quiet, in which to think, to pray, to daydream, to listen. On days like this, I know why we came here.
I have ridden The Boy today, and he was lovely. I've hacked out on my own for the first time since November. I'm sure, if we hadn't had all the snow over Christmas, I'd have carried on riding him without a break, but as it is, it took quite a bit of nerve, but Max was very good. I rode down to Jolly Farmer's. The manege was rock hard, and I wasn't sure whether to ride in it or not, but Max likes hard going, so I decided to risk it. He actually worked really well, but so likes the little palomino mare in the field adjacent to the arena. He was quite lively on the way home, itching to get a hoof on the grass verge, but if I'd let him I think we'd have been off.
I've groomed all three horses today. Max is losing loads of his winter coat. It's coming off in great white swathes onto the floor. I can't actually say Zak grew a noticeable winter coat, and Barnaby is clinging to his. His will actually come off some time in April, just as the showing season begins. I've hosed Zak's legs off tonight as Mr O is worried about mud fever. I am putting liquid paraffin on Zak and Barnaby's legs every few days, which is very water repellant. But Zak doesn't like having his legs brushed very much, so I am going to wash his legs off at night, then I can just re-apply the liquid paraffin in the mornings to clean legs. I put everyone in their stable rugs, and snuggled into Max's mane, trying to find somewhere without mud on, to breathe in his scent and give him a kiss goodnight.