At the moment it would appear that we've skipped summer and gone straight on to autumn. A very wet and windy day today.
Our builder, Paul, came up at the weekend. Pongo was showing him various jobs that need doing, to the barn in particular. So on Wednesday he pulled up in his car and was looking around the barn again. I thought it was okay and came back into the house. But I thought it was odd that he'd come in an ordinary car and not his usual white landrover, so I mentioned it to Missis. She rang Paul to ask him if he'd been, and he hadn't. So it turns out this was a random thief doing a recce. But the nerve of it, to actually drive onto our land and walk about everywhere having a nose. I really thought it was Paul (it did look like him) otherwise I'd have confronted him.
This is not the first time this has happened, so we are back to being extra vigilant, locking all the buildings even when we're here and certainly doing it when we're out. Not a nice feeling at all.
The second thing is that, sadly, Mr O's brother passed away on Sunday. The whole family is very sad, and Mr O and his two brothers and nephew have flown out to Germany for the funeral, which is tomorrow. I wish I could have gone, but somebody has to hold the fort here and there has been quite a bit to do. My heart goes out to his two daughters, who will miss him terribly.
The next thing is that I got Barnaby in to ride him yesterday. I groomed him all over, as usual, but it was as I went to do his noseband up I thought he'd got a patch of really bad sunburn under his chin. On closer inspection I realised it was blood, then followed it upwards, through the laceration in his skin to the huge lump of dried blood further up. I was absolutely appalled. Fortunately he let me wash it with hibiscrub and I've put wound gel on it, then got him in last night and put MSM on it, but I've washed it today and it's a truly horrendous wound, it's actually split the skin right open. It's a lot better than yesterday, and clean, but it's borderline vet worthy. I was struggling not to cry as I cleaned it up. I shall keep an eye on it over the weekend, but if it doesn't heal up I will get a vet out. Just what we need. My poor baby.
He really wanted me to see it, and seemed relieved when I treated it. We don't have barbed wire round our fields, but he's leaned over the dry stone wall into the next field to eat the grass and either thought he'd have a good scratch until it turned nasty, or something's spooked him and he's yanked his head back and caught it. Silly, silly boy.
My first thought was that I couldn't ride him, because the wound is right where the noseband will go, but I decided I would take the noseband off and ride him without. He seemed to know I wasn't going to hurt him, and was fine in the school.
I haven't told you, have I? I have made the decision not to have any more lessons with him, because to be honest, he isn't any different, despite Nicky's best efforts. He still runs round with his head out to one side to balance himself, goodness knows why. He's good on the lunge and can balance himself, and when I ride him he is going much more deeply into the corners. His walk is fine, but the minute he trots he is dreadful. Mr O says he always hated dressage, which I suppose is true, but who wants to go into a manege and just walk all the time? I get very wound up and just end up coming out.
Mr O says to school him in the double bridle, because he's completely different in it, so I may give it a go. It's annoying though, because I like to use the double bridle sparingly so I've always got that element of surprise! I use it on the pleasure rides but don't always want to school in it. He is way, way too strong in a snaffle. When we go down the centre line to halt I can hardly stop him.
I was supposed to do a dressage competition on him on August 27th, but I don't really need to do a dressage comp for the judge to tell me what's wrong with him, I can see that for myself! But Missis has very kindly offered me Lindy. I have schooled him a couple of times, and he can get quite naughty, but he is lovely and straight and obedient, such a relief after Barnaby. So I am going to give it a go. Missis is doing the Intro A test, the same as me, but then Novice 38. Boy, what a complicated test.
Her horse is settling in quite well. He is very spooky in the school, but we went out for a hack and he was really calm. We were overtaken by a tractor and a car with a trailer, and a bike and he didn't flinch, which is a good sign. Missis was really thrilled when we came back, as the playing up in the school (in front of Nicky, and Missis' parents) was really putting her off. At least it means she'll be able to do pleasure rides on him, which is all she's worried about really.
So it's all going on here, as usual. I've got a couple of cards to show you. The first one is from my 'embossing mania' phase (and no, don't worry, I didn't really emboss the cat, although it's tempting as she's quite thin anyway!)
I've put a big picture on so you can hopefully see it's the acetate that's embossed. Not my normal style, as usually I use pastel colours, but after a while I decided I really like it.
And then there's this little one:
Having got off to a very poor start with peel-offs, they are my new best friend. I am going to have a lot of fun with these, I can tell, especially around Christmas time.
And can I just say, having really struggled with rub-ons, I bought a special tool on Tuesday night at my class, that makes it really easy to get the rub-ons off their backing paper and onto your card. I tried it on the ones that came with my Sizzix machine and still can't get them to work, so I think they're a duff batch of rub-ons. I'll show you how I used them on my latest scrapbook page very soon.
Have a good weekend, everyone, think of me all alone, without Mr O for company (but going to the cinema tomorrow night to see Knight and Day anyway! Tom Cruise - Mmmmm.)