Hello, I'm sorry I've been a lazy blogger (on this blog, anyway!) but we've been really busy. Mr O had last week off work and we've been here, there and everywhere.
We've been to the cinema to see 'X-Men First Class' and I must say, it was, well, first class. I can't resist a film with James McAvoy in it anyway, but it is seriously good, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nicholas Hoult is in it. He is the boy in About A Boy, although, of course, he's all grown up now. It was driving me mad all the way through it, as I was trying to think where I'd seen him before. Good old Wikipedia.
We had a wonderful morning in Bakewell last Thursday, a beautiful town in the Peak District, where Bakewell Tart comes from, a truly delicious concoction of pastry, jam, almonds and cake. Mmmmm. Do not, under any circumstances, let that lull you into buying a Bakewell Pudding, for they are an abomination, and human beings should not partake of them, lest they fall by the wayside (i.e. they are disgusting things with what tastes like raw egg in the bottom.) You have been warned.
I had a lovely time wandering round art galleries and bookshops and having lunch in a very nice cafe.
On Friday, having phoned to ask if it was okay to come, we set off with the horses to visit our old yard and it's very, very nice cross country course. I told myself I wasn't going to jump anything when I got there, and 'myself' fell for it, hook, line and sinker, but it meant I stayed calm while I tacked Barnaby up, which is always a good thing.
I took him into the warm up ring and jumped the showjump in there and felt rather elated, so after Mr O and Zak had had a couple of goes, we set off down to the course. The first fence we came to was the drop, which I know Barnaby isn't very keen on, but after a few false starts, he jumped off it, which wasn't really what I asked him, but it was quite good. After that we were on a roll and jumped a few fences in sequence. To be honest, I am amazed that I can still do it, as I haven't done cross country for a couple of years, and never on Barnaby. Actually, that's not strictly true. When we liveried there I'd sneak off for the occasional ride on Barnaby, when I used to take half days from work in the winter. I did jump one or two things then, but not in a serious way. There is a new water jump that we've never done as it's only a year old. To my surprise and delight, Barnaby went straight in. I went round again and he cantered straight down into it. Brilliant boy.
This was basically Barnaby's back garden for four years and he and Mr O used to whizz up and down here at least once a week, so he didn't see any reason why he shouldn't do the same to me and shot back to the yard at a flat out gallop. I thought I'd lost him for a fleeting moment, but he pulled up very nicely and waited for Zak to catch up (yes, I said, "For Zak to catch up!!")
We rode back to the lorry to take our body protectors off and Barnaby thought his job was done, but we then set off to a beautiful place called Hodsock Priory and went for a whizz round. It's a fabulous place, all off road. Barnaby knew where he was the whole time, it was so sweet.
Oh yes, one little incident I ought to mention. As we were going along quite a busy road, it must have been nursery chucking out time, as there were lots of little children all over the place. One mother was walking along with her little girl, who stopped to watch us pass, always deeply gratifying... until she spoke. She said, "I like those horses mummy. That one is brown and that one is... yellow!" I have never, in all my days, heard my horse referred to as yellow. Of course, Mr O was ahead of me, absolutely howling with side-splitting mirth as I trundled along behind, now slightly crestfallen. They say pride comes before a fall, don't they? Hrmph! Yellow indeed!
Anyway, the outcome of all of this is that we've been invited to their camp at the end of July. We can't really go as Pongo and Missis are away on holiday, so I've said I will go on the Sunday, to join in with the treasure hunt, which is usually great fun. The only trouble is, I'm in a team called 'Where's Wally?' So I have to dress up as him. Marvellous. (You may know it as 'Where's Waldo?' and if you don't know what I mean I suggest you google it immediately, you won't be disappointed.) How am I supposed to wear thick black glasses on top of my own specs? I know I wanted a fun year, but good grief!
So you can see why I haven't had tonnes of time to blog, so sorry. I have been reading lots of yours though, so I'm not a totally bad person.
Thanks for popping in today,