Saturday, 21 November 2020

 HS2 continues to drag us down but hopefully the end is near. Everything is now prepared for the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and even though HS2 is still refusing to submit the report that 'substantiated' their very low valuation we are going ahead anyway. Although I have been very down about the whole situation and our uncertain future it put everything in to perspective when I got a call from Rob (Jaine's husband) earlier this week saying that my childhood friend Jaine had passed away in the early hours of the morning.  She had been battling with Motor Neurone for at least ten years and had only been expected to survive three years when she was first diagnosed. It has been inspirational to see how she coped with this dreadful disease and even when she lost her ability to talk and move she still remained incredibly cheerful. Last time I visited her (she lived in East Devon) I took my schooldays diaries which had lots of references to the mischief Jaine and I got up to in our early teens, and crazy photos of us when we thought we looked really 'cool' but actually didn't - She howled with laughter. It was such a lovely visit but very much tinged with huge sadness as I knew that would be the last time that I would see her.  I can't tell you how much I admired her. She leaves three wonderful children and four grandchildren who will remember her with pride. 

Life goes on.... The second lock down continues and the horses are working really well. Whether we will be allowed to point to point remains to be seen but everyone has their fingers crossed that the season will go ahead in one form or another. Even if it doesn't go it is a great distraction for me to have the horses to do each day, it helps to take my mind off this horrible situation. I noticed that all the trees at the bottom of our drive have been ear marked for felling. That woods is always full of birdsong and has a family of little owls which nest there every year. It is nowhere near the proposed line. The amount of devastation that is going to be caused to our wildlife cannot be understated. Very depressing. 

Thursday, 5 November 2020

 No pointing now for at least a month because of the lock down.  We will carry on as normal in the hope that we will still be able to run them at Barbury Castle on the 13th December. They are going so well at the moment. Lucy came in this morning to give them a pop around the menage and they have all come out of their gallop around Lambourn really well.

I received some lovely photos of Ted Thistle hunting today. All four horses I sold/gave away this season are doing really well and their new owners just love them and give me regular updates.

Ted Thistle hunting yesterday and clearly loving it!

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

 The puppies are eight weeks old this weekend and the first one, Mouse, went today. She has gone to a lovely home but it is still really sad when they leave. We have become very attached to this litter as with the long dark evenings we seem to have spent more time with them. They are all such lovely characters and have kept us very much amused. 

Today we took the three horses Garry, Secret and Archie to Lambourn for a gallop. We met Billy Aprahamian there as he is Nicky Hendersons assistant trainer and knows his way around. Bronnie, his Mum came to see her boy and have a day out, and Ella also came to ride Archie. It was a beautiful day and the horses loved going somewhere different. They were all very well behaved and did a nice piece of work. It is such a special place to go with so much equine history. Very special. After we had finished working them we had a picnic and a bottle of bubbly in the sunshine. Our last 'Hooray'before lock down....

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

 We had another little trip to Devon this weekend as we wanted to have a second viewing at a couple of places. We really liked one property but will just have to wait to see what happens. it was a great excuse to see more of the countryside in their autumn colours. I even had a little swim in the West Lynn river -  the current was somewhat stronger than expected and had to make a hasty exit as I didn't want to end up in Lynmouth scantily dressed....  It really is a stunning county.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

 It was a filthy wet day today so I thought I would put this nice positive photo up from a couple of days ago as the autumn colours are beautiful.

My ribs have more or less mended so I am now back riding which is great. Lucy came in and we are doing slow canter work on the grass field for now, so we were pleased to get the rain as we need the ground to be soft.  I got so wet that after riding I was slopping around in soggy clothes whilst feeding the mares and foals that I decided to go for a swim in the river. It actually felt a little warmer than usual as I was already so cold!  I will miss the river when we have to leave here....

We went to Devon for the weekend looking for places to live. We found a couple of lovely places but just can't progress as HS2 are still dragging their feet about providing their report for the Alternative Dispute resolution. This is needed before we can resolve this situation. However, that hasn't stopped them from continuously harassing us and asking what preparations we have made about moving out on the 30th November.  This is bullying and intimidation. How can we move out when they haven't paid us for the businesses which they have compulsory 'purchased'?  We had security of tenure at Blackgrounds and consequently invested everything in our businesses here.  It is not our fault that they have decided to put a train that NO ONE wants right through our home and our lives./ We just want this to end as we have had enough. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

 It was a beautiful day today and the trees are just turning into stunning autumnal colours. I did the horses first thing and then had my usual Tuesday visit to Dad. I then met up with Tricia for lunch in the Pytchley at West Haddon. I am making the most of getting out and about in case we are locked down again. Hopefully that won't happen as we are just in a 'Medium' risk area but Boris may get pushed into taking stricter measures. No matter what he does it won't be right. The negativity of the press is really getting me down.

Tatty's puppies are growing fast and are all such characters. She thought she had lost her 'puppy fat' but going through the cat flap yesterday it came with her! She was wandering around the yard with the cat flap stuck around her tummy. Bless her. 

Friday, 9 October 2020

 Having said that there was nothing broken after my tumble over two weeks ago it has become painfully obvious that I have got broken ribs. I have been a bit cranky not being able to ride or do much at all but they are gradually getting better. Sarah has also been off with a skin infection so we have been very short staffed. Luckily, Ella and Lucy have stepped up to the mark and have done some great pieces of work around the menage and paddock with the three horses. 

Archie (Velvet Dove's five year old) has been coming along nicely - He is quite quirky, just like his Mum was but is showing huge potential

Secret, who still looks slightly 'plump' loving her jumping.