Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Apologies for the long silence - Things have been somewhat hectic here in the run up to Christmas, coupled with a problem we had with a big import of deer velvet capsules that got detained by customs for no apparent reason even though we have been importing it with no problems since 1998. Apparently there has been a change of policy which they failed to tell anyone about. They were threatening to destroy it or at best return it to New Zealand, which would still have meant a massive delay and a huge expense. After three weeks of 'tactful' negotiation, (and I have to say that nothing annoys me more than pointless red tape  and jobs worth's) the powers that be have finally decided to release the product. Thankfully my customers have been incredibly patient and understanding, but it was a very worrying time for me as no insurance would cover the cost of the destroyed product and financially that would have been fairly disastrous. Anyway, now we can breath a huge sigh of relief and enjoy Christmas.
Even though it doesn't feel very Christmassey with the high winds and torrential rain we had last night. The floods were huge this morning and the water was up to our boots as we tried to get to the gallops. Funnily  enough the horse's seemed to love the novelty of wading through water and it was all terribly exciting. Spud decided to come with one lot and bravely swam behind us for most of the way, he did really well although we were all a bit concerned when we went through a particular bit of white water and the current started to carry him away down the river. He managed to make it to the bank safely and it didn't bother him in the slightest.
The social side in this area leading up to Christmas has been like a marathon where we have found the importance of pacing oneself. It has been one party/social event after another which is great but pretty exhausting. We had our Christmas day on Sunday as we have got all the horses to do on the day itself. It is the first time for as many years as I can remember when I haven't had to entertain and although it will be sad not spending the day with family I am really rather looking forward to doing our own thing for the day. Bliss!
We have entered Ben (Whither Goest Thou), Dolly (Velvet Royale) and Rosie (Epistle) for Chaddesley Corbett on the 27th December. Rosie won't like it so she is highly unlikely to run. Both Ben and Dolly actually enjoy soft ground but we don't want it bottomless so we will take them and see what the conditions are like. Jess (We Never Give Up) and Ponty Pandy are both entered for Cottenham on the 29th. No matter how much it rains there the ground never becomes too soft so they will definitely be running. They were all schooled this morning and although Ben was a bit temperamental to begin with they all schooled really well.
Anyway, I must go as I haven't finished wrapping presents yet, and then we are off to the carol service at Priors Hardwick, (you can't beat belting out a good carol) followed by mulled wine and mince pies in the Butchers Arms.