There is something about Horses..

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There is something about animals in general, dogs, cats, all animals but to me there is something extra special about horses. They are elegant, beautiful, patient, loyal, forgiving, powerful and perfectly engineered specimens of nature.

I have always been connected to horses in someway. When I was really young all I wanted was a pony, I poured over breeds of horse books and every time I wished upon a star or full moon it was for exactly that. My dream seemed impossible, about as far as that moon and star were away from little me staring up at them. None of my family had any interest or link with horses. I had a few riding lessons so that my parents would shut me up for a while but it didn’t last long due to money restraints or parent boredom. It only  reinforced my dream.

I never did owned that pony but I kept wishing on that old moon/star, (it sometimes takes a while for wishes to come true you know. Never give up) I never gave up! Then late into my 40’s I finally realised the dream and took charge of 1, and then a few more of these incredible creatures (you can’t just have 1!)

For the last few years I have been horseless once again and I just know something has been missing in my life – I had not been on a horse for about 5 years but last month I went into the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors and booked a ride. I felt a bit rusty but 5 minutes in it all came back and I felt I had never been away. Today I have one again returned and loved every moment. These beautiful, gentle, creatures are calming, exciting, and enlightening and I love having a silent dialogue with them as I ride and get to know a new horse. I can only say I feel I am home!

They say a great horse-person can hear a horse whisper, a fantastic horse-person can hear a horse think and they do so like a chat! Image

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The Unbreakable Bond

There is an unseen link that binds

As strong as iron and thick as concrete,

Yet sensitive as a butterflies wings.

It can never be broken and will never go away,

Unspoken words heard loud and clear,

A look, a sigh, an ‘I’m OK’.

The knowing, the feeling, intense and clear.

I hear you. I feel you. I see you.

Though a mile or a thousands are in between

It will never weaken and never fade.

Your hopes and fears are mine

Your sadness and trials I feel.

Through bad words and good,

It goes one way and so it should

It is called the bond of Motherhood!images

The World in Colour

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When all the world is grey,

And nothing moves or stirs

bar the plaintive voice of a bird

or hopeful stalking cat.

When dormant is nature

and the weather is harsh

and all is hibernating still.

I look to the sky for a glimmer,

I look to the earth for a sign.

Then one day, one day,

when you though it would never come,

Caps of white snowdrops emerge,

sometimes still with hats of snow.

Followed by the tentative crocus,

Violet, white and pink.

Then later still the bright yellow trumpets

Loud and true, herald that Spring is here!

It is then, only then the season turns

From grey, monochrome tones

To glorious, technicolor!

Look a Little Closer

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Can you see?

What do you see?

Do you see as much as me?

Turn down the light,

Tone down the glare,

Soften the colours

Try not to stare.

If I close my eyes

Is it still around,

The tree in the forest

Making no sound.

You cannot see

There is nothing you see

You will never see as much as me.

There is none so blind

So the proverb says

As Those that cannot see.

Do something that scares you every day! Go Skiing!

DSC_0101  Isn’t that one of those dittys/ that go around that is supossed to enhance and challenge your life? It seems a bit much  to say ‘every’ day, maybe once a week/month would be enough to stimulate the grey matter and get the endorphins circulating. However on our annual ski trip that’s exactly what happens. It scares the bejesus out of me in various degrees EVERY day!

This is my 4th year skiing, this time we are in Avoriaz and as everyone knows the older you are when you start the harder it is. We all watch in awe at the little dwarf commando skiers age no more than 7 whizzing down the slopes in a stiff upright but oh so confident manner that put us oldies to shame. However they are young, have no fear, have a very low centre of gravity which means when they fall they are pretty much already on  the floor!

I take the arbitrary ESF lessons and end up with the inevitable  crusty old french guy who churns out the standard lines every week. ‘Follow my line!’ Yeah that’s fine if you are next in line to him but 7/8 people back in the snake means you can’t see or hear him so you are pretty much on your own. If he speaks English it is a bonus. So it’s a case of go with the flow and do your best.

So day 1 – 3 is Ok (after all I have been in level 1 for 4 years!) I am cruising at the top end of the class. Then Day 4 hits and we go on steeper slopes.! The fear kicks in and all the good techniques and form are replaced by the survival/’get me to the bottom of this mountain the size of Everest at any cost’ stance = BAD!

Day 4/5 is the wobble day when I struggle with the decision of jacking it all in and spending the rest of the week in the gym/spa.
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The afternoons are taken up with leisurely ski trips and frequent vin chaud/hot chocolate stops with the OH who has learnt (the hard way) to ply me with platitudes and to big up my skiing skills at every occasion in the deperate hope I won’t throw in the towel and leave him without a ski companion in future years. It’s a fine line!

If I get over the wobble (which I have always managed thus far) day 5/6 are challenging/scary testing lessons but (once over) Oh so exhilarating! I feel good, alive, like I cheated death again and feeling invincible!

I have made progress in small steps, I feel good about myself for holding in there and I definately did something every day that scared me! Tick!

I end the week with a sense of relief, achievement and feel good factor. I cant wait to get home to my comfort zone. Will I be here next year! Of course, it you don’t scare and stretch yourself every year/month/day you will never experience the satisfactory high of knowing you came through and conquered a fear!

I might even manage level 2 next year! Go for it!

So this is the scenario every year, and every year I get a bit better and a bit more confident, this year I tackled a red run, that must be progress.  I wasn’t too petrified.DSC_0128

I have a love hate relationship with fear, I can never let it beat me and without it life can be dull and too safe so I’ll keep to my motto: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway! Its worth it!   DSC_0108

The Dreaming Spires of Oxford

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Oxford is a city of dichotomy. Is the city part of the university or the university part of the the city? We explored this unique place at the weekend. Beautiful ancient architecture, dreaming spires, student life and tourist activity.

Undeniably a beautiful place for ‘beautiful minds’ but what of  the reality of the place. Oxford is surely dominated by the colleges of the famous university, but where does the university and the city begin and end? As a visitor accompanied with a daughter attending Bath university it was an interesting insight. I had no expectations except for the knowledge of a very interesting, beautiful academic city.

On our day of exploration it was entirely tangible how the university is entwined with the city, its hard to separate the two. I fully understand how historically the  ‘town vs gown conflict’ came about. We as foot soldiers on a walking tour, one of many of the day, encountered a body of graduating students and the mayhem that entails. Including by night the various vikings/Pokemon/fantasy characters roaming around which adds to the charm of the place, including the  sight of a naked (I am guessing) student running the centre followed by a crowd of cheering onlookers  Most of the colleges we hoped to visit were closed for the ceremonies and according to a local ‘we have graduations all the time, it’s an everyday occurence’ Whilst it made a great spectacle of mortar boards and gowns in succession in front of beautiful buildings we were slightly frustrated that we could not enter the buildings and places we came to see.

In contrast my daughter,  who turned down the opportunity of applying here, when asked, ‘Would you have liked to have applied here? replied, ‘Its beautiful place but I would be really frustrated by all this tourist activity around ‘my’ campus when I am trying to get around to lectures, learn and do my studies. Hence the Gown vs Town perspective.

I loved my visit to Oxford and it was a truly magical place and a must see city. I was enchanted by the view from the towers of the central church and the general atmosphere of academic learning in the ancient buildings spanning back centuries but would I like to live here, probably not , too many students, would I like to be a student? probably not, too many tourists! All in all very beautiful place, most definitely worth a visit.

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7th March – Not Just Another Day – My Birthday!

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I was born at approximately 1.30 PM on this day many many years ago at home, as was normal in caveman times. As I was spat out of the womb my mother screamed at the midwife and kicked her in the stomach. My fathers first reaction on seeing me was ‘Ooh another boy!’ (he was wrong!) whilst throwing the placenta onto the open fire! (The details I have been regailed with over the years)
So began the first day of my life on this earth, I could go on but fast forwards lots of years, many events later and 3 beautiful children of my own I find my self once again on  the day of my birth, that auspicious of days, the 7th March. Only this time it is the 50th time it has occurred. Yes half a century, that sounds old! I don’t feel old but its the oldest I’ve ever been and the adverts on TV are now tauntingly inviting me to save for funeral costs and take out life insurance. Gosh I can even get a FREE Parker pen with one. What an incentive! I can even now join in the frivolities of a SAGA holiday and be the youngest there!

My brother sent me a greeting ‘Welcome to Hawaii!’ I had no idea what he was talking about and thought that since he’s older than me senility had taken place. However, after about a minute I got it! Hawaii 5 O! Yes you’d have to actually be over 50 to get this joke and to have even heard of this TV series. But it made me laugh! Would go down a treat at a SAGA holiday.

However when all is said and done I do not feel 50 (however that is supposed to feel).  I will continue ripping it up at the gym, skiing, horse riding and water skiing when ever possible, travelling the world, trying new things and riding the biggest baddest rollercoasters I can find. I may draw the line at a bungee jump but do not rule out a parachute jump. Can you still be a bit of an adrenaline junkie at 50? Oh yes YOLO! (over 50’s look it up) and more than half of it may be over, so YOLO to the Max!

After all 50 is the new 40 and since I probably feel about 28  then I am sure it all adds up perfectly, never was good with numbers and basically that’s ALL it is, a number! Cheers x

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