Posts Tagged ‘horses


Various things

Visiting my much-neglected blog earlier, I felt really sad that I’d let things slide so much. Could it really be so long since I blogged? Life has been insanity recently. There are no hours in the day, for anything, it seems!

So much recent news. My business is great- I’m working so, so hard, but there’s lots of quality time with the kids too, and the rewards are infinitely worth it. I’m earning more than I did when in my old job, for fewer hours, WAY more flexibility, and, best of all, I get to see my kids grow up. On the downside, oh…wait…there isn’t one.

The house still looks like a shit heap, but what am I gonna do. :p


My pony, Morning, had to be put down, three weeks ago. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it yet, and it’s really too painful for words.

I know a few of you will be wondering why I am so upset over the death of a horse- I would say to those people, you’ve clearly never had a very special animal in your life. To my family, animals ARE a part of our family.

Her legs gave up. She was pretty well in herself, but she had been having some mobility issues, and this Friday she just couldn’t get up in her stable. The vet discussed it with us, and we knew it was time to let her go. She was 28- quite old for a horse. I don’t want to go into the process too much. She was too big for an injection. The vet shot her. I knew that this is how it would happen, but it was just awful. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it.

Morning had been with me since I was eleven years old- a child. We grew up together. We were partners in crime; like minded people. She loved to jump and hated flat work- so did I, though we grudgingly worked at it.

We didn’t know very much about competing when we bought Morning- but through my teenage years, we had huge success in the fields of eventing and showing. She was so beautiful, and so clever. She also could be a complete bitch if her mind wasn’t on the job, or if she felt like taking the piss.

We had a lot of success, and I owe her a lot. I’ll always remember her most for her sense of adventure, though. We’re going to Donegal in a few weeks and the beaches there will be filled with the ghosts of Morning, my Mum and our dog Jamie. May they all be running together somewhere better.


The kids are gorgeous; I am so, so lucky, even though they make me crazy sometimes. Rob’s speech is spectacular, for a two year old, and he’s hilarious. Ricky is just sooo beautiful, and boy, does he know it!

Here are a few pics, from St Patrick’s Day. We took the drive up the stunning Antrim Coast Road and stopped at Ballintoy Harbour, which has chalk stone on one side and some kind of igneous rock on the other- the world famous Giant’s Causeway is only a few miles down the road and you can see the similarity in the rock formations (finished Suzy, lamely, having forgotten all of her 3rd form geography lessons).






You can nearly feel the lava below the surface there!



They’re pretty good kids. 🙂



I have a new website, I’ll share it in due course, though most of you know about it already. It’s still in development, but I am very excited about the year that’s to come.

Love to all of my friends out there who have been horrendously neglected recently. I am truly sorry.


Trying to get back on the horse!

Hello, hello! How is everyone? Do you even remember me? It’s been nearly two months, I can’t believe it! I’ve actually had a lot to blog about but somehow it hasn’t happened.

We had a lovely holiday- three weeks of not having to think about anything very much and enjoying spending lots of time with my family. It has really helped me make a lot of decisions about where I want life to take me in the next number of years, as some of you know. I’ll do a password protected post on that though! Password will be the same as last time but please don’t feel weird about asking me for it if you’ve forgotten it.

So, until I can come up with something more fascinating, here are a loose collection of tales from our travels. I keep getting grief from my family for not blogging about the kids because apparently it’s the only time they get to hear about silly stuff they’ve done!!

Ricky spent most of the holiday in the sea! Even though the air temperature wasn’t very high, the sea stayed comparatively warm through our whole break (the sea in Donegal could normally cause frostbite even in the middle of summer!) and it was great to see him really gaining confidence in the water. We bought him his first proper wetsuit and he LOVED it!


It’s fascinating to me how all the kids on the beach are now wearing full body wetsuits- you hardly see any kid in a normal swimsuit at all any more. When we were kids we hardly even bothered to put a swimming costume on- you’d absolutely never see a butt nekkid child on the beach these days. I think it must be a combinating of fashion, protecting children from the sun, and, sadly, loss of innocence!

Ricky has also developed a new interest- kind of a strange one too. When out on a walk at a local Friary, we passed a shrine to Mary. Ricky was fascinated by it and wanted to know what it was for. I explained the principles behind it, and he was very interested. There was a little bench in front of it, and before I knew it, he’d plonked himself down and started doing this!


Ricky tells me that he is meditating and that this is what they do in China. I was very surprised that, coming from our household which is not very religious, he grasped the concept of spirituality and prayer with incredible ease!

That walk came as a surprise to me, because I don’t believe I’ve ever done it before, and the views were so stunning that I feel compelled to post some pictures of them!

As for Robbie, he’s my little animal guru- he’s totally mad about animals of all kinds at the moment.

I think I blogged before about his obsession with horses, and that definitely continued during the break! We were able to send the kids out along the beach on ponies from the riding school across the road, and seriously, if we’d let Robbie stay on for as long as he wanted he’d probably still be sitting there now!

He had THE best time and I will definitely have to arrange some riding lessons for him I think. Ricky enjoyed it but not to the same extent. I was just showing Robbie the pics from the holiday and he couldn’t stop talking about going out on the pony, and how much fun he’d had!


We also took the kids to some sheepdog trials, which was actually much more fun than I’d been expecting. The sheepdogs were great, and it was very interesting to see them in action.

They were also showing sheep in a different part of the field. Now, I come from a background of showing ponies and horses, which is very civilised and elegant. Showing sheep involves a lot of men sweating profusely and swearing under their breath as they grapple with a sheep that desparately wants to get back to the herd and that definitely doesn’t want the judge to look at its teeth.


The variety of sheep was amazing and some of them were as big as a shetland pony, which surprised me! Some were pretty and soft, some were ugly as sin with wiry wool.

Robbie predictably thought it was absolutely brilliant- the child has no fear! He had fallen and hurt his head the previous evening, which is why he looks like he’s been duffed up!
The eventual Champion of the sheep was crowned, and I managed to make a total pillock of myself by missing the photo opportunity- then, when I was surreptitiously trying to take a pic, they realised and went through the whole palaver of getting all the trophies and rosettes out again. To be fair they did this with a very good grace, but I felt like an idiot! So, here, for posterity, is a picture of the king of the sheep. Father Ted fans out there will know why I find this vaguely amusing.

There’s loads more but I have rambled on for long enough! Hope everyone is well. I do want to blog more but time is really against me at the minute. I definitely need to get some stuff off my chest though and will do so later today, with luck!

Now the challenge will be to get caught up with everyone else! 😀


Happy Memories

I feel good- great, in fact- at the moment, but my next round of chemo is looming large and will be next Tuesday.

I know that after the chemo, I will have about ten days of feeling ill and depressed, so I thought today I would concentrate on positives and write myself a list of some happy memories, which I can then read back over when I’m feeling rough. My hope is that it will remind me that I won’t always feel this way, and that life is good.

Add your own happy memories too! 🙂

– Going on our first ever family holiday abroad, when I was nine. We went to the Greek island of Crete. My Mum had worked through all her annual leave as a locum (she was a doctor) to pay for it. We arrived in the middle of the night, and went straight to bed when we got to the hotel. When I woke up, I went running to the window and pulled open the curtains. The sight of the huge mountains behind the hotel literally took my breath away in a way that can only truly happen when you’re a child! We ate swordfish kebabs and fried squid on the beach, fed a pony that was tethered in the olive grove beside the hotel, and each day begged the management of the hotel to fill the swimming pool (it was only Easter and I don’t think they could be bothered. They filled it the day we were leaving!). We drove all around the island in a bizarre little car that seemed to be made mostly from canvas. Tourism hadn’t really taken off yet in Crete- times have changed now!

– Waking up on the ward in the maternity hospital having had Ricky. It was about 10am, I was half crazed with lack of sleep following a long and bitter pregnancy and labour, and all I could see of him was the top of his hair as he slept in the little crib beside me. I had one of those very, very rare moments of complete peace and happiness. I had fought hard (mainly with my own body) to have him, and he was finally there!

– A meal had with some of my closest friends years ago in The Mill in Dunfanaghy. We’d all piled up to the house in Donegal for the weekend, and went out to dinner to celebrate. The Mill is an incredible, world class restaurant and put up with a lot from us- changing our dinner reservations at the last minute from 4 people to 12 people, and making a special vegetarian dish for Keith who “didn’t like spinach” (he has since changed his mind, I think!!). We then all turned up looking quite scruffy (in some instances, VERY scruffy, with many piercings and a variety of facial hair) to the very posh restaurant, ate like kings and were treated like royalty. The craic at dinner was fabulous, and it made the weekend. A lot of the people at the table that night have moved to other corners of the globe now, but will always be some of my very best friends. Love you all, guys.

– As a teenager, we used to take our pony, Morning, on holiday to Donegal with us. A local farmer kindly let us use one of his stables when it was too cold for her to be out, and let us put her out with his pony, Lily, when it was warmer. I used to get up at the first sign of light, go and feed her, and then take her out for a long ride- we galloped all over the place- jumped anything that came into our path and generally tore up the locale. We broke the fence surrounding the car park at the local beach as we jumped it. I let myself into the sand dunes on Horn Head, which was accessed via a small forestry, and then couldn’t get the gate done up again, so I left it open (BLUSHES!!) so I am sure my name was MUD with the local farming community, whose animals were probably then released into the wild and would have taken quite a while to get back…it’s not all that easy to hide when you’re leaving sodding great hoof prints everywhere you go. They will have known exactly who was responsible. Morning was my ally, my partner in crime, co-conspirator and friend. Everything was done with a sense of adventure and in the spirit of friendship. She’s retired now, and has earned it. She is a bright and shining light in my life, and always has been since I first met her at the age of eleven.

– Watching dawn break from near the summit of Slieve Croob in June 1996. Ian and I had been together for about two months, and were realising quickly that the relationship was something special. We were attending a none-too-legal party which was being held in the car park of Drumkeeragh Forest (don’t you do the maddest things when you’re a kid), which is too far off the beaten track for the loud music to have offended anyone, I hope. Ian and I wandered off around the forest for a walk, and ended up looking out over the most amazing vista as the sun came up. From the top of Croob, you can see probably half of Northern Ireland laid out in front of you. There was some early morning mist on lower levels, and the drumlins (round, green hills which are common in County Down) were poking up out of the mist. The first light of the sun turned the mist pink, and I do not think I will ever forget the sight. Magical.

OK, I could go on and on! I’ve had a charmed life. I’m an exceptionally lucky girl. Sure, I have some stuff to deal with at the moment, but I hope in six months or so I can put it behind me. In ten days or so, when I feel at my worst, I hope I can cheer myself up by thinking of happy times I’ve had, and look forward to happy times to come. I have so, so much to be grateful for. Life is good.


A lovely anniversary day

It was Ian and my 12th anniversary today, an occasion which also clashes weirdly with the death of one of my favourite dogs, and with a massive fall out (never fully recovered from) with one of my closest friends. So, although it should normally be a day which I can concentrate on fully, sometimes I can’t forget the past!

The day started like most others- Ricky and Robbie getting me out of bed at 6.30am…however once Ian was up, he got the kids dressed and took them to the park for a while, so I went back to bed with the cat (who occasionally has his uses- not often, but sometimes!) and slept for a while. A massively rare, lovely treat, as those of you with small children will know! 😀

After lunch, we decided to go for a walk up to Scrabo Tower. Those of you from Northern Ireland will immediately know where I am talking about. For those of you who don’t, it’s a tower built in the 1850’s to commemorate a local earl, which makes it a “folly”. It sits on a very prominent cliff face/hill and can be seen for miles around. In fact we can even see it from some rooms in our house! 🙂

I found this amazing link, which will give you a 360 degree tour of the views- which are staggering-

Sadly however, whoever took this shot didn’t visit on any clearer a day than we did- you can see the Mourne Mountains in the distance and see across the sea to Scotland. Today we could see Scotland well and see the snow capped mountains of the highlands in the distance. Heaven!

Here are a couple of pics-



For the first time EVER that I have visited, the tower itself was OPEN!!!!! Which meant that to my total delight, Ricky and I were able to climb the 122 steps to its summit and take in the astounding view from the top. This is something I will remember for the rest of my life! The views are great and it was SUCH a rare treat. I think they only open a few days every year and we just got lucky! Ricky had so much fun too! Robbie and Ian stayed at the bottom because of all the steps and Robbie played around in the grass! 🙂

Afterwards, me and the boys headed to my Dad’s to feed my horses, while Ian headed into Belfast to collect some stuff for dinner. The weather was really mild. so me and Dad and the boys played in my Dad’s gorgeous garden for a while before we came home.

The boys have just gone to bed and Ian is cooking me a delicious roast chicken dinner at the moment. I am truly a blessed, blessed girl! 🙂 Life is good!



Some Recent Ricky Funnies

Being three years old, Ricky is of course massively entertaining! I love how the mind of a three year old works- the logic which can be so hard to constructively interfere with… 🙂

I was selling a pair of jeans on Ebay yesterday. They are those fashionable “slouch” jeans which I have decided are really more suitable to a twenty something than a thirty something! I feel like mutton when wearing them. So, I thought they could do with a new home. Ricky was looking over my shoulder as the listing neared its end last night.

 Ricky- Are you buying those, Mummy?

Me- No honey, I am selling them.

Ricky- Why?

Me- (thinking honesty was the best policy) Because they are more suited to a younger person.

Ricky- why don’t you give them to Daddy? He looks much younger than you! 😀

Also, my Dad loves to wind Ricky up, telling him that Robbie is called Fred (don’t know why…sigh!) He was doing this on Sunday to Ricky, and sometimes takes it a little bit too far, so Ricky will be yelling “He’s ROBBBBBBIIIIEEEEEE!!!!” and I have to step in…

After my Dad went to walk his dogs, Ricky said to me, “Mummy, why does Grandpa say Robbie is called Fred?” and I said “He’s only winding you up, love, don’t worry about it”, to which he responded “Well, I wish he wouldn’t wind me up. It makes me TIRED!” 🙂

Oh, and I couldn’t work out why, when I was mucking out my horses on Sunday, he kept asking me for a paint brush. Only after about 15 minutes did I find that he had emptied a large bucket of engine oil (jet black, thick and gloopy) over the floor of the barn and would presumably have set to work on redecorating if a paint brush had been immediately available- YIKES! My bad for not keeping a closer eye on him! I could see him and hear him at all times, but I was working away and he was just pottering about like he always is- I had no idea Dad had left that there!! I’m scared that next winter, Robbie will no longer be content to sit in his buggy and watch while I muck out!

Ughh…when I started writing this I could think of a lot more things! 😀


Yikes! A rat!

I was mucking out my horses at the weekend, and when I started to muck out Morning’s stable, I found, to my horror, a dead rat!

The poor thing had obviously died at the hands of my favourite pony- there was evidence of stamping- and it had then been covered in a large pile of hay as if she was hiding the evidence! Morning is clearly not a fan!

I was very surprised that she killed it- horses are normally very passive creatures and I’ve never seen her act in an agressive manner in the 21 years I have owned her. I trust this pony 100% with my very small children (who regularly hug her legs, pull her tail, etc etc!), and can honestly say I have had some of the best moments of my life with her. I have to admit that I am looking at her with new eyes though!

It’s highly unlikely that she just stood on it by accident. Horses are very sensitive and stand on surprisingly few things without meaning to. I can only imagine that this hapless animal was trying to eat her food and she didn’t appreciate it.

In my experience, the ONLY motivating factor when it comes to horses is food. So, you come between my girl and her dinner, you gonna face the consequences, buddy!!!! 😀

Here is a picture of the murderer, Song of Morning. She is an old girl of 26 now, and one of the great loves of my life! 🙂 I forgive her!



Seven things about Me Me Meme

This has been sent to me by my great friend Megan at Sortacrunchy- here is her linky- I know there must be a way of doing a hyperlink here but being stupid and all, I can’t work it out just now.

So, the idea is that I tell you some random nonsense about myself! Here goes!

Here are the rules…

1. When tagged place the name and URL on your blog.

2. Post rules on your blog.

3. Write 6 (or 7) non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

4. Name 6 (or 7) of your favorite blogs.

5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

– I’ll eat pretty much anything except for Veda bread, which I absolutely hate and always have. That said, I was a vegetarian for more than twenty years, and only fell off the wagon during my first pregnancy. I still feel bad about eating meat and will probably climb back on the wagon at some stage in the future, when I’ve lost enough weight to catch it back up!

– I have still never had a filling, at the age of 32. I’m surprised and amazed by this, but my dentist tells me my teeth are in perfect condition and that I probably won’t ever have to have one! Go me!!

– I am very, very left handed. Plus I have a history of injuring my right hand to the point where the ring finger and thumb don’t work properly. Kids, stay away from alcohol- my thumb got injured when I was 16- I was at a party, got unbelievably plastered, dropped my pint glass (it smashed) and fell over ontop of it. If you want to sever the tendon and nerve in your thumb, that’ll do it. My finger got hurt in the most stupid avocado-stone-removal experiment the world has ever seen. I now remove avocado stones with a teaspoon. Be warned! Learn from my mistakes!!

– I have some of the most idiotic obsessive compulsions! If I am driving to my father’s house, for example, there are certain points on the road where I feel obliged to check and see if I can see the Mourne Mountains to the right and the Isle of Man on the left. Weird, huh?! Also if eating a sandwich, I always eat the crusts off first and then eat the middle bit. 😀

– I absolutely HATE lateness, and have been known on occasion to get quite annoyed with anyone who is either late to an appointment with me, or who I think is faffing about when I want to go somewhere. I think- no joke- that if Ian was a bad timekeeper, I would not be able to be with him.

– I am really, really messy. My boss is always rolling his eyes at my desk (especially as we just moved to posh new offices and he wants a clean desk policy- yeah, good luck with that K…), and our house is a disaster zone- was even before we had kids! I think we’re probably beyond hope.

– I’m a very outdoorsey person. I am rarely to be found in the house at the weekends, preferring to go for a walk with the kids. I used to spend my free time riding my two horses, but they are elderly and retired now. I miss it- it’s a great form of escapism and great for stress relief!

That’s about all I can think of! Thanks, Megan, for including me!

At this point, I’d like to tag Sara at Sarandipity-, a great friend and confidante!

Also one of my bestest non net friends, Phil, at Adventures in Sigh Fi- Having just moved to New Zealand, he has lots of interesting things to say!

Phil’s sister in law Jenny has lots to say about New Zealand too, in NI to NZ-

Laura at Sweet Awakenings is one of the most articulate people I know and reading her blog is always a pleasure, even though she can somehow always make me cry at a moment’s notice-

Corey at Living and Loving Every Minute of It hardly needs my link, because she’s so popular- what a loving, caring friend she is!

Finally my friend Lori at Fairytales and Margaritas- a great friend with a lot of interesting stuff to say!

Wow, that took ages to do! Hope you all found it interesting, but probably not…

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