Thursday, 11 June 2015


People are what makes the world go around. We are surrounded by them. We are ourselves one of them. We speak to them every day, work with them, see them everywhere. What would the world be like without them? Especially those that mean a lot to us and are special. Have you ever stopped to think about how much the people in your life enrich it? For me, today was when that thought came. Everyone I encounter enriches my life in some way or another. And I am extremely lucky that most of them enrich it in a positive way. Of course I am not short of those people you could happily punch but they are few and far between! As I start my day I wake up with a lovely person (not a randomer, don’t worry he is my boyfriend ;) ) who is kind and gentle and generous. I get ready for work and quite often have emails, texts and tweets to read as I start my day. Some of these are from my beautiful friends, some are from a group of fellow early birds who share the pain of the 5.30am alarm, and some are from intellectuals sharing their intelligence on blogs and articles. More enrichment and it’s still only 6am. As I arrive at work around 7.30am I have a chat with the always cheery security guard, he quite often tells me what the weather is forecasted to do for the day – this in itself is surprisingly useful, as someone that enjoys being outside it is quite good to know if it’s going to pour all day! He asks how I am, what I have been up to and tells me his plans for the next few days. He ensures my day starts with a friendly face and some familiar words. Once I am upstairs in the office I go to make a cup of tea (of course), whilst I am brewing said cup there is a lady who comes to make her coffee. She always asks how I am, and always remembers what I have told her I have been doing. She may not care that much, but to remember what I have told her the previous day or before the weekend is thoughtful – and it makes me smile. My day continues very much this way, with people adding their two penneth of smiles, laughter and kindness to my day. And these are just the people I see every day!

There are then those who I see less often, but are still rather special. My beautiful family, who are all wonderful in their own way. They have taught me what I know today, kept me safe and loved me. Enrichment doesn’t get much richer than that right? There have people who have come into my life quite unannounced or unplanned but have definitely been welcome. The lady I write for; she owns an equestrian magazine and asked if I’d like to give writing a go after she saw me post a message online. She’s such good fun, very kind and an inspiration to busy, young, equestrian women trying to juggle careers and horses. Through writing for her magazine I have encountered more enriching people. People who ride still despite having had life changing injuries or accidents, people who are incredible artists, people who follow their dream no matter what and people who have stayed at the top of the sport for longer than I have been alive! There are friends who I awkwardly spoke to on my first day of University who I would now never be without. They have become a huge part of my life, my rock and the people who will never fail to make me laugh when its needed. The friends who have stayed around since we were knee high and in primary school. They are still in my life, still putting up with my ramblings and being as lovely as ever. There are people I have met trying to help them, when in actual fact it’s likely they have helped me more. People who have very little themselves yet still give to others, both in time and resources whenever they can. There are people I know through having horses, the girls at the stables who I ride with, friends who help look after Fleur when I am busy working, friends I have met through working with horses who taught me a lot of what I know today and still support me with encouragement when I go to competitions.

This is just a snippet of the people I encounter, and have encountered over my life time. It’s only the one’s I can think of right now and that have touched my life recently. What about all the others, and there are others out there – lots of them. I am a very lucky person, and next time one of those who I would quite like to punch winds me up, or I am feeling fed up or having a bad day I will endeavour to remind myself of just how lucky I am and of all these ridiculously wonderful people that surround me.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Hormonal Mares

So Fleur and I have been going to some local unaffiliated dressage competitions as of late. We are really lucky to have such a wonderful yard manager who kindly takes us out in her lorry - Sir Lady Thomas (that is what the lorry is called ;) ). Fleur has improved loads since we bought her, she has muscled up and become a lot stronger in trot and canter. She seems to really enjoy going out, and isn't spooky or naughty at all which is great for my confidence. I think sometimes she enjoys it a little too much and we get comments around her being tense and inconsistent in the outline, just where she is so excited to be out and about. Her favourite is when we go somewhere with mirrors and she gets a good look at herself! Recently we have been schooling a fair bit and working on a more consistent outline. So last weekend we headed over to Rectory Farm to do a prelim test. One of our friends Melissa was going from the yard also so she gave us a lift. Mavis (Melissa's horse) and Fleur go out together in the same field and are best buds. They are both usually well behaved girls when out together but not today, oh no!! As soon as I took Fleur to warm up Mavis got a little distressed. We had forgotten that the girls are currently in season and therefore rather clingy! Melissa decided to call it a day when Mavis was napping to Fleur. I sort of calmed Fleur down in the warm up and thought we might be able to do a half decent test when she saw Mavis and started neighing again. They both resembled the sound of pigs if I am honest. The test was rather comical - jumping out of the arena, canter half pass (not intended), flying changes (not intended) giraffe impressions, you name it Fleur did it! Safe to say it wasn't our best mark but you live and learn. The girls won't be going to parties together again any time soon ;) We have a good three weeks til our next planned outing and then 3 weeks again until the champs we qualified for so hopefully we can improve our marks.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

It's been a while...

So I realised I haven’t blogged in a reallllly really long time! I am not really sure why to be honest, I think life just gets in the way from time to time and we can forget to make those important moments to do things we love. But here I am, I am back – no need to worry! So I guess there are a lot of updates that need to be done as it has been a rather busy few months I have to say. October saw a new addition to my life. She is beautiful and cheery and rather hairy – everyone meet the wonderful Fleur! I saw her up for sale on the off chance really as I wasn’t planning on looking for a new horse until mid 2015. She took my fancy and when I went to see her I fell in love! She didn’t seem anything special until I rode her and the deal was sealed so to speak. She came to us the following weekend and I must admit it is one of the best spontaneous decisions I have made. I hadn’t really realised just how much I had missed having my own horse. Because I need to go and sort her out every day it gets me out in the fresh air when I may make excuses and stay indoors. Through the winter I had been riding after work with a head torch and then at weekends. It isn’t always easy buying a horse going into winter but the spring and lighter nights are definitely on the way. I have had some lessons on her with my lovely instructor, Laura and she is coming on in leaps and bounds. She was quite under muscled when I got her so we have been working on getting her stronger and fitter. She is now working much better on the flat and hopefully soon we can start a few small fences J We recently started taking her out to dressage competitions locally just to get her out and about really – she was a star, we couldn’t have faulted her. She took such good care of me and although gets a bit excited at cantering is very well behaved. On top of all that, she never fails to put a smile on my face on a daily basis, I am a very lucky lady to have her.

Second big update is that we are in the process of buying a house! Which is also very exciting. Its an old converted coach house in Cheltenham. We had looked at a fair few and wanted to be a little more rural but discovered that our budget just didn’t get us the size we liked. John has many bikes, and I have many clothes of Fleurs and my own – so we needed something of a decent size really. We really enjoy having people over for dinner and to stay and our kitchen in the current flat is postage stamp sized, so a big must was a nice large kitchen with room for a table. After lots of disappointing viewings and some stressy and emotional weeks we found our house! We are going through the process at the moment and hoping to be in by end of April, fingers crossed. Just in time for summer evenings and BBQ weather which will be lovely.

Apart from that life is the same old really! I have developed a new found love for crocheting so doing much more of that and less sewing. Hopefully when we move and I can actually get to my machine (lots of bikes in the way currently) I will pick it back up again. I PROMISE to write again soon J

Friday, 10 October 2014

Reasons I am happy today...

1. I have the worlds most wonderful family
2. I just had some delicious home made veggie burgers for dinner
3. I have had a long week but doing a job I enjoy which earns me more than enough money to pay the bills
4. I can go to sleep in my home tonight safe - not as common as we think in the world
5. I am warm and cosy snuggled on the sofa
6. Today I saw a double rainbow:)
7. Tomorrow I get a lie in!
8. I am healthy and well
9. I have kind friends
10. I get to spend the weekend with my lovely boyfriend

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

You don't miss what you've got until it's gone...

It is a bit of a cliche saying but in many respects - SO true. We have all had those times when we wished we hadn't taken something/someone for granted and now they are gone you miss them so much. Well this weekend I had that very feeling. John and I went down to Bournemouth to see our wonderful 8 friends from University. We lived and studied in Bournemouth for 3 years with this incredible bunch, and god do I miss them! We are now all dotted around the country in our various jobs, and the fact we now only get two days off a week (rather than 7 as a student!) we rarely see each other. In fact, it was the very first time we had all been back together since leaving Uni over a year ago. It was just like it always is, ridiculous amounts of fun and laughter and really great to see them all so happy in their lives. On Friday, John and I went for dinner with Abi and Chrissie, the others didn't arrive until Saturday. We went to La Tasca for some tapas, and a good catch up. The others all arrived on Saturday, and despite the weather forecast predicting grey skies and rain we got some great weather. We relaxed in the gardens and had dinner together in the evening. I managed to catch up with everyone on how their jobs were, how Iain's holding out- he is training to be a barrister (hard work), how Becky's travels were and what her next trip will be, where will Lauren move to next, Abi's holiday plans, George's career options, Chrissie's moving plans and what we will do when she lives only an hour away. It was truly lovely. Sunday, John and I had half marathon training to do (no rest for the wicked) so we headed down to the seafront nice and early and had a fantastic 60 minute run. My ankle has been quite sore the past week, I am not sure what I have done to it and it was starting to worry me, but a nice long run seemed to blow the cobwebs away leaving my ankle feeling stronger than ever. There were plenty of people down at the beach, even at 9am they were all cycling, swimming, running, or just relaxing in their beach huts while the kids frolicked in the sand. It was a peaceful atmosphere at that time, nothing like a couple of hours later when the crowds decend! We all had breakfast together before we each had to depart on our respective journeys back home. We did all say we must do it again, and sooner this time. For me, it was a bitter sweet weekend, so absolutely wonderful, but it did make me miss being around the corner from them all, it made me miss giggling in lectures, popping in for dinner, or to watch a film, or to go to the beach. I am so unbelievably lucky to have had three years with them and down by the sea :)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Bye Bye M25

 I am no longer a resident of the M25 area! Woooooo! I cannot express just how happy it makes me not to have to drive on that dreaded road every weekend! So, as part of the graduate scheme I am on I am doing a new 9 month placement in Bristol. As John already lives in Cheltenham, we decided it would be nice to live together. We know the area now as John has lived there a while, and its a lovely town. We got ourselves a nice little flat close to the M5 to enable me to get to Bristol promptly. It is still really close to John's office though he only has a five min walk. The move was, well, a bit manic to say the least. I hired a man with a van - can't go wrong. Loaded all my stuff, of which I have far too much, in Crawley, drove four hours to Cheltenham, drove to new flat, unloaded my stuff, drove to Johns flat, loaded Johns stuff, drove to new flat, unloaded Johns stuff. Phew. Lots of heavy objects, lots of stairs and 28 degree heat. It was exhausting stuff. Our nice van man left us to it, and we thought it would be wise to decorate before unpacking. So Friday evening and Saturday was spent doing a lot of painting. I think it will be a while before I take a career as a painter/decorator. I managed to get paint in a lot of places it shouldn't be (skirting boards, plugs, lights etc) whooops. Although hard work, it was so worth it as now the bedroom is a bright white with one blue wall rather than sicky green! No sicky green headaches for us in the mornings. On Sunday, Janet and Neville came to help us build the wardrobes. Well, Neville helped John, whilst Janet sorted screws and did our ironing (star!) and I made cups of tea (essential to any DIY task). So come Sunday evening we were pretty much exhausted. We had sorted the bedroom though and unpacked all but our clothes. It felt so nice to be in our first home together - one that we can make ours. We have had a great first week, both a little tired as still lots to do, and I have started my new role too. I've been to Crawley and Basingstoke in my first week so again, a little manic! But at least we wont be bored hey. We have had lots of cards from friends and family with well wishes for our new little home, which is so lovely. This weekend brings a trip to Ikea - for those much needed home items, oh, and Dime bars mmmm.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A trip up the M1

This weekend I have taken a rather long trip, around the M25, and up the M1 to see my lovely family. By family, I mean Mum and Nana as Fraz is currently in Thailand and Russ was busy working. The trip up was a bit of a ballache. M1 on a Friday- I should have known better really. 5 hours it took. I got there in the end though. As much as I love the south, there is something really homely and special about Sheffield. I love how you can be so close to the Peak District yet still be so close to the city centre too. I love all the little independent restaurants and shops, something you don't see a lot of in many cities these days. So what did we get up to? Well Friday night I was pretty shattered so we got an early night. Saturday morning, John, Mum and I went to a cafe we found last month. One of our wonderful friends Hazel recommended it and it was nothing short of brilliant! They do a delicious brekkie so we all tucked in; that set us up for the day. I had to go into town to collect my photos from the exhibition as it ends today (sob). So we did that, and had a mooch around town. We went to the winter gardens and had a browse around the museum at the back. All over the city centre there are yellow bikes placed, to mark the start of the Tour De France in a few weeks. That will be the next time we are up north, to watch that! Sheffield is a city that takes pride in its heritage and people from the city, as well as what is happening there, so it was great to see the Tour being promoted in such a creative way. We headed home and had a simple but tasty dinner,even Mum enjoyed my veggie cooking! Today we met up with the lovely Mark and Liz, and went for a walk with our cameras. This was the first time we had met Mark and Liz properly, so it was great to put a face to a name and have a good old natter. And even the weather was good! On leaving Mark and Liz we met up with Nana, Mimi and their brother, Uncle Anthony and his wife Elaine for some lunch. The 5 hour drive there and 4 hour drive back was so worth it. Nothing can compare to spending some quality time with loved ones, in a city you love, enjoying good food, walks and laughing lots :)