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I don't like Wednesdays

♥Nov. 25th, 2015 // 08:17 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1123061.html]

At least, I don't like Wednesdays when Mike has to go to London. Particularly when he has to be there relatively early....

Today, we chucked the boys into the field and I did a bit of mucking out while Mike showered, then we headed off to Ashford and I left Mike at the station and went to kill some time at the Designer Outlet Village: his train was at 9:30ish, my Pilates class starts at 11 (but I like to be there by ten to because parking is a nightmare and you have to be quick to snap up the spaces that the previous class were using as they leave). I failed to know, and Mike failed to tell me, that the shops don't open until 10, so I spent a bit of time walking around and then went for a hot chocolate. As soon as the shops opened, I dived into M&S and bought some jogging bottoms, because it's kinda chilly out there and I was dressed for Pilates....

(My actual plan was to buy some nice Pilates-suitable clothes, but all the sports shops had was hideous fluorescent and/or pink-or-teal-or-purple running stuff. I know the sort of stuff I want, and indeed there are a couple of people in my class who wear it, but I have no idea what sorts of shops it comes from. Sigh. And, now that I think about it, a lot of it does tend towards the pink-or-teal-or-purple. But some of it's white and beige, so it must exist.)

Then I did Pilates, and discovered that I don't much like one-legged squats, a first impression that firmed up as the day went on. After Pilates, I came home, released the hound, had lunch while listening to the Autumn Statement, walked the pooch, and then did the rest of the stable jobs and tidied the kitchen. Foolishly, I sat down for ten minutes after that. It was a struggle to get off the sofa, let Next Door's dogs out to (fail to) have a wee, and bring the horses in.

Proper sit down came next, but falling asleep over my book sounded like a bad plan so I did some sewing instead before getting dinner ready to go and then driving back to Ashford to pick Mike up (yuck, I hate driving down the Roman road at that time of night: narrow and wiggly in places, no lights or cats eyes, and lots of traffic coming the other way to stop me seeing what's coming next. Made worse this evening by the fuckwit about 500 yards behind me with his full beam headlights on. He dimmed them every time a car came the other way, which was considerate of him, but then turned them back up again afterwards, which was not). Dinner, boys' bed time hay nets slightly early, collapse on sofa.

While I was 'making' dinner (dinner being frozen ragu, which I'd put in the oven before I went out, and dried -- the horror -- pasta), I called my parents, having had an answer phone message from Father while I was out. When he answered, he requested the complaints department. It turns out that last weekend Sister had been poking around in their fridge and found the bottle of ginger liqueur from last year's Christmas hamper. "What's this?" she asked interestedly, before saying "Oh, it's not been opened," and putting it back. My parents decided that they'd better at least try it before she came back and finished it off. (She has form for this sort of thing. I'm surprised she didn't just open it there and then, tbh.)

Now, I must confess that I've only ever had the stuff when it's about a month old, and it's pretty fiery. I don't know what happens to it if you leave it in the bottle for a year, but Mother took one sip and then poured hers back! (I suggested mixing it with lemonade next time.) Father seemed to be enjoying it, though, for all the complaints and questions about whether it was actually surgical spirits as a base.... He concluded that he would tell Sister to help herself next time she was poking around in the fridge, and have his camera ready when she took a gulp.

(Mother also got to score points on Father, as when he'd called and got the answer phone he'd hung up saying "Where are they? They can't be doing the horses at this time, in the dark!" and she'd replied "She's probably picking Mike up from the station." Father was ever so surprised to learn that Mother was right. Well, it keeps them amused!)
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Things

♥Feb. 27th, 2015 // 05:10 pm
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[xpost |http://flickgc.livejournal.com/1073021.html]

It's been a tiring few days, and lo: I am tired. And when I'm tired I get even worse about updating LJ, answering emails, and replying to text messages.

We've had various visitors, including my parents, which was nice (but tiring). On the plus side, my father did lots of DIY, which was helpful: Bugs now has a rack for his rugs, so they're not in a heap on the floor of the tack room.

Bugs seems to be settling in, although it was unhelpful of the weather to dump masses of rain on us just when it did: they couldn't go in the field on Friday or Saturday last week, so we had to have them all in the stableyard together, slightly earlier than I'd planned on letting them socialise as a group. There were a few scuffles, but nothing too bad: GB landed a few bites on Bugs, and Bugs landed a few kicks on GB, but no actual injuries. It dried out slightly, so they had three days in the top part of the field, which is now horribly churned up due to a combination of scrapping, Bugs still having shoes on his front feet, and GB being utterly determined to always stay between Bugs and the Baby (he seems to have slackened this policy now, thankfully). Then they had another two days in the stableyard, and transformed it into a good recreation of the Somme, so they just had to stay in their stables or be tied up all day today. They did get a bit of excitement in the form of a visit from the Back Lady, though. She pronounced them all fine, once she'd done a little bit of tweaking of Bugs.

We had a power cut in the early hours of Thursday morning, which Mike discovered was because the breaker had gone on the fish pond circuit and blown the whole thing. Fortunately, Fish Pond Guy was coming on Thursday anyway, to take out the old fountain and put the attachment on the pump to make it make a pretty jet of water. He declared the pump to be bust, which was annoying as it's less than a year old: Mike will be complaining, and then Fish Pond Guy will be back to fit the replacement. We've got a new pond cover as well, but it needs a little fettling to make it work properly: I suspect that we're going to end up removing a strip of grass around the pond and putting pebbles down, to make it possible for Mike to mow the lawn without having to move the cover each time.

Our bins didn't get emptied last Friday, which was annoying: the official reason is because there was -- shock -- a pair of traffic cones on either side of the gate when they arrived. Not blocking it, or anything, just, y'know, existing. The fact that it was raining may also have had something to do with it. There has followed a week of comedy and delight, including a reprise of the old favourite "But you don't have a wheely bin, you have purple sacks", some Twitter action from the local councillor, at least three failed "within two days" and, apparently, they will be emptied tomorrow. Honest.

(The cones, by the by, were put there by the road mending people, and thus the bin lorry would never have got to the reason for them. They've resurfaced a couple of meters of the road, and done the outside two thirds on a fair bit more. There are, of course, still places that need doing but that was the worst stretch. My current theory is that, back in October, the Amazing Vanishing Road Crew were supposed to put patches on all the problems and then these guys were booked to come and do the worst bits properly. Even though the AVRC vanished in an amazing fashion before doing their bit, the second booking still happened. I suppose that we'd better report it all again to see if the same thing happens next winter: there are now some nasty potholes on the flat part of the road as well.)

Project Grow Your Own is moving along, although the next stage is somewhat hampered by the fact that two of the planks in the side of one of the big planters have swelled in the wet and pinged out: I've emailed the people we got them from to complain. We've got to the stage of planting some of the seedlings out in bigger pots to grow on before they go out, although I'm a little worried by the germination rate of the early tomatoes. There is an actual pod on one of the mange tout plants, as well as masses of flowers, which is very silly.

And I am very tired and achy and brainless and tired. Now. Text messages, then at least some of my emails before I give up.
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