Showing posts from October, 2011

Show jumping nostalgia

Stroller, Raimondo d'Inzeo, Vibart... ROYAL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW <p><p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p></p>

The ideal Christmas gift

always providing you're not buying a book, of course.

I am weak

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by someone who wanted to sell me their old Riding magazines. Any email like that is always two edged: hurrah, because there are still plenty I lack, particularly from the 1950s, and wince, because of recent months, what with writing the book and all, I haven't been very good in keeping on top of what I've bought. There were piles of elderly equestrian magazines all over the place in my office.  So, I screwed my courage to the sticking place, and sorted. I now know what I've got, and what I haven't . There are duplicates, which in one way is good, as now when people ask me if I have any for sale I can say yes. As long as they don't want the duplicates I want, that is. I've had a pile of magazines from the 1930s sitting in a thoughtful pile since the sort out. They are  duplicates, because I have bound copies of all the 1930s editions. The thing with bound copies though, is that they don't have the front covers. And I

War Horse - Fact and Fiction

The National Army Museum has an exhibition opening on 22nd October (and running until August 2012): War Horse, Fact and Fiction . It takes Michael Morpurgo's War Horse  as a hook on which to hang the rest of the exhibition, which is illustrated with artefacts from the Museum's collection, "encouraging visitors to think about the millions of War Horses who have supported the British Army across time". Entry is free. If you've read the book, you'll know that it opens with a description of a picture hanging in a village hall, which shows Joey, as painted by the man who rode him into war.  Although Iddesleigh, the village, exists, as does the village hall, the picture up until now has been a complete fiction. Equine artist Ali Bannister has now made fiction fact. Michael Morpurgo has commissioned her to do two portraits, and one will hang in the village hall.  There's an example of the picture on The Times site - sadly it's behind a paywall.  If I can

Miscarriage - why is treatment sometimes so bad?

When things go wrong, my first instinct is to come out fighting, generally in a loud and ranty way which I have had to learn to tone down over the years. A soft answer turneth away wrath, or at any rate is often more likely to get you what you want. That sort of thing. So why didn't I protest after my first miscarriage; when the care I received was variable, and certainly in the case of my GP, incredibly insensitive? Who decided it "not relevant" for me to be told the sex of my baby (which, after a baby is born whole at 16 weeks is completely obvious), nor "relevant" for me to be told the results of the post mortem. Why, when basically told to go away and shut up, did I do precisely that? When told by friends and relations to complain, shrivel up and say no? Because I quite simply couldn't, is the answer. I was wracked by guilt and grief. During my stay in hospital, I'd made several (unsuccessful) attempts to find out about the baby I'd had. When

Horses wear leg warmers

Look! Here! This is a yarn bomb - here is the deed in progress . (And any time Dilly Tante wants to yarn bomb my  hen house, she is welcome). Through the graveyard, over the electric fence. No problem.

Fancy dress. Sort of. With dogs.

Here is my dog, styled as a dog. A spoiled dog, who is allowed on the sofa, but a dog. Here is a dog which is well, not .

Morning walk


The deep dark bits: miscarriage

I don’t generally blog about me; well, I do, but in the I did this sense, rather than I felt this, or here are the deep, dark bits of my life sense.  This blog is going to be an exception. Once I was editor of the newsletter of my local NCT branch. The first issue I did was on miscarriage. I wrote about mine; a friend wrote about hers, and the Miscarriage Association wrote about what needed to be done by the NHS to improve how women and their partners were treated during and after miscarriage. We said things like: don’t put miscarrying women in wards with women having terminations, or worse still in ante natal wards. Treat women sensitively. That was 17 years ago. Mumsnet is starting a campaig n on how the medical service should treat miscarriage, and I’m sure you can work out what they’re asking for.  17 years later, not a lot has changed. What happened to me is still being repeated, and what we asked for then still has to be asked for now. Miscarriage is still not something that i

How do you tell when a camel's overbent?


Round up

Here is the cover for Susanna Forrest's long awaited book: It's out in March 2012, and you can read more about it here : Susanna says it far better than I ever could so have wimpishly not attempted to summarise. Linda Newbery has written about the danger of horses, and some of what was going on in her mind when she wrote The Damage Done . And if you like commercials, there are some gems here at Fran Jurga's The Jurga Report . And at Piccalilli Pie, the purples of a North Western American autumn .


I'm decorating the house for autumn.  Ha ha. Of course I'm not. It had never even occurred to me, I must admit, but I do every now and then read blogs where people do this.  I'm actually very glad that they do, as I like to look on at those wonderfully decorative lives that are completely, utterly and absolutely unlike mine, which is frankly rather pants at the moment, for one reason and another. Even if I had the time, I know I wouldn't fill it with craft projects and decorating stuff, as what I do when I have any spare time is take the dog out and charge around the fields, or dive into a slowly rotting pile of ancient horse literature, seeking what I might find. Because that is my idea of a good time.  But I like to look at other people's crafts and decorative lives and appreciate what they do. Just as well we're all different, as I'd hate it if there was more competition than there already is when it comes to acquiring ancient and slightly smelly horse

Even the walls

My parents didn't really do wallpaper - at least in the sense of applying any more.  Our house had elderly and dodgy plasterwork, and my parents took the view that removing the wallpaper covering it would only cause a lot of problems no one really needed, and what was wrong with paint, after all? This did mean I didn't get horsy wallpaper. Riding, August 1960 I would have liked horsy wallpaper. Our playroom had a field sports wallpaper with pheasants on it that I was very fond of. Shooting was a field sport, as was hunting, and hunting had horses, and that I knew was as close as I was going to get to wallpaper with horses on, so that pretty loose association satisfied me. Fortunately for my parents, I had no idea the examples above existed.  And in all those colour ways too.  It is incredibly frustrating to have no idea at all of what the wallpapers would have looked like in the full colour flesh. Well, two colour flesh if I have read the copy correctly. Imagine the s