Tuesday, 31 January 2012

One down already.

Months that is. Last day of January already and how did that happen? It was just Xmas I know it was. then all of a sudden it was Burn's Night. We celebrated late, on 28th due to silly work schedules and I confess the Ogress overindulged in the haggis and mash department. Did feel unwell on the Sunday but SWIAR decided that the best thing for that would be a three hour walk in the forest. Turned out she was right, came back weary but feeling so much better in the tummy department. Furchildren had the best time and were uncharacteristically subdued on Monday!

The Ogress is still alledgedly excersising the Trekpaard, at least until Friday. Unfortunately today the Trekpaard did the excersising of the Ogress. He is out in what is known as the Moor; 20 plus acres (Scottish acres too, which are bigger!) of what I would describe as rough high ground and because the sun is shining on the righteous, he decided that today was not a day for trundling around the arena on a long line. Today he decided was the day to see how determined I was to find him. As I said there is 20 acres, there are trees, there is mud, quite a lot of rather deep mud. Vast as Trekpaard is, he is all but invisible in all that space. After half an hour I gave up and went back to the gate; at which point he sidled out from a copse of beech saplings at the far end of his playroom and pretended that he had only just noticed me. I wasn't fooled, horses have great hearing and I had been bellowing 'STRUAN' for 20 minutes and had walked right past his hiding place. I know when I'm being made a fool of!

Oh and remember the cactus? Yes they are thriving, all merrily growing in their pots, plotting the next phase of 'Operation Spine'. Stealth gifting will be inevitable I think, for my own safety. Plants are lovely but they can be as demanding as furchildren. Which leads me to the Sprouts: We bought them, planted them, cooed over their efforts to grow and congratulated each other on our first year of serious vegetable growing. Nothing though prepared me for the final phase; the harvesting. 'She Who' dug up all the overwinter veg on Sunday. I have sprouts. In the fridge, for supper last night and still more in a bucket awaiting my attention. Lots of them. Pounds of them. Sigh, I suppose they better find their way into the freezer if I don't want a steady diet of sprouts for the whole of next month! We are still trying to find room in the freezer around the kale, courgettes and leeks!  I can see us becoming a three freezer household soon. Yes we have two already. A large one for human food and a small one for canine. Somehow I just don't fancy bread that has spent even a week snuggled up with 2kg of minced green tripe. There are some things even a strong stomach wont tolerate!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Who's a silly billy then?

Oh bother it.
Got home after a frustrating day yesterday and suddenly realised the house was cold. Hmm, boiler  recently serviced, new oil tank in November. Oops, that means...yup we are out of oil. Damn. Now have to ask neighbour very nicely if he will restart the boiler tomorrow after oil arrives. Been promised emergency delivery, thank goodness. This house is weird its very warm when heating and Aga are on, too warm and we don't have a thermostat in the house. There may be one on boiler. Note to self, ask neighbour if this is so. BUT if heating off you suddenly remember that most of house is one hundred years old. Ooh its nippy!
Off to see the film War Horse tonight. Have surprise free evening because SWIAR's horse, the Pompous Oldenburg has contact dermatitis on her precious little fetlocks and has decided to be both puffy legged and lame. Urgent treatment means that now duly slathered in petroleum jelly she is making a rapid recovery, but it means tonight is for Pizza and cinematography. Yeah!
My dear friends G and C are away just now soaking up the sun, sights, food and alcohol in Goa. I am in charge of exercising The Horse. Horse (The) is a Trekpaard and immensely cute in a massively huge kind of way. I trundled out to catch him today and called 'Struan!' at the gate. Next minute there is one tonne of Trekpaard approaching gate at a fair velocity and I am stuck in 8" of mud. 2nd note to self..call Trekpaard from outside the gate tomorrow! Luckily he stopped and I wasn't squished and he worked like a cherub, bless him. Hopeful of repeat performance tomorrow.
OK off to sit for an hour in front of blazing stove with coffee planning my Wednesday. I would write more here, but am losing the feeling in my extremities.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Ogress Growled

Oh dear.
I'm afraid I did. But I am not sorry. Someone was trying to make a ninny out of me and that sort of behaviour makes the Ogress very angry. I will do anything for anyone if they ask nicely, and do so frequently,but maneouvering me into a situation that means I don't have any choice but to do what is wanted.. ooh! Just don't go there. Really, don't.

I said in my very first entry that I have to mind my own business or someone else will mind it for me. How true that is. The words I dread to hear are "Can you just...." followed by the uncanny ability to ensure that whatever I was about to do that day has just neatly gone out of the window. And there is the endless conviction that I have nothing better to do. Huh? When did dogs learn to hoover up their own fur? When did we hire a dog walker/cook/cleaner/groom/kennel maid/laundress/administrator and general factotum? No they are all me. Plus giver of dressage lessons, dispencer of advice, rescuer of horses from the snow, children (occasionally) from schools, attendee to vets, farriers, saddlers and chaps who fix things. Maker of the wickedest vegetarian curries in the known Universe. Anyone? Someone? No? All me then. So let me say, once and for all. I am a busy person. I Do Not Have Masses of Unused Time! Really! However if I DID ever have masses of unused time I would play my viola more, I would spend long afternoons with steaming cups of coffee writing novels to dazzle the world. I would paint more. I really would. I would spend more time at the pool, swimming. I would spend an occasional afternoon just watching a good movie with my dogs. I would not be sitting here just now in damp socks because I have just spent an hour traipsing around fields fetching horses out of the hail and trying to find a 3 yr old who just might have wanted to come in. She didn't as it happened; very happy in the snow playing with pony and foal friends. But I tried, I really tried to give her choices. Lets hope when she grows up she likes me more than her big sister does! That mare can make a person feel soooo small. The expression is usually along the lines of "You're late/early/ in my way/fiddling too much with my rugs" She also tends to address me as 'Serf'. I know my place. (grins wryly). Ho with a capital Hum!

Yesterday I was attacked by a cactus, ungrateful wretch of a thing: I was given a few really mega cacti by a friend and decided yesterday to lavish them with TLC and new pots/compost. As I lifted the lasrgest pot the thing slipped and crashed back to the carpet, where a 14" beast that lookes rather like a small and deadly prickly pear exploded into a zillion bits all over the room and spraying me with micro fine vicious spines. In 3 seconds they were in my clothes and gloves and mounting a frontal attack on the Ogressly personage. Man that was sore! It took two hours, a shower, a pot scrubber and a total change of clothes to repel the beastie, and now instead of one I have lots. Many. I just bet every bit I replanted grows into a new lethal weapon. Plants do that to me. I shove them in dirt and they multiply, sometimes to extreme. I may need to do some stealth gifting of vicious little brutes in a few months!

So it really is now a dark and stormy night out there. I hope the horses were duly grateful for their early rescue and maybe tomorrow might be a quiet day!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

January, why so warm?

Oh do I hate mud! This time last year we were teetering around on the ice and snow. It looked like a return trip a few weeks ago... what happened? This is the Highlands! Who told it it was the South Coast? It's warm. It's wet and I do not not not like it! I know what to do with cold, you dress warm, you make stews and the horses stand by the gate hopefully ten minutes after you slither to the field with them. That I understand. Today it has been dry(ish) warm(ish) and not too windy. Three separate times I have driven up to the yard and asked the two Warmblood Divas if they wish to come in. On a cold wet day they wish to be rescued after about an hour. Today I feel like an unpaid doorman to a snooty Oldenburg and her equally stuck up Dutch friend. Neither fine skinned little Princess wanted to leave the ring feeder and I wasn't about to squelch my way through the mire to make them. Horses could make you nuts if you let them! But I'll guarantee that if its wet tomorrow they will cower by the gate looking hurt and miserable. The ultimate insult is that neither of them are actually mine, they have working owners so muggins plays nursemaid/servant/skivvy and doormat. Bless their long elegant noses...
Took myself off to Inverness today to buy Craghoppers for She Who Is Always Right, (unless I am!) and have remembered why I don't like towns. Got to destination, discovered that I didn't have the right coins for car park. Went to get coins and took 15 minutes including buying an item I didn't want to get said coins. Back to van. Repeat exercise only this time buy up the store's supply of Craghoppers in SWIAR's size for trip to Sweden. (Wolf Trekking, I ask you.. who does that???) Return to van and do battle with after school traffic, and third fruitless attempt to capture mares. All the while wondering why large well known stores make it so hard for you to look at merchandise and compare it. by giving you no space to put your choices down or to leave it whilst you look at another display. EBay is so much less of a bother...really it is. And you don't get snooty assistants talking in that bored voice only the utterly disenchanted can achieve. Amazon and EBay, my friends!
Right back to reality. She Who Is Always Right should be back any minute from the magical and incomprehensible world of business directorship to ride the snooty German. Revenge is sweaty! And it's just started to drizzle...ewww.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Rain and yet more rain.

It's almost midnight and I was going to bed. Then I looked at Facebook and it began to rain, now I'm wide awake and the brain is clanking relentlessly forward.
Had to rescue a sheep this afternoon. I don't like sheep, they are stupid creatures without characters, but I can't stand by and watch one be hurt. So there I was driving along our drive and there is a sheep; not as surprising as you might think, given that I live in the middle of a large farm. The silly animal had gotten its brain free head stuck in a gate and also through rylock wire and aforementioned head is being grasped firmly and not kindly by another neighbours large and quite scary Malamute. Luckily I know this dog is a coward so a good growly yell sent him scampering home. I could see his point, sheep seemed to be trying to enter his garden and was in his doggy mind therefore both fair game and property, somehow though I doubt that would be the view taken by either the sheep or its owner. Tiptoeing through inches of rainwater in my good shoes I suggested Mrs sheep remove herself and run away. Unfortunately, brain being a deficiency in the ovine per se she elected to try and fit her stupid self through the gap in the rylock and into malamute territory. The only recourse was to reach over the fence and rap her smartly on the nose to send her backwards and out of danger. Free at last she trundled away at a fair velocity for such a fat lump, not at all grateful for her rescue. That's sheep for you, she might at least have said Baaah!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Here comes 2012, the Olympics and snow.

Not necessarily in that order either. The snow is snowing presently and the Olympic mayhem is thankfully some way off. I will try hard to ignore it apart from the Dressage. This middle aged ogress dislikes sport. Especially if it tries to inclide me in its insanity. Dressage is actually an art form so it is permitted. At least it isn't synchronised swimming or ping pong. Enough about the sport already.
So I set up this blog last year and promptly forgot all about it whilst dealing with the worst year in recent memory. Well certainly in the last decade or so. Our lovely Ellie spaniel got very sick and went to the Rainbow Bridge. One of our horses had a horrendous accident and almost died. We have had leaking oil tanks, floods and water supply failures. Oh, and don't forget weather, in the Highlands you can rarely forget weather. We get such a lot of it; usually all at once.
Ok, well not going to forget blog again this year but right now a house full of hungry humans and a spaniel whose tummy is making awful squeaking noises indicating that she may well have digestive distress are calling louder than the written word. Wonder how you get pretty pictures and patterns on these things??