Saturday, 11 January 2014

The 24 days of Christmas 2014

Here, all together in one blog, are my Facebook posts from the 24 days of leave I took for Christmas and New Year 2014.

The first day of Christmas

Great time reminiscing about Bucks Fizz over dinner at the gloucester old spot

The second day of Christmas

Well it's the second day of Christmas and we're watching Strictly Come Dancing! Had a lovely ride on Jazz this morning and then off to Gloucester for some Christmas shopping; managed to get my Discovery floor mats even though the Stratstone parts department was closed for stock taking!! Cleared three loads of muck before the weather turned. Had a great time yesterday as reflected in my collage. And who knows how the cricket will develop?

The third day of Christmas

The third day of Christmas involved more cricketing gloom, a chance to ride Jazz and Elliott before the rain set in, a Christmas present run to Debbie Powell and Richard and William and carol singing at Bulley Church. I wrote this last night but just managed to delete it! Work today for two can't miss meetings!

The fourth day of Christmas

Well it's the fourth day of Christmas and I'm afraid I've spent all day at work. Not sure I achieved a lot but at least I managed to buy Judith some beautiful flowers while I was in Barnwood, together with six Christmas bottles of Badgers Golden Champion (aka Jazz!) for myself. Judith tells me I'm on stables in the morning and hopefully I'll get to see her lesson with Vincenzo in the afternoon. It was my Uncle Tony's Birthday today the same day as we received their Christmas card from Australia. Talking of Australia is it worth getting up early to listen to a historic rear guard action by the England tail or will it all be over by 04:00am??

The fifth day of Christmas

Judith and Vincent
Harvey on Guard
Well that was the fifth day of Christmas and what a long day it's been. Started
at 03:00am with us at least batting until lunch in the Ashes although we were all out just afterwards, mucking out 2 stables in glorious sunshine while Harvey kept guard and then rode Jazz in the same, off to AMD to see how well J is getting on with V now, very impressive! Painting stable walls before it was time for tea and Dressage on the TV. Super win for CDJ and emotional goodbye for Alf. Falling asleep!! - feeling exhausted at Hillside House.

The sixth day of Christmas

IP Cameras are us!
The sixth day of Christmas draws to a close, a day of Tesco click and collect and painting stable walls. Terrible weather and again I'm falling asleep but next job is the security cameras and then extra stable lights. — feeling tired at Hillside House.

The seventh day of Christmas

After last nights dreadful weather the seventh day of Christmas dawned clear and sunny. The plan was to finish painting Elliott's stable and then box him up and take him over to AM Dressage Ltd for a lesson followed by a lesson on Vin. As I drove the box out the gate I realised the view wasn't quite as usual due to one of the trees having been blown over by the wind. So after holding it up (sort of) to let Judith drive out and off, I spent the next half an hour pulling it over with the Land Rover Discovery 4 and then out of the way.

 After sweeping the road and drive and dealing with some 'phone calls for work I set off and arrived at AMD in time to catch the end of Elliott's lesson. He looked great and it is wonderful to see how everyone loves him. After a bite to eat it was time for the not so secret Santa rounds and then Vincent's lesson. Vincent and Judith have come on leaps and bounds in the last few months, the partnership has gelled and it will soon be time for that first competition!

 We brought both Elliott and Vincent back with us, a slightly edgy experience due to the fact that it started raining, one of the warning lights decided to play up in the lorry and of course the boys were doing a bit of firking in the back!

 But we got them home without incident, cleared all the tack out the lorry (how can one horse have so much stuff?), gave them their tea and then toasted the future with a lovely bottle of Prosecco; cheers! — feeling happy at Hillside House.

The eighth day of Christmas

The eighth day of Christmas started with the dentist and finished with spend, spend, spend at PC World and Staples with a good ride on Jazz in between. Just got to master Windows 8 and then I'll be away.


The ninth day of Christmas

Office takes shape
The ninth day of Christmas has marked the winter solstice which is good news because it means summer is just around the corner! I was on mucking out duty first thing and Jazz had a day off and was a superstar and didn't roll in the mud. Off to Gloucester to pick up PC and new desk. This
involved working out how to move the rear seats in the Discovery to create sufficient space. I also put Vincent's plaque up and carried out some running repairs to the hearth. Starting to pull things together in the new office. Watched Strictly and glad Abbey won.

The tenth day of Christmas

The 10th day of Christmas and I've had power to the new PC and managed a bit of browsing! So far so good, loving the 27 inch monitor. All in all a good day on which we celebrated Harvey's 11th Birthday. All three horse were ridden in bright sunshine in between the heavy showers. We've cleaned the house ready for M-I-L's visit and we've got a huge stash of firewood. — at Hillside House

The eleventh day of Christmas

Anybody needing a weather update at the moment then I can tell you it's forking horrendous! — feeling petrified at Hillside House.

The twelfth day of Christmas

So Christmas Eve has been the twelfth day of Christmas and it's been quite productive getting the computer up and running and everything in place around the computer desk. Next jobs are getting Nero 2014 loaded and running and the Serif software moved across from the old PC. I wonder how that will work? Hopefully they won't fight!!
 It's great having two screens although I'm not really sure how you use the second one. I'm sure that will become clear once I've got loads of windows open. M-I-L is installed and seems to run on a 20 minute loop around thinking she's in Birmingham and then asking what the cat's called; thankfully she'll be gone by Boxing Day. And I didn't have to go and fetch her as the floods subsided as quickly as they rose.
 Haven't ridden for a couple of days so that's top of the list for the morning. Did manage to get Jazz into his field although he soon wanted to come back in, well the others were calling.
 Must check to see if ITunes are running the 12 days of Christmas this year.
 So Merry Christmas everybody, especially those in NZ and Oz where I guess it's Christmas already!

The thirteenth day of Christmas

So that's the thirteenth day of Christmas completed and what a beautiful day it's been. Sunshine and a slight breeze, so all horses ridden and allowed out in their paddocks. Really impressed with J and Vincent they're coming along so well and she's riding him so positively. Lots of lovely presents given and received and even found time to watch Dr Who on the television. Didn't understand it but Hey Ho it's the graphics that count!
Bit of a job getting M-I-L up the stairs to bed but mission completed now accomplished. I-tunes has changed again so that's a bit of a nuisance just as I'm getting used to the new PC.
Oh and enjoyed the food fight in East Enders.

Racing tomorrow and West Ham vs Arsenal on BT Sport but internet is so slow I think that will be out of the question. — at Hillside House

What a beautiful Christmas Day!

The fourteenth day of Christmas

The fourteenth day of Christmas started lovely and has ended with more wind and rain. Blowing hard again tonight. M-I-L has gone home so peace has returned to Hillside House. Had a good ride on Jazz this morning and it's mostly been stable duties today. Got the wireless printer set up so final job will be loading the Nero 2014 software and then having a tidy up.

 AP McCoy had a good win, West Ham took the lead but lost in the end. Couldn't get to see it on BT sport. Enjoyed the David Walliams programme and Death Comes to Pemberley, watched Open All Hours but found it a little slow. — feeling great at Hillside House.

The fifteenth day of Christmas

Nice walk in Bulley Woods
So that was the fifteenth day of Christmas. Another wild and windy one but nice to get out for a walk with Harvey and Judith this afternoon. SERIF have told me that my software licenses cover two machines so downloading the video editor before uploading NERO.
 Need to get on with some of my other jobs now and prepare for Home Farm on Sunday.

 Enjoying Pemberley on the HDTV. I like the blokes gear and I'm thinking I could have worn some of their stuff. But I think they're overdoing the split image of the horse riders through the glass! — at Hillside House.

The sixteenth day of Christmas

Vincent enjoys the sunshine
Sixteenth day of Christmas. Horse ridden and tack cleaned for Home Farm tomorrow.

 Enjoyed Pemberley just amazed and what you can see with the HD TV. For example did you notice that the collar on Colonel Fitzwilliam's tunic was frayed and dirty? I didn't know if this was for the sake of accuracy or simply they couldn't be bothered to clean it. Put me right off the dialogue! — at Hillside House.

The seventeenth day of Christmas

A very tiring seventeenth day of Christmas. Took Jazz off to Home Farm Equestrian Centre for the unaffiliated dressage competition. Unfortunately I messed up both tests by forgetting where I was in Novice 34 and messing up the right canter in Novice 30. Never mind it was a good afternoon out so thanks to Gary and Jilly for putting it on, thanks to J for support and coaching and turning Jazz out so wonderfully and thanks for Judith Murphy 's very fair judging.

 Have now got the PC fully functional and have edited my first two videos on it since I got back. Currently uploading to YouTube. I have also put a post on the BD forum announcing Harveywetdog's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" video so that has helped viewing figures for the channel.

 Will go to Derby tomorrow. — feeling tired at Hillside House.

The eighteenth day of Christmas

The eighteenth day of Christmas was remarkable for a lovely post by Italian Eventer Stefano Fioravanti, some wet and windy weather and a trip to Derby to visit mum.

On the trip to Derby I started thinking about the next RDA musical ride; we scored 100% last time so it's a hard act to follow. I'm wondering if perhaps Debbie Powell can lay her hands on a couple of dry ice machines..........

The nineteenth day of Christmas

Well my nineteenth day of Christmas has been New Years Eve and has seen a visit from our excellent farrier Tim Challoner followed by an attack on installing my new security cameras. The notes I made last time came in very useful and I've completed the difficult part now.

 Today is also famous for Vincent not just rolling but ROLLING!!! He was plastered; Jazz on the other hand was perfect and picked delicately at the grass all day. That thoroughbred breeding shows through all the time.

 I've made some progress with the RDA music as well so that's cool.

 So Happy New Year, don't think we'll make it to midnight.

The twentieth day of Christmas

Setting up the cameras
Well New Years Day was my twentieth day of Christmas and it bucketed it down all day. What a deluge! West Ham lost, Sherlock wasn't brilliant but I did update the software on J's iPhone and I did complete the security camera installation. Vincent goes back to school tomorrow so the holidays are coming to an end.

The twenty-first day of Christmas

Very enjoyable twenty-first day of Christmas watching Judith ride Elliott and Justine ride Vincent. Amazing to see how well both horse perform; Elliott is still improving and I've been so impressed with the Vinster this Christmas. Shame his stable at Hillside House is empty tonight but he didn't seem too bothered when we left him at AMD. Hopefully take some video of him tomorrow.

RDA track completed and posted off. — at Hillside House.

The twenty-second day of Christmas

Justine rides Vincent
Well two days to go and that has been my 22nd day of Christmas. And boy it continues to rain! A48 closed
for a little while today due to river coming over the flood defences at Minsterworth. However we managed to get through to AMD and watch the Vinster being put through his paces by Justine Sole. I am confident that Vin is going to have a great year in 2014!
 Then it was off to Gloucester for a pre-return to work haircut and a trip to Tesco to stock up the larder. Have decided next week has to be a no alcohol week to allow my liver a chance to recover.
 Seem to be spending a lot of time changing light bulbs at the moment?
 Have finished uploading all my software onto the new PC so it is all systems go for the first event of 2014 and next Harveywetdog production!
 I wonder where we'll be with the cricket in the morning?— at Hillside House.

The twenty-third day of Christmas

The 23rd day of Christmas and it has actually been quite reasonable weather wise. Bit of rain but not windy so a chance to ride Jazz and get on with some of those outstanding jobs. Fixed one light but one of the outside lights looks to have died so it will be back to B&Q for a simpler model. I'm not sure the energy saving light bulbs save a lot of money in the long run!
 Rearranging the field fencing so the boys can go out on the drier sloping part. Won't dare take the car on the field though to move the field shelter; that would definitely be a bad end to the holiday!!
Steak and chips and red wine for tea; very tasty.

The twenty-fourth day of Christmas

There you have it; the 24th day of Christmas brings my period of leave to an end on a day which has seen England suffer an Ashes whitewash in the cricket and West Ham go down 5-0 in the FA Cup!!

 Started this morning finishing off the fencing from last night with slight interruption when we realised the neighbouring field was being overrun by the flock of sheep from next door but one. I imagine there was 100+ sheep running over the crop and Jazz was not amused when he saw them. Luckily the farmer was quick to get them back where they should be and we were able to get the boys out for a couple of hours before it started raining again.

After that today was all about tidying up. I do still have a bulkhead light to fix but I think I'm going to try and source a new design so that can wait. Very enjoyable bonfire of bits and pieces in the rain. Slight emergency when I thought one of the IP Cameras had packed up but it was just a case of a dodgy power lead.

 Back to work tomorrow..................................

IP Cameras in place and stable walls painted