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Friday, 30 December 2005

It’s official


My last ride of the year at school was rather nice, back on 13th December. We went through the hill of not-so-orange trees again, although Clyde was a little lazy and we didn’t get to gallop, even though everyone else did. His girth was also a little loose - maybe he’s losing weight since our regular excursions! But that could be why he didn’t want to go so fast.

I have enjoyed riding in the autumn this past term, and even though Autumn is long gone and officially over, and the brown-leaved trees will be bare when I next ride, I’m sure winter hacking will be just as much fun…watch this space.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2005

My lessons of 2005


What I have learned is this (I’ll tell it in the form of an accessible piece of lyrical prose): Swans are white, yeah? Well, if I go to New Zealand, the swans are black; does this mean they are not swans? The lesson is: one cannot always rely on empirical knowledge.

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Monday, 26 December 2005

On the second day of Christmas/first day of Kwanzaa…


I still have a bunch of presents piled up under my Christmas


pot plant when I get home, but for those unlucky souls whose Christmas celebrations are over, I thought I’d remind you of the true meaning of this holiday:

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. According to Dan Brown, the bones of Mary Magdeline rest below the place pictured above.
Kwanzaa, on the other hand…well, we’re just not sure about that one.

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Saturday, 24 December 2005

But do they know it’s Kwanzaa time?


Hooray, it’s Kwanzaa time again! Nearly…

The Kwanzaa fairy wishes you all a very merry Christmas.

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Thursday, 22 December 2005



Today is hannah’s birthday. She is 17 today. In the above picture, hannah is to the left. The odd thing is, her eyes are not brown!

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Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Chestnuts roasting in the heat of the outdoor sun…


No wonder Christmas songs are more appropriate to the Northern hemisphere, eh? Actually, I rather embarrassed myself today by trying to sing some popular Christmas songs and not knowing the words or the tune…

Tomorrow morning I leave for South Africa, where we will spend Christmas with rebecca, above (really, that’s her - not a statue!), the Durban familly, brends, and liam. After that, it’s to Cape Town, where we will have New Year with the family there.

While I’m away, I’m not sure how much posting time there will be, so I’ve got an automated one coming up every couple of days at most.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2005



Saturday was aaron’s birthday, which he shares with C�sar Franck, b. 1822.

Ever wanted to know what was happening on this day in previous years? Well, apparently:

1996 - Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2003 - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit.

but what were the Americans were doing that day?...

2003 - In the most-attended basketball game in history, 78,129 watch Michigan State University lose 79-74 to the University of Kentucky at Ford Field.

Today is also Republic Day in Malta (since 1974) and is St. Lucy’s day (or St. Lucia’s day in Sweden).

dylan was also born today, 21 years ago.

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Wednesday, 07 December 2005



More riding today - it was lots of fun, as usual. We went very quickly, and had a lot of cantering and quite a few gallops, even. I love galloping; it is very smooth, as at such a fast pace there is hardly any bouncing. It is actually almost a bit like a seated trot in that sense.

It was a very eventful ride: Flash lost her saddle, and while we stopped, I let Clyde onto the outside lawn of a country house (at least that bit belongs to the Council!), accidentally, and somehow we ended up in front of Roxy, around the middle of the ride. Needless to say, there was trouble; the next time we were cantering along, I felt a jerk, and nearly went over Clyde’s head - he had bucked at Roxy! Next time we stopped, I got him to the back where we’re comfortable. At least that way we go quickly, because he doesn’t like to be left behind!

Today I got a scratch from some holly while we were cantering through a rather narrow forest path. Yesterday was Holly’s birthday.

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Friday, 02 December 2005

Biting, stalling, and Roxy


For some reason the blog wasn’t working yesterday, but I will continue with the story of my ride on Tuesday.

Normally, Clyde and I ride behind Bonnie; on Tuesday, however, someone from our group was ill, and we rode behind Roxy. It should be mentioned that Roxy seems to dislike Clyde; we cannot stand near her, as she gets all upset, and she gave several warning kicks when she felt we got too close during the ride—it’s not our fault she’s slow! I have heard Clyde refered to as “the biter” by people who know the stables; I’ve never seen this to be true, although I’m not sure if he did steal a few friendly nibbles from Roxy’s bottom on the hack. At one point, she stopped still, turned around and positively glared at Clyde before trotting on to catch up. She was constantly trotting up to William, as well. Honestly!

Clyde is perfectly friendly with the other horses and ponies. He and William shared a few horse-kisses while we were stopping on Tuesday, and none of the others seem to have a problem with him! So I guess it must just lie with Roxy.

During our ride we had a rather nice canter (on more solid ground - it was a bit uncomfortable when the ground was muddy or too leafy) through an avenue of the above tree, although I couldn’t notice the orange stuff (see bigblue’s entry) and we were going quite fast. There was also another hilly area in the forest, which was nice, too. Put me in mind for a mountain trek in Lesotho.

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