Sunday, 25 September 2011

Happy Golden Anniversary!!

A couple of weeks ago Mum, Dad, my sister Claire and her husband Paul and my neice Megan flew over to celebrate Mum and Dads' Golden Wedding Anniversary. They stayed in a lovely gite down the road which is run by Mags and Keith (see the link on the right)and we went out for a lovely meal in Limoges to celebrate and cooked a bit of our home produced pork as a Sunday lunch.

We also took Megan to a wonderful zoo park just outside of Limoges which I would recommend if anyone is in the area and likes wildlife.

Neils Workshop

At last the workshop is up and running (and needing some more equipment apparently?!!!) it looks fantastic don't you think?

The Musical Ride

Even a few days before the show the practice sessions for the musical ride were a bit of a shambles to say the least - school holidays, changes of riding patterns and more than a few senior moments were making me wish that we had had a lot more practice. The final rehearsal was a complete disaster - with our 13 year old rider being spectacularly dumped. It was a long time before she could be persuaded to get back in (a different) saddle and even then mistake after mistake led me to think we were heading for a complete disaster.

I kept telling myself that it was only a small show and that it didn't matter, but months of preparation (for a handful of us) made me want to do it and do it well, but I did have somewhat of a sinking "it's going to be a disaster" feeling as the day dawned.

The weather forcast wasn't good, and we were pleasantly suprised when the morning dawned clear and sunny, so that at least made us feel a bit more positive. The Fresians that Jane and I were riding had scrubbed up well and we loaded them up, drove to the showground and managed to get all the horses in a handful of stables by doubling up the social Fresians.
We were then treated to a free lunch and some wine (which was very well appreciated). I had heard dreadful reports of the lunch, but apart from some extremely fatty pork accompanied by some beans that had had the life boiled out of them it wasn't too bad

After the lunch we realised that rather than the three oclock that we thought we were going to be riding, we were supposed to be on at four and then as the events got further and further delayed it was going to be more like five. Few of the horses are used to standing idle in a stable and were getting a bit bored. Just as it was our turn to get ready the original weather forcast kicked in and it started to rain as we were getting on.
Most of the spectators headed off and the remaining stragglers started putting up their umbrellas. I don't know what it is with horses and umbrellas, but unaccustomed to them, as well as audiences plus some riders nerves made our normally calm horses start to panic slightly, and as we rode down towards the arena a few of them started playing up.

I managed to get a woman, her umbrella and two small kids to move away from the fenceline as my horse was going to go nowhere near them and in a bit of a panic we tried to get on with the ride.

I can laugh about it now, but there were several points during the ride that I turned a corner and faced horses that weren't supposed to be in front of me - but Jane and I just doggedly carried on and our supportive families said that to the untrained eye not much of it was too noticeable. During the ride the sun came out again, so in the photos it just looks like a bright sunny day with no spectators!!!!!

It's a shame but it just felt like a bit of a relief when it was all over with no casualties!!!


  1. Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad, bit belated but Golden is quite something.

    The workshop, well what can I say, it looks wonderful, well done Neil it has been worth all the effort you have put into it. Now I want to see what it produces :-)

    Hope that fencing around the lion is more secure that it looks in the photo........

    Sorry the musical ride has so many problems but as you say I bet most of the people watching would not have noticed if there had been a mistake so long as you all just kept going. Is there going to be one next year?

    Take care, I am off to the UK on the 6th Oct, not looking forward to it this year but if all goes as planned we will be back home soon. Will send you an email. Diane xx

  2. Yes, you just can't see the glass in the photo - I would recommend the zoo though Diane - it's in Le Vigen, I'm not really a lover of locked up animals, but it was a vast improvement on the last zoo I went to.
    Hope you can enjoy the UK and your plans to come back soon come off xxxx

  3. Hi this is my first time on your blog. I came through my friend at Food Fun and Life in the Charente. One of my blog readers is an artist who loves to draw horses. I mentioned that I had seen some Friesians horses on a post and she wished to visit it, but I could not remember exactly where. Now I believe it was a post from Diane on F, F and Life in the Charente and about your horses. Here is Margaret’s post, from North Carolina, who is an artist: http://margaretbednar.blogspot.com/. I’ll tell her to come to yours. By the way, being French, and meaning no disrespect I’d like to say that we would rather say “soyez calme et continuer” or “garder le calme, et continuer” I can’t explain why but that’s the way it would be said. I’ll come back to look at your adventures.

  4. What a super photograph of your parents!

    The musical ride sounds like the thing on your side bar

    Garder calme et continuer!

  5. Hi there, thankyou so much for your comments Vagabonde - I have french lessons every week and am learning very slowly so I am always happy to be corrected on my French. I will have a look at Margarets page, I love to see drawings of horses. Thanks for visiting xx

  6. Helen it's a great photo - I was really pleased with it! The musical ride was exactly like that but I stand corrected on my French and will change to more proper French thanks to Vagabonde!x

  7. Yes but you had a go at that ride, Roz, and that is important. Great workshop! Bet it does not stay quite so tidy, and I bet it gets filled up quite quickly! Nice photo of your family ..... it looks like you are moving along nicely with your life here in France.

  8. guess so Vera - I am lucky to have the fresians to ride. Neil is going to try really hard to keep the workshop tidy - but if it's anything like the rest of the house.......!!


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