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Showing posts from August, 2008

Well done USA!

Blogging has been a bit sporadic: school holidays have eaten up my time. They always do, and it always takes me by surprise, every single time.

Still, I have found enough time to watch the showjumping. Excellent course building, and brilliant performances by the USA, and in particular Canada, with only 3 team members and therefore no discard score.

Of course the UK were also down to three after John Whittaker's Peppermill had a stiff back, but you would have thought from listening to the British commentating on the event on BBC that this was the sole reason we didn't do that well.

Well, Canada only had three and they still managed to finish in silver medal position.

And huge congratulations too to Mara Yamauchi, who came 6th in the Women's Marathon. Whilst on the subject of Olympic gripes, the huha over Paula Radcliffe in the Marathon makes me cross; not so much the huha itself; it's more the way Mara Yamauchi is relegated to a brief mention, or a distant boxed off paragr…

Not a lot in common

My daughter and I, as I said in my previous post, don't really share my passion for horses. Daughter and I don't share a few other things, either. We just spent a while in front of the You Tube, trying to find some musical ground we had in common, for surely there must be some?

Daugher likes Rihanna. Don't terribly mind Rihanna myself, but want to say to her and to most R&B singers, and actually quite a few others now I think of it: "For goodness' sake put some clothes on woman!"

Which is not a problem for this next lot, unless baggy yellow shorts really do it for you. Daughter and I watched this, and we are far, far apart on this one. I love it: I think it's fun, and sounds sunny, which as I am typing this in yet another bout of pouring rain, does it for me. Daughter thinks it's one of the worst things she's ever heard.

Oh wow, Kristina

What an amazing Olympics she had. She so deserved her medal: fantastic riding on all three sections. I'm glad Hinrich and Marius won - I do love that horse. And what a gripping final.

My daughter, who is getting progressively more anti-horse with each passing week (can't imagine why, when she has my example to follow), was curled up elsewhere in the room when I turned the showjumping on. "You're mad," she informed me, witheringly, as I groaned my way through Mary King's round, crouched there with my head in my hands, barely able to look as she went down that final line. However, the excitement got to even her, and she joined me, hanging in front of the telly, actually keen to see what happened.

I did love Ian "Voodoo" Stark's commentating. Everytime he said something about another team's rider, crash went a fence, and although he was a tad partisan, he made me laugh. And of course I was not sitting there myself, guiltily wavering betwe…

Urghhh. Arghhh.

Am not at my bright mental best today, husband and self having set the alarm for 1.00 am to watch the cross country. All of it, in its entirety. Despite now feeling like the little ghoul at the end of Buffy who staggers across the screen going "urgghh, arghhh," it was worth it.

Mary King nearly finished me off entirely when she had an interesting take off at the Pagoda fences, but goodness, did she do well. So impressive, as were the Germans (lovely Marius) and am only sorry that Lucinda Fredericks on Headley Britannia didn't do better. It's on BBC here.

Intend to sever all human contact when the showjumping is on (which is, I can guarantee, when my family will think to themselves. "Ooh. Horses on tv. That reminds me. Haven't spoken to Jane in ages. Must ring! Now!", and also when my children will develop crises of mind-boggling intensity which must be dealt with NOW - where are their trainers, most like.) Shall retreat behind my own Chinese w…

Amazon - an update

I posted a few months ago about Amazon's attempt to take over the POD (print on demand) market. Booklocker filed an anti-trust suit against Amazon. Things have now become rather heated: Amazon filed a motion to dismiss, and Booklocker then filed a counter motion. You can read a summary of the arguments here. The motion will be ruled on after Labor Day, which is 1 September 2008.

The POD market is not the only one Amazon has its eyes on. It has now (subject to closing conditions) bought ABE. The Advanced Book Exchange is an internet site bringing together antiquarian and other booksellers to sell books. ABE is a very long way indeed from being perfect, but it was at least independent of Amazon. I've blogged at length about this new development, and its possible impact on booksellers on the Ibooknet blog.

There are small, independent organisations of booksellers out there: Ibooknet is one. As well as providing a site for selling books, we also promote each member's individua…

War Horse now booking

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here. I am so excited. I have booked tickets, though have no idea if any of my nearest and dearest will want to come with me. I do not care. I am going no matter what.

Europe's Kill Buyers

I am a keen devotee of America's Fugly Horses blog, which aims to expose duff horse ownership and breeding practices. Through that blog, I have learned quite a lot about American slaughter practices. It is no longer legal to slaughter horses for human consumption in America; but there is still a market, and slaughter for human consumption is still legal in Canada and Mexico, so horses are bought in bulk by the kill buyers and have to endure long trips across the border to slaughter.

Unfortunately we here in Europe are really no better. Around 100,000 horses across Europe are sold for meat. As around 84% are slaughtered in Italy, they can face journeys of up to 5 days before death. There have been, since January 2007, extensive regulations governing how horses should be transported. They are supposed to have 24 hours' rest for every 24 hours of travel. They are supposed to be watered every 8 hours, and if necessary fed. They should have enough room, and should be fit to travel: …

Darn...

Still haven't done those petrol receipts. They must be around here somewhere.....


Tricky...

Tax return? David Byrne? Tax return? David Byrne?

I love this. It makes me smile every time.


EMW's Big Day

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It's the Equine Market Watch Open Day on August 9th: you can only buy online tickets and raffle ticket until Wednesday 6th (after which you can buy tickets on the gate on the day but it is £5 more). Click here for details. You can also buy raffle tickets via the site, for £1 a time. Prizes include:

a lesson with Emma BaileyTrailer ServiceVoucher for Sports Horse MassageVoucher for Natural Horse Suppliesbooks (The Team and Fly-by-Night)framed photograph from Browning Russell photographerrug hangersaddle trolleypair of hand made jump wingsFarmkey vouchershaynet filler standSeatbone saver from Heather MoffetPair or Harbourne stirrupsvoucher for back treatment from Back in Touchvoucher for portrait from Portrait World
My fingers are crossed for decent weather. It looks like a fantastic day though, whatever the weather. The picture below shows Tanna, an EMW resident who is an amazing 42 years old (nearly 43). All credit to EMW for keeping such an old guy in such wonderful condition.

Sweet Peas

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Here is a rare example of sucess in the garden. I absolutely love sweet peas, and although I copped out this year by buying plants from the garden centre, at least I didn't manage to kill these, and they smell wonderful.

Frost, but not in May

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Having been off for over a week now lounging about recovering, I have masses of stuff charging about in my head, and think it's best some of it is offloaded soon.

The lounging about was due to my having been much more tired than I thought I was going to be after my nose op. The op itself went well. The only alarming thing was a tendency to sneezing fits, which, when the inside of your nose is held together by whatever is the modern day equivalent of catgut, are worrying. My surgeon could obviously teach Matron a thing or two about good strong sewing, as I am still in one piece. It's just as well I was not the one doing the sewing: needlework is not one of my skills, and it was the exam I failed most spectacularly in my school career (26%).

But back to the frost. This week fuel prices have shot up enormously. During previous increases, husband and I have talked about what we might do: turn heating off in the bedrooms; rely on the woodburner; strap ourselves to the Aga. The dif…