Raspberry Smoothie

Another day, another blood blister.

Actually, I got the blood blister yesterday. It disappeared today. I don’t know where it went, I didn’t see. I just looked at my finger at the end of the day and realised it wasn’t there anymore. Which is good I guess, because it was hurting a lot but now I’m fine again. I should really be more careful though.

I began the day with a raspberry smoothie made for me by my lovely grandmother. It was a step up from the usual apple juice and quite unexpected. Yum though. Although I was late, so I had to down it pronto before legging it out of the door and into my almost petrol-less car.

My brain went into panic mode when I started my car because the fuel gauge said “NO PETROL NO PETROL NO PETROL” and I could’ve sworn it had some in it when I parked. I had to get to college and get to a petrol station afterwards before I could get home…how was I meant to do that when some bastard had come and nicked my petrol in the night. Then I realised I’d been parked on a slope..Stupid.

The rest of the day went pretty well. There was a nice group of us on the yard today. I was the only second year, but I had three of the first years working with me, all of whom are lovely. They are also hard workers and perfectly happy to just get on with stuff without kicking up a fuss because they were asked to do something. I enjoyed working with them and I reckon Saturdays are going to be pretty good days.

We did have a slightly crazy start to the morning which involved me running (yes…RUNNING) up the massive steep hill from the cross country field at half nine in the morning…

This is something that will never happen again if I can help it. It was a horrible, horrible experience. Although I did realise I can run pretty fast when I want to. And uphill too! It was all thanks to one of the stupid horses, of course. I swear, some days I wonder why I do it. One of them decided that absolutely no way was he going to be caught. Instead he tried to turn his back end on everyone who went near him, kicked out, galloped off, shouted his head off and generally caused havoc. It was lucky for us that the other horses were being particularly well behaved. Not a single one of them reacted. Not that I was taking any chances; ropes were swiftly unattached from headcollars and the girls and I were stood well out of the way.

Poor Amy got chased around one of the cross country fences by this horse because he kept trying to kick out at her. Eventually she managed to get out of the way, giving me the chance to step in and chase him instead. Absolutely no way was I having this stupid over grown baby of a horse threaten me. I whirled my rope at him, growled and ran at him. He galloped off up the hill and into one of the other fields. Fortunately, the girls who had gone up with two of the other horses had told Sonya, who came down with a bucket of food. It was when he galloped off into the other field that Eileen and I ran faster than I thought humanly possible up that hill to head him off before he could get out anywhere else.

Stupid horse.

After all that excitement, the rest of the morning was pretty uneventful. We rode after lunch and I saddled up the ever saintly Miss Maggie May. I hadn’t ridden her in a while so I had forgotten just how strong she is when she wants to be. It took a while for us to sort things out. We walked around having a bit of a discussion in which she said she wanted to drop all her weight onto her forehand and drag me forwards and I said no that really wasn’t an option because I didn’t fancy riding like that. We sorted it out eventually, but it took some work. I got some nice trot from her on the right rein, and we had a really lovely canter. On the left rein, however, things were a bit trickier. She falls in horrendously on that left shoulder and is so reluctant to move out onto the track and through the corners. We did a lot of transition work going left, walking through the corners and trotting the straights. Eventually, after a lot of “ow my arm, jesus this mare is strong” we got a nice trot coming back again. I was then able to get her to trot through the corners without a problem.

Sonya had said to me towards the beginning of the lesson that Maggie’s strong stage in a riding lesson very often ends up with her rider wanting to give up. Fortunately I had ridden the mare before and so knew how glorious it felt to have her working light and soft and round for me. I knew it was important to work her through that stage of being strong and setting herself against me, but my god I wanted to collapse and give up and nurse my poor aching arms. Holding that outside contact steady was killing me! But I did it, and I feel like I achieved something, even if it was only to get her working through the corners in a light and balanced trot.

She’s a big mare. I felt like my legs weren’t quite strong enough to support her some of the time. But then I proved myself wrong, because she started responding. She’s not as big as Bryn though. It was Nizz who got to ride the big fellow again today. She and Sonya went on a hack with the Brynster and Africa. Nizz said that her mum didn’t believe just how big Bryn was. He really is massive, but what we realised is that photos just don’t do him justice. Somehow the enormity of that horse only comes across in the flesh.

After hanging around on the yard chatting to Sonya and Nizz and playing with the puppy  til 6pm, I finally headed home. I’d forgotten about the “NO PETROL” panic attack my car was having. Fortunately, it sorted itself out five minutes into the journey and remembered that there was actually something in the tank after all. I still stopped and filled up though. Even stopping for petrol and getting stuck behind the most annoying, erratic, irritating Honda Jazz ever, I made it home in pretty good time for some reason.

Only to discover that my Mum isn’t here, leaving me as the only girl in the house. I was rather confused to be honest with you, because I hadn’t heard from her since she called me yesterday morning, and then her car wasn’t there and I just couldn’t work out where she was. When I asked my Dad the very simple question of “Where’s Mum?” he looked at me like I was some sort of imbecile. I didn’t see that it was a particularly stupid question given that I didn’t know where she was.

Turns out, she’s gone down to Eastbourne to see her Dad. Which makes perfect sense. But no-one had told me that, hence my confusion and questioning. Honestly! She headed off this morning apparently. Given that it’s her only chance to actually get down and see him, I totally understand. That’s why she called me on the yard yesterday you see. My Grandpa had a stroke yesterday morning and was rushed into hospital. From what I’ve been told, he’s doing okay. He’s on the road to recovery, one step at a time.

It’s a shame about the timing though because we were meant to be spending this evening as a family due to it being my brother’s last night at home. He heads off to University tomorrow morning. Exciting stuff! I would say it’s going to be a bit weird having him move off…but seeing as I spend hardly any time at home myself anyway, I’m not sure how much difference it will really make. It’s good though, I think he’s looking forward to it. It’ll definitely be good for him to go off and be independent and all that. He’ll actually have to do stuff like cook for himself and do his own laundry and clean up after himself.

All jokes aside, I’m pleased he’s going to be going and having that experience. I loved Uni, the whole living away from home and being self-sufficient aspect was fab. And I’m thrilled that Angus is going to get to do that too. I think he’ll enjoy his studies a great deal more than I did, which is even better. He’s doing something he really wants to do rather than something he just plumped for after A-Levels. He’s got smarts that boy.

It’s a bit scary though to think of my little (mahoosive) brother heading off into the big bright world of University. I was only just there, how can he be going? It doesn’t seem right somehow. And then I remember how long ago it really was since I started. Time races by when you’re not looking properly.

So tonight I am feeling several things. I have a growing feeling of contentment within myself. I am sleeping better and I have not dreamt in ages. And I have stopped torturing myself. I feel excitement for my brother, tinged with fond nostalgia of my own Uni days. But most of all I feel love. And hope.

Love for my family to give them strength, and hope for my lovely Grandpa to be back on his feet soon.


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