Getting My Bake On!

In a big way

  Oh yes my friends, I have thoroughly out-baked myself, if such a thing is even possible.

  I was initially quite grouchy this morning, as I had to set an alarm (on my day off!!) so that I could put in my contact lenses in time for my Opticians appointment. Which wasn’t until 11.30, but I had to have my lenses in for at least three hours beforehand. Stupid rule if you ask me, but that’s what they said. So I had to get up. Poop.

  Having had the time of my life at the opticians, reading letters and having lights shone around my eyes (oh the joys), and discovering that the astigmatism in my left eye has stayed the same in severity but shifted position (yeah, that can happen, who knew?), I wandered around town picking up a few bits and pieces that I needed. Amongst which were baking ingredients.

  The baking aisle in supermarkets is like my happy place. It is, quite possibly, the best place I can be. Today I stood in Waitrose, smiling away as I put nearly everything into my basket. I got so excited I literally didn’t think about it. Eventually I looked at the basket and, out loud, told myself off for being stupid. I then put most of it back. Not before I’d decided which things I was actually going to buy though.

  I decided to stretch my capacity today and bake (I hope you’re ready for this), not just cupcakes, not just brownies…but BOTH. Oh yes! 24 cupcakes and two trays of brownies later….and LOOK…..

  Oh yes sir, I got my bake on good and proper! My dogs helped, as they always do, and I sang along to various albums with gusto. My dad was attempting to work in the other room, so at first I tried to keep things restrained and civilised, but I gave up eventually and just went full flow fun times. He then came through anyway and stood there waiting for me to cut the brownies so he could eat some.

  At least no-one can say I don’t do anything with my days. I am one busy bee…even if only in the baking sense.

  Oh and one more thing…the brownies?


  Yeah, they’ve got honeycomb in.


  To update you on matters outside of my kitchen…
The past couple of days have been long and tiring, but productive and positive too. Riding wise, I’ve been on board my darling Foxy, and also the lovely Midget. I was slightly put out at first on Tuesday when it was decided halfway through our lesson that we were going to swap horses. I’d been getting some lovely work out of Fox, building on the slow trot I’d worked him in the other day. He was responding nicely and softening beautifully, gradually stretching into the contact and keeping his head low through transitions. I hadn’t had a chance to canter him, but I was hoping to get some good transitions there as well. And then we were told to swap horses. Grr. I got a bit annoyed about it, but being the good (and conflict fearing) student that I am, I just went with it.

  I rode Midge for the second half of the lesson in which we did a lot of canter transitions from both trot and walk. She was responding beautifully and working into an outline really well. I will credit Louise for most of that, however, as she was the one riding her before me so she warmed her up beautifully and got her listening and working well before I even got on board. I drew the lucky straw, and had a horse that was already willing to listen! Brilliant stuff.

  On Wednesday I spent much of the day covering the yard for Sonya while she taught, due to Kelly being absent. I did get my jumping lesson in the afternoon though, and despite taking out one jump wing with my leg, Fox and I had a good positive lesson. He’s certainly regained his confidence with jumping. Now it’s just a matter of refining it, and making sure I’m working with him rather than against him. There are a few issues I need to iron out in myself in order to progress. My hands keep widening, giving him more rein than he needs around corners etc. I think it’s to do with my reluctance to be tight in his mouth as I know how much he hates that. I’m too kind I think. Apart from all that, however, it was a good lesson. He jumped fairly well and only knocked a few over when I didn’t ask him for enough energy. And the crashing of my leg into the wing was because he locked on to a different jump and I wasn’t quick enough with my steering. I asked him to turn and, bless his heart, despite being locked on he did try. But I hadn’t prepared properly so we crashed through the fence and knocked over the wing on our way.
You get extra points for that though, right?

  I’m thinking of asking either Kelly or Sonya for some private lessons to do some work on my canter transitions, and to tweak a few other bits. I’d like to do them on Fox where I can, but of course out in the big wide world I won’t get to ride only one horse, so riding others is not something I’m going to refuse. I only choose Fox when I can because I feel confident when I’m on him. Eileen chuckled at me the other day and shook her head when I told her that. We were talking about the fact that some horses inspire confidence whilst others make you feel wary about what might happen next and she used Fox as an example of one who makes people unsure. When I told her that from the first time I sat on him I felt confident and relaxed, she laughed and gave me a look that said “yes well, you’re as odd as him aren’t you.”

  Yes. Yes I am. If I’m anything near as unique and individual as Fox, then I take that as a compliment. Because with all his quirks and nuances, he is still totally easy to love, for me at least. So if he can have someone like me adore him for the horse he is, then there’s hope that people I meet might like me for the woman I am.

  Besides…when I make cakes and brownies this good, people would be stupid not to want to be my friend.

  That would be a good tagline for meeting new people;

  “Hi, be my friend. I’ll make you fat”

  I’m on to a winner there!


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