You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

The first to arrive, about two months ago, was Grace, daughter of Heather:

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M’father bought Heather last summer, already in foal, so Grace is going back to her breeder eventually.

A few weeks later, on the same night, Doris and Tinker gave birth. Doris produced a colt, named Duke after our beautiful Waterside Duke who died two years ago. Young Duke is a bolshy young boy, and Doris is a very hands (or should that be hooves?) off mother, which is why Duke is hanging around at the haystand with Grace rather than his mum.

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Doris is probably in the other field, grazing away, so Duke hangs out with Grace and, if he can manage it, grabs a quick snack from Heather rather than bothering his mother.

Tinker produced an adorable filly named Belle:

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Belle loves to have her back scratched, and every time she finds a friendly scratcher she stretches out her top lip  so she looks rather like an anteater:

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And finally, this week Kizzy produced another filly, this one jet black.

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M’father has christened her Clara.


There are dogs galore at Bramham, and so there are also dog entertainments. A group was running a ‘have a go at dog agility’ stand, so I volunteered m’husband to take Sparky round.

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She obediently followed him, but her expression was utter bemusement. It was as if she kept saying ‘but why?’

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She also very quickly twigged that he had a handful of treats, so would stop after every obstacle and look at him expectantly.

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It took a while, and some encouragement, before she consented to go through the tube, which gave me the chance to get a shot of m’husband’s bum.

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Once they made it to the table at the end, the trainer remarked that, as Sparks is so food-centred, she would be very trainable. However I doubt you would see the sort of dedication and enjoyment of the task that you get with the likes of a border collie.

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Because with Sparky, it’s all about the treats.

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I went to Bramham last Thursday to watch the hunter show, a bit of dressage,  and walk around the CCI*** cross country course. However, seeing as I was also introducing SarahP to the joys of horse trials, it meant Little Fish came along too.

Little Fish is now six months and very keen on solid food. His mother was planning to hold off on weaning for another month or so, but Little Fish had other ideas and would yowl frantically whenever anyone else was eating. At Bramham he decided that chips were the perfect finger food and did his level best to squash as many as possible into his mouth, over his face and into the fabric of his sling (see above).

On the way back to the car at the end of the day I remarked to Sarah that she had some green stuff on her trousers and, dare I say it, it looked a bit like cow poop. “Nope,” she said. “It’ll be Little Fish.” And it was. He had managed a directional green poop which shot down his leg and on to his mother, all without dirtying his own body suit. Genius.

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Husband and dog relax by the side of the steps fence on the CIC*** course at Bramham Horse Trials. A great day out was had by all. Better pics will follow (at some point, don’t hold your breath given my current posting record) from the cameras of husband and third-and-final son.

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Further along on our Oakwell walk, I stopped at the pond by the hall to catch a photo of this moorhen chick preening itself on the island.

After snapping away for a little while I noticed a couple leaning over the parapet with a phone trying to get a photo of something rustling in the grass – so I joined in.

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At first all I could see were some dark stripes behind the grasses, dandelions and buttercups.

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And then everything swam into focus – a nest of ducklings!

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The moorhen chick was joined by a friend.

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The yellow iris admired its reflection in the murky water.

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And the gunnera looked magnificently architectural against the backdrop of the 16th century stone hall.

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My camera has returned to me after 10 days away with my baby brother on his honeymoon, to my huge relief. I have had to use the camera on my phone when I’ve seen anything interesting, but I don’t have a clue how to download them without m’husband present. As we seem to be working opposing hours at present, all recent photos are still residing on my phone.

So, once I’d checked over my little pink treasure, Sparks and I went for a walk to Oakwell Hall. Favourite spot: standing in what feels like a cathedral made of trees. It’s so beautiful, you can almost tune out the neverending drone of the M62 on the embankment above.

This little sweet shop can be found on the seafront in Mablethorpe:

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It is a temple to the delights of boiled sugar syrup. Third-and-final son squealed with delight to find it stocked cola cubes; m’husband was ecstatic to discover fizzy cherry cola bottles and Turkish delight dipped in chocolate. I settled for a bag of kali and a small stick of rock to dip.

sweets apr09

Those who have never visited the east coast of England will not be acquainted with the delights of rock – sugar syrup boiled, flavoured, coloured and rolled into long cylinders, usually with the name of your chosen resort running the length of the stick. Manufacturers, the most famous of whom must be John Bull’s of Bridlington, have attempted to add some variety to the range by shaping and colouring it into many different things, so you can buy rock cigarettes, rock dummies (soothers), rock false teeth and rock bacon and egg , to name but a few, and these creations are the east coast holidaymaker’s souvenir of choice for family and friends back home.

In recent years they have also branched out into various shapes of marshmallow. We came home with small sticks of rock, big sticks of rock, rock teeth, rock shaped to look like little cakes, marshmallow sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, and a few strawberry chubbies (extra thick sticks of rock with a picture of a strawberry running through the middle).

I drew the line, however, at rock willies and boobies.

I love shells. I cannot stop myself from picking up as many as possible when I’m down on the beach.

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Here’s a small selection from our recent trip to Mablethorpe, on the east coast of Lincolnshire. All are common finds up and down the North Sea coastline. I love them when the shells are complete, and I love them when they are partly worn away so you can see the skeleton.

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I really couldn’t resist the worn shell on the left – see the little tiny one wedged inside it?

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A ragged line of razor shells marks the high tide line.

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And I competed with third-and-final son to see who could find the biggest oyster shell.