So it’s been just over 3 weeks since I had surgery and I’m mostly mended, still tire easily and I can’t lift heavy stuff, but I’m pottering about the place doing useful stuff again. Yesterday I had my final consolation with the surgeon so she could discharge me back to my doctors care and she asked how I’m coping with the menopause and the HRT, any mood swings, hot flushes etc. Well apart from the fact my face has exploded with spots and I appear to be growing a beard (be handy in the winter when I’m doing the ponies), all is good. But I thought later I should ask the hubby about the mood swings as I probably wouldn’t notice, bless him, when I asked I could see on his face… Oh heck, it’s a trap, there is no right answer, abort, run away…
It was tough being incapacitated and seeing all the stuff that needs doing around the place not getting done, however, I can’t thank both Hubby and Michelle enough for all their help while I was being hopeless. Hubby for taking time off work to treat me like a princess (which I’m definitely not) and Michelle for looking after the horses for 2 weeks. She came round every day, twice a day, fed watered and picked up poo and made sure that the dispensing of extra strong mints was fair, Michelle works hard, she’s got 2 boys and her own animals to care for, the gift of her time and friendship is something very precious and I’m completely touched. I wasn’t allowed in the field as Rosie has a habit of frisking me and nuzzling my stomach, which is less than ideal when you’ve got multiple holes in it. So I had to make do with pony kisses over the fence.
I also owe a debt of thanks to Gaynor for coming over and picking out the girls feet for me, I was so proud of Rosie who a year ago did flying pony if you tried to get her to lift her feet up, she stood solid as a rock, picked her feet up politely when asked and there was zero drama.
It used to be that Rosie and Carmella were the only horses about for miles, but recently there’s been a gypsy pony explosion round here, there are a herd of 10 in the field that joins the back of our property (6 mares, 3 foals and a stallion) and little Domino in the field over the road. MrC moans that it’s impossible to look out of a window now and not see a pony.
There has been an unexpected side affect to the influx of horseflesh nearby, in particular the stallion in the back field. Rosie has come into season, normally she’s fine, just a bit grumpy and uncooperative for a few days, but with the stallion neighing sweet nothings over the fence she’s turned into a complete nympho. She is spending her days either galloping round the paddock neighing her head off, or gazing over the fence at her true love neighing her head off. My friend Karen also has a mental mare when she’s in season (the mare, not Karen who is definitely not mental nor in season) she has given me a supplement of Chaste Berries to try to lower Rosies libido a bit, these apparently lower estrogen levels and knock the worst of the season side effects on the head. She’s only been on them for a few days but fingers crossed she calms down a bit and the next season isn’t quite so intense. However, Rosie got busted, she’d spent 5 minutes galloping round the paddock shaking her mane about like a demented supermodel yelling at the top of her lungs and she got a bit puffed (due to being really bloody unfit) so she dialed it back a notch and launched into the most balanced, floaty and beautiful extended trot I’ve ever seen. Now I’ve asked Rosie to do an extended trot many times and all I get back is “I’m a cob mate, extended trot, never heard of it, how about I buck you off instead?”. When I do finally get back to riding, I am so getting that lovely trot out of her.
Whilst studiously turning a blind eye to the rampant weeds growing like crazy I’ve been out in the garden and local hedgerows harvesting, foraging and a little light scrumping (I confessed to the farmer I’d raided his field for blackberries, but he forgave me when I gave him a pot of blackberry and apple jam), beans and sweetcorn are in the freezer, I’ve made jams and chutneys and gallons of tomato soup and cooked up huge batches of chilli and spaghetti bolognaise, the freezers are now full to bursting, but this lot will keep me fed all winter. If anyone out there would like a couple of pounds of chillies I’m your girl, I slightly overestimated the amount of plants I needed and I’ve got literally hundreds of them I’m not entirely sure what to do with. The butternut squash plants loved the hot summer and they are currently hardening off in the greenhouse, I’ve got lots of recipes I can’t wait to try.
I went for a lovely day out with my Auntie Carolyn and Hubby, a cream tea on a steam train (hubby loves steam trains, I love Carolyn and clotted cream, so there was something for everyone), after a delicious lunch cooked by Carolyn we headed to the train station and hopped on board to drink lots of tea. We did think that the rather short journey was taking a long time, with lots of strange stops in the middle of nowhere, as it turned out, the ash plate on the train hadn’t been fitted properly and we were starting fires all over the place. Once they’d sorted the problem we had a lovely trip through the Norfolk countryside, I love this time of year, the hedgerows are full of berries and everything seems to being doing a last push of fecundity before the winter sets in .
I had another parcel from my Dad, who is still mucking out his sheds, a set of horse brasses and an ancient old driving bit. The bit still needs work, but hubby polished up the brasses, ordered a new leather and they now have pride of place in the tack room.
As I’ve recovered, I’ve been taking on a few more strenuous jobs and one I’ve been meaning to do for ages was to plant up an area near the pond with plants I’ve been bringing on in the greenhouse. This is only a tiny section of what needs doing, but I’ll slowly get it done. I had the added bonus of Michelle seeing some iris’s in a nearby village that were free to a good home, so she snaffled a bunch of them for me and they’ve gone in as well, love plants, love free plants even more!!
In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, nettles had been happening in the stream at the back of the gardens, now MrsC snr has an ongoing battle with nettles and they made a valiant effort this time, but she’s vanquished them!! MrC snr has had a jolly time weedkilling docks and other assorted nasties around the place. They’ve both been brilliant while I’ve been under the weather, keeping things ticking over, lots of people moan about their in-laws, not me, I hit the in-laws jackpot, and I love and appreciate them very much.
I tend to write this a bit at a time, and then publish when I’ve got time to upload and sort out the photos as it’s very time consuming, as of now, Rosie has stopped being in season and is back to her fairly docile affectionate self and thinks boy ponies are a waste of time. Carmella, however, is definitely IN SEASON, she’s gone from being a little teddy bear to a complete monster, yesterday she tried to climb the gate to get to the stallion, I’ve never seen a horse try to climb a gate before, I knew I should have got geldings.
Finally, I talk about the ponies a lot, but I’ve been reminded that there is only one “proper” pet round here, and here she is being adorable.