Sunday, 27 February 2011

Moving day


I'm moving John to a new yard today - and I'm soooo nervous. It's a big deal moving your horse and not something you undertake lightly. Will he like it, will he settle, will he pine for his friends, would it be better to leave him where he is - these are all questions that went round and round in my mind and I'm sure it's the same for everyone in the same situation. Trying to work out the pros and the cons is a nightmare, but after weeks of deliberation, sleepless nights and asking him (not that he ever replied) I have decided to go ahead and move him to Dedham...

... which is much further away from where I live unfortunately, but the reasons that swayed me are:

He will have year-round turnout, unless I decide to keep him in because the weather's bad. At his current yard the horses were kept in rather a lot this past winter, even those days that other horses elsewhere were out, which I didn't like.

One reason for this is the paddocks suffer from bad drainage and become waterlogged, so he was knee-deep in mud when he was out - which I didn't like either.

At his new yard he will be able to live out 24/7 during the summer. Now I don't know if he will take to that as I've never left him out before (never been at a yard where it was allowed), but I'm going to try it and see. You never know, he might love it.

The final reason - and an important one - finances. The new yard will cost me a lot less and even though I will spend more in petrol, it should work out cheaper. And I'm afraid that is a big consideration for me at the moment, as it is for so many horse owners. I have heard that many people can no longer afford to keep their horses, which is tragic. I hope never to be in that situation and I'm doing all I can to make sure John and I continue in our happy relationship, unaffected by the horrors of recession. If it means a longer journey for me then so be it.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Neck lines




I am a moisturising addict - I confess, I've been applying cream to my face and neck since I was about 15 years old. As I get older, the need to introduce more moisture into my skin becomes ever more important, so I'm always happy to try out creams, lotions, serums, any product that holds out the hope of better looking skin, fewer wrinkles (laugh lines), or staving off that dreaded turkey neck.

My neck is one of my sore points - in that it is the place that bluntly demonstrates in the mirror that I'm getting older. Looking at the skin on my neck sometimes makes me want to weep - you see in my head, I'm still 18. So I'm big, big, big on neck creams.

Therefore I was very happy indeed to try the Q10 moisturising milk and Q10 neck cream by DHC.

I was impressed with the look and feel of the milk as it has the texture and lightness of a serum. Unfortunately for me, it isn't rich enough and doesn't seem to have any effect on my skin at all. I reckon it would be great for somebody in their 20s, but sadly that's no longer me.

The neck cream however I like. I'm not too keen on the fragrance (perhaps that's because it doesn't have a fragrance) but the cream seems to improve the texture of the skin on my neck, even taking away a few lines temporarily. It's light, non-greasy (despite the face it contains olive oil) and it sinks in fast. A keeper I think.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Playing together and staying together?

I've just read a news release from Lego that reveals people who play board games generally tend to fall out. I could have told them that, you only have to watch a game of Monopoly in our house to see usually well-adjusted people turn into shouting monsters. I now refuse to play Monopoly with my other half as it gets way too heated - he takes it all too seriously.

Last time he played Monopoly with our daughter I could hear the arguments from the other side of the house and Anya was as vocal as he was. Thankfully they did forget their row as soon as the game was put back in the box - unlike some people. According to Lego their poll revealed "one in twelve adults have got so outraged with other players that have never spoken to them again".

Laura Di Bonaventura senior brand manager at LEGO said: "The best advice is to probably stick to playing games with the children - hopefully this should avoid any competition with good friends." She has obviously never met my little girl - a more canny and forthright Monopoly player you'd be hard pressed to find.

The poll also found that dads are the worst culprits when it comes to cheating, while nana and aunty are the most honest. Enough said.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Pancake prowess I


Recently I received a pancake maker from a kind PR who must have known my pancake-making skills are somewhat lacking. With much excitement and dancing around from Anya, I gave it a go. First of all, it gets really hot so beware if you use one that you don't burn your fingers (I did). Second, it's not as easy as it looks. I've watched crepe makers in France creating delicious concoctions in seconds, they make it look so simple. But it's not. Instead of swirling elegantly around the hotplate the mixture clung to one place, stuck there stubbornly. Eventually it came away - in bits - and it in no way resembled a perfect circle (which is what I'd been aiming for). Alas, I need much more practice. Not that it mattered to Anya who happily ate up all the misshapen results and even asked for more.