jpgsawyer: (Default)
Today I did some show jumping and some cross country as part of the fun clear round day.

I went clear in show jumping at 65cm and then went round the cross country. We did well in the cross country but we had a run out at Jump 4 where I tried the hardest of all the jumps. Some work needed here.

A map of the cross country is here.

Jump 1 - The usual start run and I took the smaller jump to get him started.

Jump 2 - I did the right hand side and it was good to get him going on a slightly larger jump

Jump3 - I did the larger jump again here and only had to yell to get the dog walkers out of the way.

Jump4 - There where three options here. I have done the right one many times so I tried to do the more complicated double.

It didn't go well. We did the first element okay but Harry didn't like the second bit and so ran out! Ooops. He did it the second time as well. :( Oh well practise required here.

Jump 5 - I took the left option here. It is a nice big trakehner. It is a good fun jump.

Jump 6 - A couple of options here but we did this one (yes this is the bigger option). Harry was a champ.

Jump7 - Bit hard to see but these are two skinnies. I took the taller left one.

Jump8 After a good long canter (and may be a jump that wasn't on the course. :D ) There was this one.

Jump 9
Two options here I took the larger left one.

Jump 10 - Three options here I could feel Harry getting a bit tired so I decided to take the more technical but lower middle option. It is quite narrow.

Jump 11 - Took the right option here as it is a lovely jump. Then as the ground was a bit slippery I took a wide turn before the next one which is a sharp right turn.

Jump 12 - Took the middle option here and unlike at the ODE I didn't get waked in the face by the tree! :D

Jump 13
An old friend in the Spinney.

Jump 14 - Took the small option here but it is plenty big enough.
Jump 15
Another well known jump but I took it straight on which was fun.

Jump 16
Took the ditch here as Harry was tiring and that is an amazingly large jump on the right.

Jump 17
Whimped out here and took the small tyres.

Jump 18
Final option I took the big jump here.


Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:01 pm
jpgsawyer: (Default)
Well well that was unexpected. I got 5th! Out of 16 (with one withdrawal)!

BIG BIG Thank you to Jenny for supporting me so well and carrying stuff around, holding horses, something she hates, and generally being wonderful. Thanks to Kylie for the advice and finding me a stables that does this sort of thing and thanks to my instructor Tammie for all the instruction.

Hope was very forward going and riding her in a snaffle bit for the first time in my dressage test was always going to be a bit of a challenge but we got round and I was happy with the 46.6 I got for the test. I wasn't the worst and I wasn't the best but hey I will take that.

Then we made a mad dash up the hill to the show jumping as the timing was tight, only the find that they where terribly late. I could have taken my time to change her bridal (back to the pelham) and to put my body protector on.

I should have got off and had a rest at this point but I stayed up as I didn't know how long it would take.... Still when we did get up again and get moving hope was full of it and great she loved the jumping and went round like a pro. I however nearly forgot about the last two jumps but after a strange look from the camera man I figure it out and completed the course with only 4 penalties for annoyingly crossing my tracks.

Then it was a mad jump off, change out of the shirt and tie, put on a long sleeve polo, realise I have left my medical arm band in the car, race back get it and then jump back on again ready to go on the Cross Country.

Did a few warm up jumps and then out on course and away we went. Weeee!!!! Hope loved it and we did really well, I had a sticky moment at one corner which was quite tight and I had to go wide but we got round and over the jump I was worrying about. At jump 14 I dropped a stirrup as I got to the jump but I managed to get over and get the stirrup back before rounding the corner past the commentary box then on to the finish! Clear!! YES CLEAR!!!!

I would have had 38 time penalties but due to some weird computer error they suddenly decided to drop that part of the score. Not sure why.

Still I got Fifth, with a basically clear show jumping round and a clear cross country. Not bad for an old bloke with basically no hips! That was so fun.
jpgsawyer: (joustme)
So today we did a cross country course! Boy was Trix fun.

You can find an interactive map

The course went like this.

Read more... )


Apr. 17th, 2017 05:05 pm
jpgsawyer: (Default)
So I went sailing and it was awesome. I went down to Polkerris Beach, and went on one of their one and a half hour Wayfarer Taster Courses with the very excellent Simon, who reminded me of David Batty from Antique's roadshow.

I was nice and early as is my usual way and so I got to set up the boat and learn about rigging etc. I was rather pleased to learn that a knot I know very well is indeed used for reefing a sail. As we put a reef in the sail. All of this brought back a lot of memories of watching the America's Cup and the 18foot skiff racing that was shown during the lunch break when watching the cricket growing up in Australia.

Once the boat was rigged we went back to the boat house and I set about working out how to put on a wetsuit (which I think was one of the harder things of the day) and kitting up in some spray proof kit we launched the boat and off we went. There was a good onshore breeze so we had to tack out of the harbour, so I got a quick lesson in what the crewman does during tack and controlling the jib.

I spent a while learning about trimming the jib (the sail at the front) and keeping the two bits of string on the outside and the inside horizontal and we discussed the physics of how the boat behaved. We also managed to go quite fast and got up on the plane, with us both sitting up on the side leaning right out. Rather fun actually.

Mostly I was just focussed on keeping the sail trimmed and not seeming too stupid or doing something like falling out of the boat! Simon was excellent, he was calm and obviously a really really good sailor and I got a little more confidence as we tacked across the bay.

I was feeling happy enough that when he said, right now you are going to sail the boat I didn't panic too much. So once I managed to get hold of the main sheet and the tiller in the approved dagger handle at the chest fashion, off we went with Simon trimming the jib and making sure I stayed aiming at the approved target. So off we went on a reach and once I got the hang of not looking at the tiller as I tried to steer and then stopped fighting the tiller and started steering with the sail we started to go quite well. We even managed a tack.

Then we learnt something that I was pleased I knew the name of but wasn't sure what it did, we heaved to! That was turning the boat with the main sail but not the jib and pushing the tiller right over. This was so that Simon could remove the reef from the sail. So we could go a bit faster and also the wind had dropped a touch. Simon said it was also because he was happy I could get across the boat fast enough not to cause a problem. And yes the boat was a bit more exciting, we really got moving and after simon check out the boat I took control again and was having a fabulous time reaching along close into the wind and moving quite well when boom we fell off the wind and it all got a bit sketchy as I scrambled into the centre of the boat. We finally settled the boat had a bit of laugh and got sailing again. When I asked what I had done wrong, Simon simply laughed and said "Nothing, we just fell off the wind." We might have seen it coming from the sea colour but its not always possible.

So it went from their we did a little running with the wind and I got to crew a jibe which was ummmmm EXCITING but I kept my head low enough and it all went swimmingly. So after picking up the safety boat driver we entered the harbour with just the jib up and it was over.

A fabulously exciting and completely absorbing 1.5 hours. I was completely exhausted but a fabulous thing to do and yes something I will be looking at again.
jpgsawyer: (me!)
Well that has been a busy few days. Work has been going nuts so I have been working on that but at the same time I found time to be visited by my sister-in-law and family then in the last two days or so I have been tidying up the area behind the shed so we can build a new shed there!

I had to move the compost bins to achieve this. So now we have two compost areas (one for leaves the other for ready compost) and the composter all nicely set up in new locations.

OK I had to move one once it was set up because I failed to remember to think where the shed doors will open or else you will need to move the compost bins you just built!

I also found main pointers to the fact that that the people who live here before where odd.

1) I am all for recycling but note to them, plastics, metal and wood do not compost, do not improve the soil. Nor does putting a dirty great bag of sand on top of the compost. This just compresses it and makes it hard to remove.
2) Their compost is harder than any of the mortar/concrete they tried to make. None of it is very strong and breaks if you hit it hard with a spade!
3) They didn't know how to bond block walls together. Consequently the old compost bins made of concrete blocks fell down after I hit them once with the mattock!

So next job is to remove what they laughingly called a concrete slab, dig some footings and lay a nice new slab of C20 concrete to put new shed on.

Does anyone have any comments on the best brands of sheds. (Wow you got this far and you are willing to comment! You are the best!) We know to get ship lapped but reviews on sheds otherwise are thin on the ground and if we are going to spend hundreds of pounds on it we want it to be worth the money.

Time for a shower and beer!
jpgsawyer: (me!)
Modern man does not need to go all Ernest Hemingway and go big game hunting to prove his virility, he can just step out into the garden and there many challenges await to prove his metal.

Today your humble correspondent found himself with a worthy opponent in the vast stand of pampas grass that has been glowering at him ever since we moved in last August.
More including pictures )
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So we are 80% installed on the kitchen.

pictures )Once the guys are finished we will need to install the splash backs, the flooring, a little bit of tiling and obviously repaint but to say we are very pleased well...

Seriously go to they are awesome.


Dec. 3rd, 2014 07:57 pm
jpgsawyer: (me!)
The kitchen progresses apace. Three days in and this is what it looks like.

2014-12-03 19.12.26

The cooker is looking amazing, doesn't work yet but it looks amazing.

2014-12-03 19.14.48


Nov. 29th, 2014 04:26 pm
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So this weekend well its all go. Its time for the new kitchen!
more details behind the cut )
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So last weekend was garden work....

We added a soft fruit patch Pictures )Included are 15 or so raspberry canes. Five early spring, five summer and five autumn canes. Two gooseberries, a black currant and finally a white currant.

We also put in the fruit trees that my parents so wonderfully bought us as a house warming present.

Pictures )
jpgsawyer: (me!)
Well I rate that as a nom but I don't think Jenny´╗┐ did. I very slowly braised two beef cheeks in red wine. First I marinated the cheeks overnight in redwine, vinegar, carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Then I coated the drained cheeks in flour and fried them off along with the other strained marinaded ingredients. Then I cooked it in the oven at 150C for about 6 hours.

It worked mostly I should probably have worked on removing more of the fat as it cooked and it would have done really well with some mushrooms but it did go really well with the slow roasted potatoes and some peas.

I have certainly had worse joues de boeuf in French brasseries.
jpgsawyer: (me!)
Well that was productive. Just planted out Betony, English Mace (Achellia Ageratum) and Sorrel into the herb garden which we bought in Wells this morning when we where buying our annual medlar purchase. Thankfully found the soil there is pretty good just needs the drainage improving so I dug it over and have added some leaf mulch.

Pictures )

I then weeded my veg patch which wonderfully growing as are the broad beans which I have now put some stakes near so that I can start tying them up as necessary.

Pictures )
I also took some leafy plants, with an odd bulb shown, out of the herb garden. Any one know what they are from the bulbs in the pictures?

Pictures )
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So today has been sort out the decking day. It was in terrible condition and as today's weather was good and it wasn't going to rain it was best to crack on. I think the after shot looks very sharp indeed and I am happy with my work. The sharp eyed amongst you will also notice that I have added a hand rail for getting up into the garden. At some point I will upgrade the who le railing system and put hand rails on the steps as well.


After which I think looks very sharp indeed.
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So we moved in three weeks ago and a lot has happened.

We had a week after moving in to get things unpacked and sorted before my parents arrived for a week. It was all go.

Whilst they where here Dad and I started one of the must do projects..... the blackberries in the back garden. Turns out there was a 10m (33 feet) long by 7m (23feet) wide area at the back of the garden that was total infested with blackberries, fallen trees, rubbish and the odd nettle. Dad and I cleared about 60% whilst he was here and found the back fence which we had not even seen.
Read more... )


Aug. 18th, 2014 07:02 pm
jpgsawyer: (me!)
So yes on balance I think WorldCon was good but I do feel a bit cheated. Sure this was the biggest ever but that didn't reduce the amount I paid but as a result you couldn't get into the panels you wanted to because of over crowding. You had a choice go to a panel and risk not getting into the next panel or miss out on a panel to queue for the next one.

I think it would have been fairer to limit membership if larger rooms couldn't be secured. Frankly assigning 50 seats for a reading by Cory Doctorow or Charlie Stross or most of the readers was silly.

I also found the attitudes of people rather interesting. I know diversity in Fandom has been a big deal this year but people are still willing to silo themselves and protect their own at the expense of all others.

From the people in the mobility scooters who ran people over because they where slow to get out of the way to people criticising old guard science fiction readers for wanting to read the fiction they like and not necessarily agreeing with their vision for how SF should be. Not to say that old guard science fiction writers are any better about letting others get on with what they want to do either.

I have a vision where there are no genres of fiction with rules just books, no racial groups, genders or sexual orientations just people. (To paraphrase a t-shirt I saw, Wibbly-Wobbly-Sexy-wexi-personness!)

If we stopped worrying so much about which group someone belongs to and listened to what they actually had to say and called BS out for being BS and like books because they where good not because they where written by people like us then frankly the world would be a much better place.

Then what do I know because I can't even organise a smooth house move.
jpgsawyer: (me!)
We where back at Raglan this year;

As always here is the menu.

  • Wednesday:
    • Egurdouce. Goat stewed in red wine with vinegar and raisins. (Plein Delite)
    • Vegetable potage
    • Fresh Strawberries
  • Thursday
    • Roasted beef with mustard sauce.
    • Lentil Pottage
    • Braised Cabbage
    • A grand salad.
    • Commodores (Forme of Curry) Dried fruit in spiced red wine sealed in pastry and fried.
    • Raspberry fool. One of Caroline Yeldman's recipes that is very tasty. Raspberries, sherry, sugar and cream.

  • Friday (Fish Day)
    • Fried Trout with green sauce. (The sauce is green herbs in vinegar from Pleyn Delit.)
    • Muscles in Browet. (Cocatrice and Lampray Hay Constance B. Hieatt) Muscles in stock with figs.
    • Broad bean pottage.
    • Lampray Hay. (Ibid.) which is dried fruit soaked in wine and roasted on the spit.
    • Great Salad
    • Roast Onion and Carrot Salad
    • Norwegian Pasties (Pleyn Delit)
    • Tarts baked in the oven filled with left over commodore mixture.
    • Pommes Moyle (Pleyn Delit) Apple Mousse
    • Stuffed Figs. Again can't remember where this is from but its figs with the tops cut off stuffed with raisins, ground almonds, a little bit of wine to bind and spices. Its yummy.
  • Saturday
    • Griddled Spatchcock Chicken
    • Spit Roasted/Grilled Chicken
    • Good Sauce for Roast Capon.
    • Yellow Pea Pottage
    • Herb Salad
    • Wardens in Syrup (Pleyn Delite) Pears in Red Wine
    • Custard. (A recipe I remember from somewhere that goes 6 eggs, a pound of sugar and a pint of cream.)

  • Sunday (Head Cooks by Viscount Robert and Earl Paul)
    • Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Sauce
    • Bulgar Wheat
    • Boozey Strawberries
    • Cherries in Brandy
    • Buttered Gooseberries (From Mary ferch Thomas' garden.)
    jpgsawyer: (me!)
    So I wasn't intending to update on the yeast starter this afternoon but things have got exciting. The wild yeast is well, WILD!

    It exploded whilst we where out this afternoon and made a break for freedom. All down the back of the court cabinet it was on top of course!

    Its now in new digs which hopefully it won't escape from too quickly. For reference that is just under the same amount of stuff as we had in the container after the great escape so it has plenty of room to move.

    Rather liking sour dough I look forward to the bread from this stuff.
    jpgsawyer: (me!)
    So Jenny is starting a sour dough project for Raglan this year.

    This is day one I think the current weather is being helpful to getting the yeast started.
    jpgsawyer: (me!)
    So had awesome fun at Kelmarsh Hall this weekend with History Live. Fought in two versions of the Battle of Standards As a Scot and got to fight then run away.

    Fought in two versions of Battle of Stokes Field as an unarmoured Irish Peasant where I got to fight then run away (are you sensing a theme) then join the Landsknechts army for their glorious death stand!

    All good fun then got to spend the rest of the weekend snoozing in the sun or talking to the public and then trying to turn the joke firewood EH supplied into something that you could cook over.

    So in all a great weekend and lovely to get out and do some stuff. My hips complained but with the modern chemistry applied I was able to over come and play but I was glad not to be wearing armour.
    jpgsawyer: (me!)
    So I took 300ml of double cream and 300ml of single cream. Heated it to 82°C and added some vegetable rennet.

    At this point the recipe said that it would thicken and it should be poured though a cheese cloth. Ummm no thickening... Earlier Jenny had had some good success making ricotta with vinegar and salt so I decided to go that way and added the juice of one lemon and a little salt and let it cool and then it started to set.

    I left it for three hours then put in a cheese cloth and in the fridge overnight to drain.

    In the morning I pushed out the last of the water and put it in a jar.

    Its dense but light in flavour with a hint of lemon and its going in a cheese cake tonight.

    Looking forward to it.
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