Knowing that there was a long evening ahead, I decided that a good dose of fresh air was in order today, so when my friend Sue asked if I'd like a ride out with her on her ponies, I jumped at the offer. I'm trying to get comfortable and confident again in the saddle and the more I can get out the better. Considering my mother sat me on a horse as soon as I could sit upright and had me in riding lessons at five, I've managed to get very rusty and the feeling of mortality that seems to get stronger with every year doesn't help! My mount for the ride was Sparks, who belongs to Sue's daughter Abigale who is away at Uni. I could tell that Sparks, who has a real mischievous streak was weighing me up as I got in the saddle, no doubt deciding how far he'd be able to push this newcomer. We rode our hardy ponies up onto the village fell where the winter wind bit hard at our faces and hands but we could enjoy a view of the hills stretching for miles. I thought of picnic rides up here in the summer and watching the displaying skylark from horseback. Happy days to come. Sparks had behaved very well, and we were on the home stretch when a tractor with a bucket on the front came up the track towards us. Sue said that I might want to stick Sparks between her horse and the wall "just in case" so of course I immediately obliged. Seeing that one of the horses might be nervous the kindly farmer stopped and turned off the engine... only to start it again right behind us! After a momentary lapse of control, we managed to get safely back to the field... hopefully Sue will take us out again.
After a shower and spruce up it was time to head out to Kath's James Bond Themed party in the Punch Bowl's luxury marquee. Kath looked fab in her new dress and even the lads had made an effort. Chris, Tracy and Andy had obviously been practicing and did an excellent job of entertaining the masses with their music. It was great to see everyone dressed in their best and having a good time.
Kelly looked uncharacteristically elegant in her long red dress ;o) Chris on the other hand managed to spoil an other wise nice photo of the two of us by doing his lager lout impression, grrr!