Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I think I might have an eBay addiction. These parcels contain stuff I recently won, forwarded from my address in N. Ireland - each parcel a work of art, thanks to my mum who is a disciple of the plastic supermarket carrier bag and thick brown sticky tape school of wrapping...
And as for the contents - Joules poloshirts for riding - 'teenager aged 14' fits me well; 'Ladies size 10' fits my daughters...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

When I was a student I went inter-railing - first stop the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I didn't care how much it cost, I wanted to see the dancing white stallions. Except the School closes during the summer. I sat down on the steps and I wept.
Now twenty four and a half years later the mountain has come to Mohammed.
At Bahrain's Agricutural Show we had, FOC, an hour long performance by the famous white dancing stallions.
And OMG it was stunning. Especially to a dressage freak like myself. I kept nudging the children and whispering - "Flying change" "Piaffe" "Passage"...
Even Nick was impressed with the Capriole - the vertical jump of a trained horse with a kick of the hind legs at the top of the jump. He said, "You wouldn't need to be standing behind a horse that kicks out like that."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Free Money

I received this message on my cellphone this morning from somebody called Free Lotto:
Congrats your mobile has won GBP950,000 winning No 05,11,20,22,23,08. Pls contact Claims - Patrick Owens email: patrickowens4@yahoo.com or +442030869805 ext1

That's nice - I could be doing with free money! I am, of course, assuming GBP means Great Britain Pounds... - GBP can also mean:
GBP Gastric Bypass
GBP Gain-Bandwidth Product
GBP Good Business Practice(s)
GBP Gameboy Pocket
GBP Global Best Practice(s)
GBP Gewestelijk Bestemmingsplan
GBP Group Buffer Pool
GBP Gameboy Player (Nintendo)
GBP Guanylate Binding Protein
GBP Generalized Belief Propagation
GBP Gameboy Printer (Nintendo)
GBP Gravity Based Penalty
GBP Global Buffer Pool
GBP Gun Buyback Program
GBP Gross Berth Productivity
GBP General Building Plan
GBP Global Backprojection

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why me, Lord?

Beatrice has been selected to play the part of Mary in this year's Nativity. Beatrice favours the method acting approach to getting into character. Here we see her with a pillow stuffed up her pyjamas, barefoot and dragging a bag of rugby balls round the garden. From her pained expression I'm sure you'll agree - rarely were the lines -"How much further is it to Bethlehem, Joseph? I am so tired" - spoken more truely from the heart.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Happiest day of my life... Anyway, Richard and Rosalind Mulholland have got up a website to advertise their lovely house Ballyscullion Park where Nick and I had our wedding reception. And Ros asked us if we'd like to model the wedding section...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On Chesil Beach

Poor Florence Ponting, disgusted by sexual intimacy, quite obviously she's been fiddled with, probably by the overbearing father, the hints are heavy throughout the book. I mean to say, what man takes his teenage daughter on sailing trips and hikes without chaperoning - and they never talk about it afterwards....
And yet all the reviews of this book focus on the decade - it wasn't Florence's fault her new husband's premature ejaculation caused such irrevocable disgust - this was the early Sixties, when young ladies did not lust.
Here's an extract from Love In A Cold Climate (one of my favourite novels) first published in 1949.
Beautiful Polly Hampton is causing consternation - she doesn't seem interested in love or marriage, her mother is at the end of her tether. Sweet, normal Fanny, her friend, is asked:
"Have you ever fancied somebody ever since you can remember?"
I was obliged to admit this was the case. From a tiny child, ever since I could remember in fact, some delicious image had been enshrined in my heart, last thought at night, first thought in the morning. Fred Terry as Sir Percy Blakeney, Lord Byron, Rudolf Valentino, Henry V, Gerald du Maurier, blissful Mrs Ashton at my school, Steerforth, Napoleon, the guard on the 4.45, image had succeeded image...
Fast Mrs Chaddesley Corbett agrees. "From kiddie car to hearse, I couldn't know it better. After all what would there be to think about when one's alone otherwise?"
Florence Ponting was revolted by intimacy - just as Polly Hampton was and Fanny's cousin Linda - because they'd been fiddled with when they were young teenagers.