Monday, November 28, 2011

Middle Age Spread #2

For seventeen years since we met, Nick has lusted after my body - my shoulders, my legs, my symmetrical eyebrows -
"You're such a builder," I told him. "Why can't you love me for my beautiful mind?"
Be careful of what you wish for....
Since the onset of middle age spread (and it's NOT my imagination) I have noticed a subtle shift in the content of Nick's compliments. Finally he has started to love me for my mind.
And I don't mind telling you I don't like it at all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Sara Crewe Moment

My favourite part of A Little Princess is when Sara Crewe, stripped of her fabulous riches and made to work as a servant, meets a street urchin less well off than herself. And even though Sara is hungry she gives her a roll of warm bread to eat.
At Pony Club last week Octavia and Alice fell off when their bold ponies bolted. This week only Octavia turned up in time for their lesson. I gave her a very safe pony - to help her regain her confidence. When Alice finally arrived, only Coco, the bolter was left to ride.
Octavia spoke up and said: "Give Alice my pony. She's more frightened than me. I'm frightened too but I will ride Coco."
When Coco bolted this week, the little Princess kept her seat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Groundhog Day

Teaching pony club was always a challenge but now it's an impossible challenge. Because tonight I realised I'm repeating myself and that's always fatal with me. Tonight I looked at the nervous wee faces of the children, and the expectant faces of their parents and the stoic faces of the ponies and I thought "Groundhog Day Help!!"
Last year when I started to teach there were also nervous wee children and expectant parents and stoic ponies, but then I was fresh to the challenge. I encouraged the children, impressed the parents, and loved and petted the ponies.
But I'm not able to do it again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sleep Paralysis

Last night as I slept, a tall heavy man, dressed in black, with a knife in his hand pulled open the windows and entered our bedroom. He stood silhouetted against the street light. I needed to scream - because I was frightened and I wanted to frighten him off. But my screams were caught in my throat. I tried and tried to make noise and eventually I woke myself up. And realised it was a dream.
It is said (and I quote)'Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements. The victim in this state feels awake, but cannot move or speak. In addition to the immobility, common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existance of someone in the room. Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mistransmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction. If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become "paralyzed".
It is said drinking wine before bed doesn't help. It's worse when you're tired and stressed.
It is said sleep paralysis can't kill you.
That's good to know.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

There Was A Little Girl

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

I know this little girl. She lives in my house. Sweetest child in the world on her good days, but anaemic and easily tired and by the end of the school week, she's a venomous demon. Picks fights with her brother and sisters. Would argue a black cow was white. Yet though she tries everyone's patience I can't say I've ever been tempted to resort to the poem's conclusion:

Her mother...
she did spank her most emphatic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You #2

It's only the third week of pony club but tonight my absolute beginners were given an impossible challenge. The quiet kind horses they've been learning to trot were requisitioned for private lessons, leaving us the wily, experienced ponies.
I tried my best to explain that when it comes to horses small never means docile: ponies have mouths like iron bars: if you pull to stop, they will pull against you; tug of war with 200Kg.
The girls repeated walk halt transitions using their body weight and closing their thighs -
Then I let them loose on the obstacle course - paths to steer into, cones to bend round, three trotting poles in the middle...
Two feral cats growled in the dark - two ponies bolted bucking wildly - two girls held on for as long as they could -
Then green with fright, but with admirable pluck, they remouted and resumed the course.
Afterwards, they congratulated themselves: "Anne says we stayed on for almost as long as professional riders."