February 2017

We are now in Wales!

“Bore da”, which is Welsh for good morning and about all I know so far. Starting Welsh lessons tomorrow evening, although Carol will have a head start as she began learning it last time she was in Wales.

Our move to Wales was ultimately successful, but the waters did not run smooth. Having been worried about a suspect slow puncture, the truck was taken to a tyre place the Friday before the move and had 4 (yes four) new tyres put on. Carol set off early so that she could be in Wales in time to collect the keys to the new place, but only got half way when a tyre burst. This resulted in closure of some of the lanes on the M4 (yes, it happened on the motorway) and a two-hour wait for Carol in the cold at the side of the motorway. Thank God nothing worse happened, and that she had no horses on board (although the cat and two dogs were somewhat p**ssed off by the wait).

Desperate for a coffee (and other essentials), after getting the spare tyre put on she pulled into the next services (Membury) just in time to hear a really loud bang. Yes, a second tyre had burst! The mind boggles at how dangerous this could have been if she was still on the M4 again. Fortunately a very kind AA man came and helped source a new tyre, but with 150 miles still to go it meant a 12 hour trip for Carol in total.

In fact, although I didn’t leave until 1.30pm (after the removal men had finished and house cleaning), I caught Carol up on the way (many thanks to Kirsty for a desperately needed cup of tea, even though she didn’t know I was stealing it at the time).

Nine o’clock at night is not the best time to be arriving at a new place without furniture when you have had a very long day (surprising how the airbed instructions took on a new level on complexity) but the kind estate agent had left the keys hidden for us and the lovely ex-owner had left the central heating on.

The furniture truck arrived the next morning and it is amazing how strong those guys were. With all the outside stuff to shift as well it was some time before they could head on the road home, but we happily collapsed amid the boxes (LOTS of boxes). Patch of course settled in on minute 1 of arrival, and just wanted to explore and be in the centre of everything. Bodie decided it was best if she kept out of everyone’s way and stayed in one place, and the cat thoroughly approved of the new house by sleeping on the windowsill until the bed was made up, then moving along the bed with the sunshine for the next few days (yes, we have had LOTS of sunshine).

But what about the horses you ask? Duke has settled in very quickly in his new home, smooching up to everyone and winning them over. He is off to a competition next weekend so the best of luck for the start of what I am sure will be a fun partnership. Diva and Lexi are at Penny Sangster’s until we are sorted here, and although Diva is being clingy about Lexi it sounds like they are otherwise settled in. We went to see a livery yard today as somewhere to keep them until the arena is done here, but it was a big disappointment. Yes it is expensive to fix fences and driveways etc. when they start getting old, but it costs nothing to pick up fencing tape that is lying across the paddock (yes there were horses in the field) and clear feed bags that have obviously blown around. Anyway, we decided that the girls would be better staying in Sussex for now, but I have water-blasted their ‘new’ stables so hoping to get them repainted before arrival.

Hope everyone is having some super rides between the showers (and on the nice days too of course) and may your arenas be unfrozen and your paddocks dry for the rest of the month.

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