More Six Nations

Seems to have come tradition now to go to at least 1 Six Nations game in Cardiff, and this year was no exception despite having just seen them play the previous weekend in Ireland!

This time was against Scotland. So that leaves only France and England to see, then we’ve seen all the teams play.

Ireland and the Six Nations

Went to Ireland this weekend just gone to visit family, plus to see Ireland v Wales Six Nations game in Dublin.

Apart from the weather it was a lovely weekend, did result in our flight being delayed until 11pm to get out of Dublin. Not good when I had to be up at 7 in the morning for work!

Went to the Guinness Storehouse as well as walk about Dublin to kill some time before our flight. This resulted in a number of photos of Guinness pints…

Photo session at the yard

I had the idea of having a go at taking photos of Tommy looking smart – being all groomed and clean tack. I’ve not really done horse portraits before, only action shots. Must say it is a difficult task to get some horses to look the part. Buddy, for example, was not a natural poser compared to Tommy who just knew how to work the camera (when he wasn’t trying to fill his face with grass!).

The afternoon was then a chance to take pictures of the horses jumping, learnt from last time to try pan instead of waiting with the lens on the jump for the horse to appear into frame. This greatly improved the image focus I feel.

Winter sun doesn’t seem to be the best for the action shots, but gave a nice effect to the portraits. Looking forward to the summer when the ponies will be out of their winter coats and hopefully all glossy for some more portrait shots.

November 2015

So it seems I am not too great at this blog writing business, especially as we are almost into January and I’ve not even written anything for November!

November starts with me baking cakes to take into work. Going for the “Bonfire” theme, I do love making vibrant coloured little cupcakes.

I then bought a few branded items from VistaPrint, must say I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality. Especially of the business cards. Only one side was glossy, and from what I could remember it didn’t mention this nor did it give me an option to select which side is glossy. They’ll do for the time being, but definitely will be getting better ones in the new year! The notepad wasn’t too bad. A lot smaller than I thought it would be.

Tuesdays I generally go up to see the pony after work, meaning I don’t get there til about 6pm when it is rather dark. Always entertaining going out to the field and wandering around to try find them in the field! But the winter nights do mean the yard is a lot quieter, so generally get the school to myself or ride with Buddy and his owner. The flood light in the outdoor school gives everything an eerie hue.

November is also the month of my anniversary with my boyfriend. We spend the night in Waterloo, London, after a dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze Grille. Was rather nice steak there, but service was a bit slow. But always nice to go down to the river to see the London Eye all lit up.

Went to a rugby game to see the boyfriend’s hometown play. Some silly Welsh team called the Scarlets. Just because we hadn’t had enough rugby this year with the Six Nations and World Cup!

We went to HyperJapan in Tobacco Docks, which was amusing. And brought back some nice memories from going to Japan earlier this year. But as a surprise that evening the boyfriend had bought some tickets to go to a gig. Headliner was Zebrahead, but the key reason for the tickets was to see a Japanese band called Man With A Mission. If you are into punk/rock type music it is a band a very highly recommend. We saw them play when we were in Japan, so it was awesome to see them play in London. They are a bit odd and play with wolf masks on, never revealing their faces. But makes them that bit more enjoyable.

Month ended spending time with Tommy. After his surgery to remove a sarcoid and getting treated for sore foot, my sister and I are now trying to bring his condition back up and get him looking good. So try lunge him every now and again along with going out for hacks and general schooling.

That’s all for November 🙂

Christmas 2015 with the ponies

Wednesday 23rd, the yard has some Christmas pony games with lots of the riders turning up to take part. Not really tried night photography, definitely not something I want to do often unless it involves stars or the night sky in general. Also was looking after the niece whilst my sister rode, so didn’t have much opportunity to take pictures as I had to amuse the 1yo.

We then spent Christmas morning up at the yard with the ponies. Was all good until the rain started. But always entertaining dressing the ponies up!

Antics at the yard

Been quite hectic the last few weeks. Today was one of the true days I’ve finally had time to myself, which I would admit has been spent mainly in bed watching food programmes before I went up to the yard to see the horses.

Photos aren’t the best, but the indoor school is not the best place to be taking photos. But we had fun anyway.

Fireworks 2015

Fireworks display was on tonight at Campbell Park, so went along with the family. Was my niece’s 2nd time seeing fireworks, and she fell asleep… But I guess we should be grateful that she wasn’t one of those that is scared of loud noises and likely to spend the whole time crying!

Really do wish I had a tripod to take to these kind of things.

Buddy and Bella

Went to the yard today to take pictures for a couple of riders practicing their jumping. Gave me a chance to practice my photography. Need to try learn to focus on the subject more than waiting for it to appear in the frame. Some pictures are blurry, but posting all for the 2 in the photos to see.

*EDIT* Have amended some of the images in the gallery, in the hope that it will load a little faster. For the original gallery please see:

Bring on November…

So after setting up a blog, I planned to be good and try get something posted once a week, or get a collection of photos uploaded. However, October has been against me since the get go.

At the start of the month I was up at the yard to bring the horse in from the field (I will do a post in future about Tommy Boy). They use electric fencing at that yard, so as normal I unclipped the hook to walk out the field with the horse, and turned him around so he was 1. fully out of the way as to not zap his butt, and 2. so I could reach the hook back over to close the “gate”. The second I had hooked it shut Tommy spooked at God knows what, knocking into me where I then lost my footing and tripped over a small mound of mud at the side of the path.

In the process of falling all I cared about was not falling onto the electric fencing. Not fun if you touch that stuff! But as I fell, I put my hand out and Tommy was still spooking and ended up standing on my hand. Having half a ton of horse stand on your foot is one thing, to stand on your hand… Well that is a whole different experience. Thankfully, my hand was on some spongy long grass so I think that took some of the impact and he was barefoot. But it sure hurt like hell still, and even to this day it has a slightly sore spot on the back of my hand.

Over time the bruise got more colourful as expected:

As the bruise was in its final stages it made my hand look mouldy:

I did go to the walk-in centre (a department of our hospital that is like a step down from Accident & Emergency). They said that because I can bend my wrist my hand wasn’t broken… Not sure that’s really what the diagnosis for a broken hand is. But I only studied veterinary nursing, not humans! So I guess that’s their call.

So as I thought I was getting over that ordeal, this week whilst sat at work my chest started to hurt. In a way that was not nice at all. In the centre of my sternum the pain was awful, especially with every breath. Taking a deep breath in was near impossible. I’ve not been diagnosed with asthma, nor had I been doing anything that could have resulted in a pulled muscle (bearing in mind I work in an office in front of a computer for 8hrs a day). I had had a rather stressful morning, and do wonder if it was triggered by stress.

Am one of those people to get anxious over a number of things, and weird/not normal chest pains turns out to be one of those things. Normally if I get a twinge it lasts for a couple minutes then fades. This has been going on for half an hour, so my sister offered to come get me, driving with such pains didn’t seem to be wise. So went off to the hospital, for a 2nd time within the month.

Chest pains aren’t taken lightly, so got seen fairly fast for A&E standards. Was taken through after triage for a number of tests to be done. Had bloods taken, a chest x-ray, 2 ECG readings, urine checked (always a pleasant test to collect samples for… not). And they did general obs on me over the time I was in. For the ECG they had to put sticky electrodes on me, the 2nd time I was wired up they weren’t working so had to remove them all and put fresh ones on. There is about 10 they put on. So imagine having to remove 10 sticky plasters off your skin… Horrible! So very glad I am not a hairy person.

A sample of my ECG print out
A sample of my ECG print out
Evil stickies
Evil stickies

Sadly not much was gained from the trip other than I had a high heart rate, and a slight fever. They discharged me instructing me to take Friday off to rest, and to take regular pain killers to see if that will help. As they had ruled out the likes of possible heart attack or DVT, or chest infection. But did say that it might be a virus. Personally I still think it is stress relate. Because by late Friday afternoon the pain had gone, but did reappear after a tense moment on Saturday afternoon.

But I did as I was told, and tried to rest up as best I could – bed does get boring after a while. So spent a few hours at the yard with my niece as my sister rode Tommy (whose has now been shod, but has yet to stand on me again!).

My niece watching her mum ride
My niece watching her mum ride

Hopefully I can enjoy the rest of autumn, and maybe get out there to take some nice pictures of the colourful trees without anymore trips to the hospital. Plus hope to complete 2 websites that have sadly been delayed due to all of the above.

Autumn colours
Autumn colours

Hope your October hasn’t been a disaster like mine, and I will aim to give a Halloween update.