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June 16th, 2019

Sunday, 16th June 2019

Weather is dominating our 'other' news. We get better weather on the East side of England and so far haven't had the hammering the West has and is still getting periodically.  We have a weather warning for Tuesday/Wednesday of thunderstorms, lots of rain and even hail and strong possibility of flooding. Luckily Cambridgeshire is pretty flat and it would need apocalyptic weather for it to really affect us.
My bones are giving me shit at present but it's a petty problem when you consider what it could be. On the other hand, the diabetes is numbing my feet as the circulation slowly gets worse but i'm having more arthritic pain in my hands, which get really sore, and cold oddly enough.  But less of that!  i'll do the Friday Five.

1. What was your favorite childhood vacation?
We didn't have those sort of holidays but went on leave (about a week per month of service). We could choose where we went but it was usually back to UK, except for the time we went to New Zealand. My folks were looking at places for retirement, i think.

2. What is your dream vacation?
I'd like to go to Japan on a guided tour, as i'd need a lot of help and a translator

3. If you could take a trip around the world, what locations would you be sure to include?
i'd start off with the Scandanavian countries, Norway etc and Denmark. Work my way down with Portugal & Spain before Greece and a return visit to lovely Venice. i'd like to see Pachu Pichu and Iguasu (sp?) and the Pantanal.  Then visit Antartica, and on to Far Eastern countries, Thailand and re-visit Malaysia/Singapore before moving on to Japan.  i'd like to visit bits of Australia i never got to and New Zealand's South Island.

4. Do you prefer vacations to new destinations, to familiar destinations, or a mix?
Definitely new

5. What activities would you plan for a two week staycation?
See as much of the country as possible and include any famous museums and touristy bits - can i take Mark with me?.

That gave me itchy feet!  Travelling is such a complicated business now, as i can't walk far and need help with my mobility scooter.
Well, i must away and get on with a spot of cleaning up in the kitchen. Have a great week!

Sunday, 16th June 2019, Part 2

On request, I've been given three subjects in the new meme, all intrigueing

Horse Riding
i learnt to ride while i was still at school, mainly because my sister wanted to and i went along.  We both learned quickly and became proficiant; i never fell off, even when one horse stepped in a hole and went to it's knees - i was a swimmer and had strong legs!  It was quite good fun but restricted mainly to the polo field, though we did have the occasional foray out under escort, around the salt pits and down Khormaksar beach. i learned horses love the sea but didn't have a lot of brain!  i only rode in England once and it was quite the difference to the sand i was used to in Aden.

The Colour Red
So many shades of red to choose from but i am partial to the crimson and darker reds. Scarlet can be too orangey for me.  i don't really like Orange, or Pink for that matter (except occasionally the very pale pinks). Funny don't you think that when the colour Red is mentioned, a lot of people think of Roses? My favourite roses, however, are yellow and white, scented of course!

i do like chocolate a lot, but prefer dark or 'bitter' chocolate. The purer the better up to about 80% cocoa solids.  However, i love the chocolate orange or hazelnut mixtures and rose, orange or strawberry cremes. i'm not fond of Quality Street but do like Roses - who doesn't?!  Sadly, the onset of diabetes has put a severe crimp in my consumption.  *sad face*

That was fun.  Hadn't thought about the horses for such a long time, what a flood of memories this unlocked.
Most of the horses that we rode were stabled at the Golf Club (where they also played polo) and some belonged to the Sultan of Lehej, on loan.  Looking back, i don't suppose they were very suitable for us to learn on as they were super responsive, due to being used for polo.  There was one we were not allowed on, as he was badly treated as a youngster, tempremental and would only willingly take women riders. He had to be blindfolded for a man to get up on him and very few were game.  i remember some of the horses names even now - the half brothers Mabruk and Mubarak, Shamsan one of the biggest and very uncomfortable seat, unless you could get him to canter; big black and powerful Prince who had the thickest neck i've ever seen and little nervous Mahboob or Mahmood, i think he was called. These were Arabs and danced rings around the longer-faced Army horses.  Mabruk the grey was my favourite and had a really comfortable seat, loved him.  i heard later he'd died, having got colic and they couldn't keep him on his feet. Sadly, he managed to lay down and ruptured himself.  i often wondered what happened to the rest. The Sultan's would go back to him of course.
i nearly had a nasty accident once, riding Shamsan.  We came back one trip via a short road culvert and as i was about to go through, a large 3-tonne lorry caught up with us and didn't slow down. The roar of engine noise made Shamsan panic and he backed out into the road. There was nothing i could do to make him straighten up (he couldn't hear me) - short of dismounting and dragging him forward, far too dangerous.  The lorry didn't even swerve (i was told later) and hit him on the flank, knocking us to the side of the road.  It never stopped and roared off.  Bastards. How i stayed on him, i have no idea or how Shamsan stayed upright. We both survived but the muscle on his flank was caved in and left scars.  You couldn't take him near tarmac roads after that.  Now where did that early-sixties memory come from? Amazing how clear it was.
Well, i must go wash-up - the kitchen is reproaching me!  And it's dinner time - how did that happen?