Riding into the sunset of my twenties…

I completed another item off my ’30 things before 30′ list. I went pony trekking! Those of you who don’t know me very well, do not realise what a great achievement that is… During my (almost) 30 years on this planet, I’ve barely been able to climb over a fence or gate – let alone climb on a horse, stay on it for an hour and then manage to get off! (Well it took 4 people and a lot of heave ho to get me off… and there is video evidence, so there is one friend who I have to be very nice to in fear of this video ending up on social media 😉 )

So I rode through the forest with the greatest of ease, my hair blowing in the wind whilst the horse’s mane swished from side to side….
OK, maybe not. In reality, I climbed up a plastic step, managed to get myself balanced on Skye – who was the loveliest, calmest horse , I’ve met (even though, to be fair, that isn’t many!) She started stepping towards the edge of the field straight away. I was moving! Argh! Turns out, whereas I was the one who could have easily pooed my pants, it was Skye who wanted to unload her waste… ahem! She has a regular spot and always does a poo before a trek apparently. I liked her organisation and preparation immediately!

Our lovely, calm ride didn’t extend to the rest of the group. The rest of my few friends were fine; the Japanese students from the local Grammar school were not. We were told that they’d been attending every week. At this point I thought, “Great, I’m bottom of the class!” But as they set off on the trek, a new horse from the field reared up at one of the horses carrying a Japanese student. His horse jumped up in reaction, consequently knocking him off! And another student next to him! I was horrified then, but there was no going back!

One thing that made me laugh in the trek, was how the instructors referred to us by the horses names. I heard one say to the other “have you been through trotting with Skye yet?” I was thinking, ” I’m pretty sure Skye knows how… It’s me who doesn’t and I don’t think I want to!” Skye was more interested in eating plants to be honest, but did have a little trot when encouraged verbally by the instructors. I then had no choice but to bounce and “trot” along too!

As I said, Skye took her gentle time. She completely backed off at one point and the instructor asked her why. She’d not seen what I’d seen: the horse in front doing a fart! Honesty, the tail wafted up and everything! That’s why Skye backed off and I didn’t blame her for a second!

I enjoyed my trek. The clippoty clop motion, the gorgeous autumnal leaves (the ones Skye didn’t eat!) and fresh air. We even saw a deer.. though I must admit my only thought there was “Oi Bambi, don’t scare the horses!” Yes, it was a great experience. Not sure I’ll become a regular rider or anything, it even go on a horse who makes it past the “trot” phase in all honesty. But I’m glad I did it.

I admire the outdoorsy people who bound about on these horses; no care in the world ; covered in mud. On the other hand, I screamed when we slightly brushed into a tree it fence. I guess I’ll always be happier tucked up with a book…or at the cinema alone 😉

But I’m a trot further to my 30s 🙂

XSXS

Inbetween the Seasons…

As green turns to brown......

As green turns to brown…… (Kind of like Autumn and Winter hugging!)

I have just  been on a lovely Autumnal walk: green and already turned orange leaves; sunshine that has refused to bugger off from summer; a chill in the air to show that winter is about to turn up on our doorstep. Autumn is obviously a season in itself but I like to think of it as an in-between stage of the year – like the weather reflected today – a gradual blend from Summer to Winter.

As I strolled along the leave laden paths, I thought to myself as being a person who doesn’t like change. I have always thought this. Then I thought about it a little deeper and realised change is a part of life and can be a change for the better or a change for the worse. If I am having a hard time, of course I crave for a change to happen so that things can improve. Yet, if life is swimming along well, I don’t want anything to change – but of course it will; as that is life.

On a more general note though, I have never liked important changes in life – even if I know they are for the better and I have chose to make them. For example: moving house, starting new jobs, friends moving away etc. I get quite emotional and unsettled by this change and need a lot of time to adjust. Autumn is my favourite season for this reason: the gradual change from lazy summer days to cold, snuggly (or panic-stricken Christmas shopping) days. Autumn is the our settling in period. We get used to the days not being hot (not sure we actually got used to this anyway!) and as the leaves change from green; to yellow; to brown, our clothes change from bikinis; to t-shirts; to jumpers (or thermal underwear). Autumn helps us to mourn Summer and prepare for Winter  – kind of a rebound season 😉  – Well I truly embrace it.

‘The clocks slid back an hour

and stole light from my life.’

This is a Carol Ann Duffy quote from her poem Mean Time. (I wrote a blog about this idea last year: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/time-to-write/)

I always think about this poem at this time of year; as the clocks slide back, to me, it is  officially Autumn. We have set the clocks in motion for Winter to approach – we have our extra hour as a treat and then have to endure the darker nights. I think in the UK, we have a way of dealing with all this. A way to mentally prepare for this looming Winter – and that behaviour starts now, in the glorious Autumn. We plan and buy. We start to make plans for Christmas: the parties; the actual day; Boxing day; presents and cards; maybe even as far as New Year’s Eve. In the depth of the dark, bitter cold Winter days, we want and need something to look forward to: so we plan. I think by buying things to embrace Winter, also helps to get used this idea of this changing season. People seem to get just as excited at buying knee boots as they do bikinis four months before. I know I do! Autumn is a time to buy things to help you enjoy Winter: a mug for your hot chocolate; a new hot water bottle; a party outfit; a fleece throw for your bed – just as all the sunglasses, beach towels and shorts go away to the back of the wardrobe until next year. We use this in-between season to prepare for the next one – and we need it.

I also love Autumn because it is my birthday – so I feel a personal change too. Ready for the next numerical year of my life! I love the fact I was born in Autumn; what’s a bigger change than a baby? And I’m sure my Mum felt that change (almost) 28 years ago! In fact, I like to call November ‘birthday season’ as lots of my friends and family also have their birthdays in that month, so it is a time of celebration. (https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/a-day-of-birth/) October has a been an odd month for me this year: I haven’t drank alcohol and have hardly been out – mainly stuck in a DIY hell at home! Haha…. so I am looking forward to fully enjoying the next part of this in-between season and doing lots of socialising and partying – all in preparation for Winter’s Christmas partying of course! 😉

Autumn2

The sun reminding us it’s still here….

 Autumn1

So embrace this in-between season. Enjoy the changing of colours and temperatures. Relish the smells of chestnuts, warm winter soups and the leather of your new, knee boots. Plan and buy and prepare…. we have a whole season to do it. Before Winter gets us!

Autumn7

XSXS

Image

Happy 1st Birthday!

Following on from Reunions to remember, I felt my blog deserved its very own post to wish it a Happy Birthday! 1 year old today and going strong! 🙂

My regular yearning to write is also a year old and still keeps going too, which is a triumph to me! To repeat from the previous post, thanks to all that have read, commented, followed, glanced or glimpsed at a post! Please take a moment to wish the blog a happy birthday 😉

Maybe the blog will share its birthday with the new royal baby 🙂 And, My good friend Rachael has a birthday today, plus a colleague and a school mate have also had babies. Always excuses to celebrate remember 😉

Keep on writing people! 🙂

Feeling the Presents…

Well my first post as a 27 year old!! I had a lovely birthday and the meal and drinks outing with friends last night was great. Lots of food (too much – I stupidly had a starter, which I should learn is a no no at an Indian!) The bottle of wine to myself though was a very good idea! Haha, not actually suffering today either, maybe I am finally immune to alcohol now that I am 27! Not that I wasn’t feeling a little tipsy last night….

I know I said that presents weren’t the main reason I get excited for my birthday, but thought i would briefly share with you how lucky I was. My boyfriend bought me a Nook…. like a Kindle but a different brand… ( I keep getting told off for calling it a kindle!) I have been in two minds as to whether these are a good thing or not. I mean, they can’t replace books surely? It is sad if people won’t read proper books anymore with the pretty covers, old or new smell and put then onto lovely book shelves. Sometimes I just go and look at my books. They are in alphabetical order by the author’s surname. I love to see which books I have enjoyed and which ones I need to read still. I had to say to my boyfriend that even though I was excited by the Nook that I wouldn’t be getting rid of my books! He looked a little disappointed as I think he is fearful that one day we will have a room where the walls are lined with books (it is not far off this now to be honest!) So, I have never been sure about these e-book readers just because I couldn’t work out how one, plus my normal books, would fit into my life. But I have figured that it will be great to download the old classics for free and use it for magazines and newspapers…. and of course it will be great for the train and when on holiday etc. I have also realised it is quite handy for reading those books you don’t want others to see you reading (like 50 Shades of Grey and a book I currently want called Why is the Penis Shaped Like That?) They are books you just wouldn’t want on the shelf aren’t they?! So, I am quite excited about it and currently waiting for it to charge so I can play with it! One thing, I found ironic though, is that in order to use it you need to read the instruction book! I guess books will never completely go………….

In terms of other presents, I have had lovely real books, bags, jewellery and some quote plaques! With my love of words I want to start a quote wall with lots of quote plaques!! I also had some photo albums… another passion of mine as you will know! So people know me very well and I am very lucky! A very good birthday…. not sure it quite matches up to my 25th though!

Of course the real gift is feeling the presence of people around you. I have had so many texts, cards and facebook messages and to be around my closest friends last night was great!

See my previous related posts: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/50-shades-of-opinion-by-miss-gray/    https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/fifty-darker-shades-of-opinion-by-miss-gray/

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/photographic-memories/

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/a-day-of-birth/

Formal rowing dinner tonight with my boyfriend and our parents.. and lots of other rowing people! I’ll also call it birthday part 2!

XSXS

 

A Day of Birth

….no I am not talking about Obama since it isn’t a birth of a new president, he has done the job for 4 years and I hope he continues to do it well! On from that, I want to talk about birthdays in general. Mine is on Friday (the big 27 but hush hush 😉 ) I thought I would write this now since I have plans on Friday… off out for a meal and drinks with lots of friends yippee!

Isn’t it strange how we celebrate birthdays? I mean it was the day we were born. A day of birth. We didn’t really do anything; our mothers did! We can’t even remember it unless we have a super power heightened memory like I talked about in my post: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/remember-that/. Our mum’s should get a celebration like ‘I gave birth day’ – yes I know there is mother’s day but we could re-jig and have a day for others elsewhere like a ‘child’s’ day. But I guess the appeal of birthdays is that it is your own, your day. Unless you happen to have a mate with the same birthday or, like my partner, you are a twin and have to share your birthday (they also had a friend with the same birthday when they were growing up – how unfair is that? A three way shared birthday!) It is your day, though, to feel special and to celebrate another year alive…. which I also find a little odd because it is almost like people are saying ‘well done for surviving another year!’ or ‘well done for coming one year closer to death!’ Haha. It also gets me for special birthdays especially, people congratulate you – like a card saying ‘congratulations on your 40th’. I mean congrats for what? They haven’t done anything, just managed to avoid getting run over by a bus, have a terminal disease or get a fatal case of food poisoning for 40 years. Well well done you! It’s not like they have got a new job or graduated from university – just simply survived and stubbornly stayed on the earth for 4 decades!

Anyway, you’re going to get the feeling that I don’t like birthdays and that is so not true. I just find the whole concept a bit odd that’s all. I do, though, get quite excited about birthdays. I love when friends and family have birthdays and I’ve bought them that special surprise present that they will love or even better if we are going out to celebrate. I get very excited when my birthday is looming. I am not that materialistic and it is not the presents (well it is a bit, I am human after all and we all like to receive things!) but normally I have such great plans (that tend to extend for two weekends) and it is a time when I get to see all of my closest friends and family. This week is a very busy birthday week for my family actually – me, my uncle and granddad are all in the space of five days! Quite nice really.

This year, me and my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend are having a joint birthday do – makes sense because our birthdays are four days apart and we have all the same friends. So it should be good! Then the weekend after, I am going out with my other group of close girly mates for a meal and it is also my Aunty’s 50th birthday party (she has survived half a century, get out the champagne!) so there is a reason that I call November ‘birthday season’.

My favourite birthday was my 25th. I know I should probably say by 7th when I had a huge party or my 18th because it was a ‘special’ one but my 25th was just so great for so many reasons. I had to go to work but I was asked to go on a school trip with some special needs kids. It was hard work but a great day (except from when I left the camera in a mosque and didn’t realise until I was the other side of town and had to race back for it – putting on my head scarf as I went! That is part of it now – a funny memory.) So yes, the working day was different, a break from routine (good for me but not the SEN kids!). I was a bit gutted though because the kids back at school had been doing solids, liquids and gasses in science and I had suggested to the teacher the best way they would understand was by using chocolate (well of course!) as it is a solid and melts to a liquid. I convinced the teacher to do this and he said he would for my birthday – then I ended up going on the trip! When I returned though, he had saved me some melted chocolate! I had badges, cards and presents off colleagues and got home to flowers waiting in the doorway. I also called to see my family and then my boyfriend took me for a meal later that evening. I had also been for a meal with friends the weekend before and my boyfriend’s family came to visit the evening after. So I saw everyone I wanted to and just felt very loved and special. Other birthdays have been great too and I am lucky that none of them have been bad (fingers crossed Fri will be good too!) but that one just sticks in my mind as everything going right (apart from the camera incident!)

So here is to birthdays, raise a glass. When you are apparently celebrating becoming a year older, but it is in fact a day older than the day before! But why miss a chance to celebrate being ‘you’ and made to feel special?

Oh and remember, birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake!

XSXS