From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Friday, 9 March 2012

A Busy Week (part 1)

This week, we have stepped up the work with the horses.  In addition to this, we both have a visitor staying, so we are fitting in some sight-seeing around the locality as well.  It's all keeping us very busy!

The week got off to an inauspicious start, with very strong winds on Monday.  Anne went to feed the horses as usual in the morning, threw their hay over the electric fence, and WHOOSH!!!! it immediately blew across the field, some of it disappearing under the electric fence at the far side.  She quickly gathered up as much as she could and moved it to a sheltered spot under the trees,  but our rather gormless horses could not grasp this concept at all, and returned to their normal feeding spot by the fence, looking hungry!  They must have managed to work it out, though, because all the hay was gone when we both came back later.

The wind made the horses a bit fractious and my arm was aching a bit, so we shelved our riding plans and decided to measure their feet and do another set of hoof photos.  However, as soon as we parked, there was another violent gust of wind, and dust, hay and grit were all flying through the air.  Hmm, we said, it's a bit unpleasant, let's just measure their feet and then go walk a route that Anne had been shown over the weekend, just to be sure that we knew it.

So we did Flurry first, Anne lifting his feet one by one and me measuring them.  All of his feet have spread by a quarter of an inch, but he seems to be trimming his toes all by himself - all of his feet are unchanged at five inches long.  I'm hoping I won't have to go up a size in the front boots, as they're definitely becoming more snug - gulp!

Then we moved on to GiGi.  Anne noticed that she was a bit close to the electric fence, so she moved her forward a step, but Flurry and Ugoline were both standing alongside GiGi, backs to the wind and tails close to the fence.

We measured one of GiGi's and moved onto the second when CRACK! Either Flurry or Ugoline touched the fence and all three horses took flight, Anne attempting to hold GiGi's foot for a moment before common sense prevailed and she let go, tumbling over as she let go. I was hunkered down, tape measure at the ready, and I just lost my balance a bit, I didn't have so far to fall and I this time I had the sense just to roll onto my butt rather than put my hand out to save myself!

We each checked that the other was alright.  Phew, all ok, no injuries.  Perhaps we'll do this another day, said Anne, and maybe we won't tell the LSH!  So we counted our blessings that we weren't en route to Apt hospital again, walked Anne's new route and went home.

S and GiGi
Tuesday was a much better day in every sense.  One of our guests, K, had arrived on Monday evening and we had a very pleasant walk with the dogs along the Falaises first thing in the morning.

Anne and I met up with S, our French friend, and headed off for a hack with me on Flurry and S on GiGi, with Anne following on foot.  We crossed the main road and headed off up a route which we have wanted to do since we got here!  It was great!
Me/Flurry and S/GiGi making our way up a stony trail
S was very keen to ride Flurry - she is really getting her confidence back!  About halfway along, Anne got onto GiGi and S swapped into Flurry, while I took to my feet.  S got on fine with Flurry, he got a little strong nearing home but didn't do anything naughty, so we all finished up really happy.

Anne/GiGi and S/Flurry striding out towards home
The route was about 6.5km, and we took an hour and twenty minutes to do it.  Allowing for messing about taking photos and changing riders, stirrups etc, that's not too bad.
We had two thirsty horses at the end of the trek
We had lunch in the bar beside La Belle Cour - they were about to  stop serving and were nearly out of food, but the chef came out, told us what was left and we divvied it up between us.  Another group came in for lunch shortly after us, and it was really nice to see that, although all of the lunch food was gone, the chef was prepared to put himself out and cobble a meal together out of what he had in the kitchen.  Provencal hospitality for sure!

Anne had to collect our friend Shona from Marseille in the afternoon, and K and I had dinner ready for them when they got back to Céreste.  It was one of those freestyle casseroles that work out really well - neck of lamb, shallots and carrots, cooked for about two hours.  The "recipe" is on our Recipes page.

On Wednesday morning, we planned a longer trek/hike, with Anne, Shona and I sharing horses and K following on foot.
Pausing for girth adjustment
 We crossed the main road again, covered part of Tuesday's route and then turned off into a forested area that has a couple of trails running through it.

Me and Anne trotting off into the distance!
Shona hadn't ridden for ages and was a little nervous, so I rode Flurry for the first section and then swapped with her.
Shona getting used to Flurry

Trotting up through the forest

 She got to do all the fun stuff, riding up through the forest with Anne, while K and I slogged along on foot.  Great views, clear air, the sun shining overhead - I wasn't complaining!
I think Shona was happy!
I was keen to ride the homeward section, just to see if I could cope with Flurry in "going home" mode, so Shona and I swapped over on the way back down the hill.  I was delighted to find that I managed fine - of course the arm is weak, but, even though Flurry was pulling a bit, I had no pain at all, even by the time we got back to the field.
Homeward bound - Flurry leaving GiGi far behind!
We had a quick, late lunch at home after riding, then it was poor Cinnamon's turn to experience the French medical (or in her case, Veterinary) system.  She had been limping on her right hind in the morning, and looking as pathetic as only a terrier/chihuahua with big bulgy eyes can look.  I had hoped it would ease out over the course of the day, but she was just as lame at lunchtime, and her hock had swelled up, so, fearing a broken limb, we went off to the Vet in Apt!

Thankfully, it wasn't a break, the Vet diagnosed a strained ligament, gave her anti-inflammatories and told me to bring her back if she's not using all four legs by Monday.  I'm happy to report she's greatly improved, and using four legs some of the time.  Phew!


  1. Thanks for the stories guys-I know you've had some ups and downs but it looks a dream from where I am( classroom full of sneezing and coughing students!!)
    TV3 on Wed had a horrendous programme about abandoned horses in Ireland. Your 2 look delighted with life.

  2. Hi Helen! Horses are indeed delighted with life, I think they love it here.
    I saw trailers for that program, and I've seen a lot of the ISPCA cases being reported as well - awful.

    Lots of colds here too - I had one last weekend, LSH has it now (but it's morphed into man-flu, of course!)

  3. Great photos - Martine, you were very noble to let me ride uphill and walk downhill - was a lovely morning of riding through the countryside