The Olympics is Over
... and didn't we do well?! Bloody nora - who'd have thought it - 4th place with a fabulous 19 Gold medals, and 47 in total. The official medal table shows that my beloved Canada only got 3 Golds and a total of 18, while dearest Spain managed 5 Gold and a total of 18 also. Oh well. Canada usually fares better in the Winter Olympics. I keep hoping I'll be around still - it's only 2 years away, and it's in Vancouver, BC, my birthplace. Cool.
Questions: How on earth will London compete with those opening and closing ceremonies?! What was the matter with Boris Johnson's suit? Did anyone see the Modern Pentathlon? Now there's a sport and a half!!!
A Good Teacher Can Make All The Difference
I had my usual riding instructor on Thursday, and to my horror, my stomach lurched when I saw she had Ivor all tacked up and waiting for me. It seems the previous lesson had a profound effect on me, and for the first 5 minutes or so, I felt as though I was learning to ride all over again. It didn't help much that he kept on tripping over his own feet, and it wasn't long before I was as stiff as a plank (not to mention riding like one!) with gritted teeth and a vaguely foetal position.
"He isn't going to fall over," said my instructor after watching us for a few minutes. "Relax your wrists and your shoulders more," she went on, "He's tripping up because he's unbalanced, so you have to help him." Eventually I relaxed and rode much better. Ivor promptly found his feet and the rest of the lesson was great, until that is, my instructor suggested I 'pop him over' a little jump. My stomach turned somersault at the sight of the small 2 foot uprights I'd been trotting past all lesson. It surprised me, because it's the first time I've ever felt real fear on a horse.
My instructor was quick to identify the problem - that I'd been over-faced the previous week by starting on uprights. "Nonsense!" she said, when I said he wouldn't jump cross poles. "He has to learn." Even so, I still didn't feel happy about jumping anything full stop, and what a shame because I love jumping usually. Luckily, a good teacher can make all the difference. She suggested we just go over some trotting poles (I.e. a pole laid flat on the ground), and see how that felt. By the end of the lesson I was back up jumping cross poles and felt so relieved. With a delicate mix of encouragement, understanding and empathy, my teacher managed to push me firmly but gently forward, and helped me regain confidence in my riding and Ivor. She deserves a medal does that woman, putting up with me!
How to waste a Week
1. Send husband off to the lakes for a 5 day hike/climb with his mates.
Day 1: Get teenager to help tidy house from top to bottom, and little one to do own bedroom. Relax and drink tea all day.
Day 2: Have lots of intentions, I.e. the intention to read through chapter of novel, with the intention of then adding to said draft, and finishing it/to blog about feeling so low re: health/to weed the poor garden.
Day 3: Intend to list some more stuff on Ebay in order to gather funds for riding lessons.
Day 4: Intend to visit friends (but can't due to tummy ache), and intend to catch up with phone calls.
Day 5: Have riding lesson. Welcome husband home and tell him all about the things you meant to do, but didn't actually get around to doing!
Throughout entire week, try not to cry or be miserable, especially not at the end of riding lessons/at checkout in Tesco/while watching children play on trampoline in garden. Spend all other spare moments engaged in most important activity of 2008 - watching the Olympics till 3 am every morning!!!