Giving in to the Fear.

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I’m a bit of a scaredy cat. And definitely an “over-thinker”. I’ll look at an ordinary situation and imagine it in its worst possible scenario. I went out to an underground club a few weeks ago and made all my friends dance by the fire exit, as I couldn’t stop thinking about not being able to get out of there in an emergency. Health, too – I’m a huge hypochondriac, I’ll admit it. If I thought about it enough I’d probably never leave the house! If I had to choose something, though, I’d say my biggest fear was probably flying. I can’t stand it. I’ve embarrassed myself on too many flights by descending into a nervous wreck following the slightest change in engine noise, a light flashing, an air hostess answering the phone – don’t even mention turbulence. I know exactly why it is, too. It’s having a complete lack of control and entrusting my life to a giant metal machine hurtling through the sky at 500mph.

In January this year, the chance to visit Kenya with a few of my best girl friends came up. One had been out in Kenya for a few months volunteering at the Colobus Trust, and so the plan was to go and stay with her when she finished her work and travel for a few weeks. I was a bit apprehensive about going at first – it would involve two 8 hour flights (Heathrow to Nairobi) and then two internal flights too (Nairobi to Mombasa).

But then I thought, how amazing would this experience be? And to be able to spend the money on it, before I get a mortgage and a family and a permanent job and all that kind of stuff. My friends would have gone whether I had or not, and I would have been sitting at home in rainy Birmingham wishing I’d been able to face that 8 hour flight. So I decided to man up and get on with it, and go.

(Although before I sound too brave I should admit that my doctor prescribed me some Diazepam for the flights…..)

Anyway, it turned out to be an amazing couple of weeks. We visited Nairobi, had a 2 night safari in Tsavo West and Amboselli, stayed in a cottage by the Indian ocean in Mombasa and went snorkelling – I touched a puffa fish!!

So I guess the moral of the story is that it’s ok (and very normal) to be afraid of something – as long as you don’t give in to the fear and let it stop you from doing what you want to do.

And my next flight? Well, it’s in 3 days time, Birmingham to Paris. Bring it on.

Positive Steps!

Just a little post today, full of positivity though!

I had such a productive schooling session with Bailey yesterday, I came out of it feeling really positive and optimistic that we’re finally back on track! I’m going to start having some proper lessons rather than just schooling off my own initiative, as even though I’ve had riding lessons for about 16 years I feel like there’s always more to learn and that sometimes a more experienced eye from the ground can be an invaluable help. And I want to improve as quickly as we can ready for the summer show season. So that’s where me and Bailey are at the moment!

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In other news, I received a rejection email after my second interview for the marketing internship but I’m ok with it as I’ve had the best news – a job interview for a job in the marketing and communications department at the British Horse Society HQ! Again, trying not to be too hopeful about it but it would be perfect – I want a marketing career in the equine industry and so this would be a giant leap in the right direction. Eek! Deep breaths…

So this weekend I’m just going to probably prepare for my interview and not do a lot of “fun stuff” (apart from hanging out at the yard obviously)- I went out twice last weekend though (Easter Bank Holiday weekend) and definitely spent more money than I should so I need to have a more chilled weekend! Especially as me and Johnny are off to Paris next weekend so I’ve got to save for that! So much on the to do list for the 3 days. Eiffel Tower here we come…

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That’s the first photo I’ve ever put on my blog that I haven’t taken myself – I feel a bit disloyal! Maybe when I get back from Paris I’ll update it with one of my own… lol! 

Can you have fun with horses in the snow?

So it’s been snowing again!! Virtually non-stop since last Thursday evening and then over the weekend, which was a bit of a pain as I had my second interview for the marketing job on Friday morning so had to drive to the other side of Birmingham not only in rush hour traffic but also in the snow – I’d been driving for 20 minutes and was still within walking distance of my house!

The latest onslaught of snow has come at a pretty inconvenient time (aside from the fact it’s the end of March and that this time last year we were sitting in a park in Manchester in the sun). I’ve only just started to get Bailey back into work after his colic issues, as he obviously had to have time off to recover from that and as soon as I started exercising him again he had a terrible cough, so it’s only been in the last week that I’ve moved on from light hacking and into schooling work. So the snow has buggered up my schooling schedule a bit.

But in a way, it’s actually been quite nice. It was snowing when I got to the yard yesterday and so I knew I couldn’t really ride (we have no indoor school) but I was also really conscious about horsey being in the stable all day and night – horses recovering from colic should have time exercising daily if possible, to keep their gut moving. So I decided to get his big outdoor rug on and get him to stretch his legs in the school. The best (and most fun!) way to do this? Run around with him!

Sorry for the poor quality video – I take all my stuff with my iPhone, and this is the first video I’ve put online with it. It was perfect quality on my phone but something’s obviously got lost along the way. I’ll work on it!!!

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Anyway it’s been over a week now since the snow arrived and it’s still hanging round – fingers crossed it disappears soon! Hope no one else has had any horsey snow related problems.

The Life Plan

It’s Sunday evening, and the end to a pretty hectic week – a week that has seen “Sarah’s Life Plan” really start moving!

It kicked off at 9.30 on Monday morning with a job interview (finally!) for a marketing internship in Sutton Coldfield. It sounds absolutely ideal and would be a great foundation for a marketing career, so my fingers are crossed but I’m trying not to be too hopeful! The interview went fine (well at least I think it did – how much can you really tell?) although I was nearly late for it which was a bit of a nightmare.

Monday evening was the open evening for the Marketing qualification course I’ve decided to do – although I’ve got great work experience since leaving university, the fact that I’m applying for marketing jobs with a psychology degree puts me at a disadvantage to other candidates with a relevant qualification, so I’m going to do something about it! It starts on Tuesday and I’m excited to gain some theoretical Marketing knowledge and it will definitely help the Life Plan.

Tuesday I spent the entire day at the yard helping out my friends who work there, as one of them was off and it’s a big job for just one person. I even got a blister from the amount of mucking out I did! Slightly embarrassed about that as they do it every single day and you don’t see them getting blisters. Lovely to spend some extra time around the horses anyway, and was left in charge of a vet’s visit to a horse with teeth issues and possible stomach ulcers – very interesting. Also starting to build up Bailey’s weight after his colic, and begin exercising him at a more intense level to help him get back to normal. He’s coughing a lot at the moment though, so it’s going to be a slow process. Bailey’s got his own Life Plan going on!

Then Tuesday evening I went to a BHS (British Horse Society, not British Home Stores!) meeting to investigate the possible chance of becoming a volunteer press officer – basically using the media to publicise the work of the BHS in the West Midlands. Sounds really interesting and also would be great to get some voluntary work on my CV in the marketing and communications area – a definite step forward for the Life Plan!

Wednesday was just one of those days. I went in to work for a meeting with someone who was two and a half hours late, had some real PowerPoint issues with a presentation I’m working on, couldn’t get Bailey to walk two steps without coughing his lungs out and had some bad news about the Marketing course. But it ended well, me and Johnny went to see a band we love play live (Foals – look them up!) which helped cheer me up.

Then Thursday and Friday were slightly less hectic, just helping Johnny do his maths Uni work and hanging out at the yard with Bailey. Not great days for the Life Plan but nice to have a bit of a break I suppose!

Then the weekend – went to the dog show Crufts on Saturday with Johnny, met some amazing little dogs and saw lots of my favourite English Springer Spaniels. Really want to get one now, but I’ll have to wait until I move out and get my own place! Can’t wait though.

Mother’s Day today, spent some time with my mum having a meal in a little pub in Warwickshire, a lovely end to the week. Looking forward to seeing how the Life Plan develops this week – should start with hearing about the results of the job interview! Eek!

Anyway here are some photos of the lovely dogs I met at Crufts – a Clumber Spaniel, Setter and a Springer Spaniel. All gorgeous Gundogs, my personal favourites.

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A walk in the snow

When it started to snow last night, my mum immediately started to get worried about how she was going to get to work this morning. She works in the countryside and her car is terrible in the snow. So, she asked if she could borrow my car, which is much better on the icethan hers and so would be safer for her to drive to work. I obviously said yes but that left me in the house without a car today, feeling a little bit stranded!! I’ve been job hunting over the last few weeks and received either no response or just rejections, so the thought of another day alone in my house trawling the internet for vacancies didn’t seem very appealing.

So seeing as I couldn’t go very far I decided to go out for a little walk. Our house backs on to a golf course and when it’s snowy it provides such a beautiful, peaceful space to go for a walk in. Like a park, but without all the other people. It’s amazing what some time to yourself can do for you, and I came back feeling much more relaxed and positive about my situation.

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A day out in Bibury

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, so when I was looking through some of my photos on my laptop earlier and I came across these from a day out in the summer, I thought they could provide the subject for a new post.

A close friend of mine from childhood’s sister got married last summer in Bibury, a picturesque village in the Cotswolds. Johnny and I were invited to the evening reception but thought we may as well drive down earlier and spend the day looking round the village (despite the only real attraction being a trout farm…)

So when we got there we parked up and walked along the river towards the trout farm. (www.biburytroutfarm.co.uk, if anyone’s interested… it was actually quite good!)

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In the trout farm, we were given some fish food to throw into the pools and it was pretty fun to throw it in and watch all the fish try and get it:

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The weird trout stamp you get on your hand – very appropriate for a wedding reception…

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Bibury Court Hotel, where the wedding reception was held.

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It even had hammocks in the grounds!!!

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On our way back to the car we were following an old lady walking her two little dogs. She’d only walk a few steps and then the smallest dog would sit down and refuse to move anywhere. Anyway we obviously caught up with her quite quickly as she wasn’t going anywhere very fast and when we did we bent down to stroke the little dog. As we did so the woman said, “Careful, she’s very nervous!” and right on cue the little dog did a wee. Haha!

I’d like to add that these were all pictures taken in the day before the reception. We didn’t wear jumpers and denim shorts to the reception!! Honest 🙂