Scurry driver Chris Orchard has had a busy few weeks, but when she took 5min out for a much-needed glass of Pimms in between shows and demonstrations, her naughty pony Dylan had other ideas...
"When I tell anyone about my pony, Dylan (AKA Rough from Rough & Tumble), I always say that I never say his name once, it’s always 'Dylan… DYLAN…!' He is just the most cheeky, mischievous pony ever. That said, he is great to drive and he’s very, very fast.
At the beginning of June, I was asked to give a display and short talk about scurry driving at a charity even organised by my vets (Lingfield Equine) at Sussex Polo club, in aid of the Ebony Horse Trust (a fantastic charity). The event was superb with the vets handing out copious volumes of Pimms to encourage the public to feel generous to the cause. A jolly good day was had by all who enjoyed some wonderful Polo (and watching some very handsome Argentinean polo players on the field, just like a chapter from a Jilly Cooper novel!). My scurry display and talk was very well received, especially when I did a top speed 'fly past' the crowd with Rough & Tumble!!
Eventually, my duties fulfilled, it was my turn for Pimms, my favourite tipple for the summer, as a reward for my hard work. The vet proudly carried over a pitcher complete with fruit and mint and set it down just inside the lorry door, but before I had time to yell DYLAN for the second time, he had neatly shoved it with his cute little nose and deposited the entire contents of the jug over the horsebox's laminate flooring! Bless his cotton socks…
Luckily (for Dylan) the jug was quickly replenished, and a bouquet of flowers joined it so a jolly good time was had by me too. I am still finding small slices of apple and cucumber in the living of my lorry however!
On to the Hickstead Derby, always a great show. I qualified both pairs for that wonderful main arena on Saturday afternoon, and finished in four place with Rough & Tumble, with only three hundredths of a second separating the top four placings, so a very respectable result.
The celebrity Scurry on Sunday is always brilliant fun and this year I was lucky to be teamed up with commentator Steve Wilde. After Steve had walked the course with me and had a quick crash (inappropriate word) course on how to groom from Paul, he was kitted up with an impressive radio microphone headset so he could do the commentary from the back of my carriage while we charged around that huge main arena at a flat out gallop.
You can imagine my concern (another inappropriate word!) when we got to the funnel, about to enter the arena, and Steve announced that his headset wasn’t working and a hand held mike was thrust into his grasp! how was he going to hang on to the carriage? Still, the show must go on so I cantered into the arena shouting to Steve to hold on, and don't forget to LEAN!
To his credit he did a sterling job and produced a very interesting commentary. Despite me "taking the brakes off", I failed to make him scream on the way round, believe me I tried.
We finished in third place but the celebrity scurry is all about entertaining the spectators immediately before the Derby, and having a great laugh, not about the winning so mission absolutely accomplished.
On to Norfolk, what a lovely show, an immaculately manicured showground, the most polite stewards you could imagine, absolutely everything you could wish from a superb County show. I guess I may have had rose-tinted glasses this year as I qualified both of my Scurry pairs, "Touch & Go" and "Rough & Tumble" for HOYS! Well worth the trip.
Next stop Kent County, the garden of England, oh boy was it hot, last year we were towed on and towed off the showground, the mud was so deep I almost disappeared in it, this year everyone got sunburnt and spent most of the time trying to find shade, drinking lots of bottled water and putting sunscreen on the ponies' noses!
My young groom Laura decided she wanted a white scurry pony of her own and we set off on a mission to win a fluffy stuffed one from the fairground style stall on the showground. We had seen a recent TV documentary showing how they ensure that a prize is won only when the stallholder intends, and as we stood watching people trying their luck and it became evident that the report had been very accurate. Laura, quite determined on success, took matters into her own hands and swiftly threw her next ball directly into the hopper at the base of the milk churn target (your supposed to throw it into the small hole at the top), threw her hands in the air cheering I’ve done it, proudly grabbed her prize pony from the attendant (who hadn’t seen what had happened) and off she went victorious! Well said Laura, it just said you had to get the ball into the hopper at the bottom; it didn’t say how you had to get it there!
Touch & Go gave the new pony a serious sniff over and obviously thought he was brilliant too, I’m not sure he’ll be scurrying by New Forest but you never know if Laura wins another one we could run them as “Steiff & Hamley’s”!"
Hickstead Director Daisy Bunn will once again be blogging for us throughout the show season. Read on for her updates about a golden era for British showjumping, and some very sulky donkeys...
"And thus it begins again - another season, another blog series… Ah, just think of all the column inches I have ahead of me in which to embarrass myself and other unwitting members of our wonderful team. Be afraid, ladies and gents, be very afraid!
Despite the fact that there seems to have been some delay on our ‘permanent sunshine’ order for the month, we have been experiencing some glorious weather in our little corner of Sussex, and the showground is looking lush and green in preparation for next week’s Derby meeting.
Since I last wrote, British Showjumping has been experiencing somewhat of a golden (sorry I had to!) phase. I was lucky enough to be ringside on that momentous day in Greenwich when our Team won gold, and again this last weekend at the London Global Champions Tour, where I witnessed an amazing British one-two, when Ben Maher and Nick Skelton proved they are still on glittering form.
I cannot remember a time that felt so exciting for the sport, and after the Olympic successes of last year, it is particularly cheering to see that the horse power has been kept in this country and our boys are still very much at the top. The London GCT seemed to be a huge success, particularly seeing as it was its first year, and a new international show, televised live on the BBC, is such a great thing for the sport. The more the merrier, we say, and it can only help in further raising the profile of the sport in this country. It feels like a very exciting time, so long may in continue.
It’s excitement all round really, and I cannot wait for the season to kick off. We have record entries in the Derby proper, and have even had to close entries for all national classes on the first two days of the show, so inundated with entries are we. What a happy problem to have! Obviously we are delighted with the level of entries, but on a more juvenile note, we were particularly pleased last week when the actual physical level of paper entries hid our vertically challenged (but wonderful) showjumping secretary Pip!
We’ve had a little game of musical department chairs over the winter, and I am delighted to say that we have managed to poach the unflappable Emma to join Simon and I in the sponsorship department (or 'the dark side', as our office is so charmingly known in the summer – although we secretly love that it makes us sound so scary and cool!) Crucially though, this move has struck fear into the hearts of many a rider as Emma has been their dependable jumping secretary for so long (and in my opinion was far too nice to all of them, especially concerning late entries!) and they’re terrified of what they’ll do without her looking after them all. Bottoms up though Pip, you can look forward to a summer of constant (wine shaped) bribing, as I don’t imagine they’ll behave any better now and get everything in on time!
Another great excitement at the showground has been the magic transformation of our little sloping Ring 4 into a modern, all weather (resplendent with Derby obstacles and water features) mega arena! You really won’t believe your eyes. Our fantastic sponsors Andrews Bowen made us an offer that was simply too good to refuse, and they are currently putting the last minute touches to the installation of the London 2012 surface from Greenwich into our new and improved Ring 4 that dreams are made of. Although times are tight for everyone, it’s always so nice to be able to make such significant improvements to the showground, and the new arena will allow us to both diversify and protect ourselves from the threat of British weather for years to come!
We have a record number of foreign internationals entered for the Derby meeting next week, with some 13 countries represented, and over 170 international horses competing. All of the Hickstead favourites are back, and the winner’s tannoy is sure to feature plenty of Breens, Whitakers, Billingtons, Funnells, Williams and Fletchers we predict. We couldn’t believe our luck in the Spring, when after Sue Smith had enjoyed such a momentous Grand National win, and the lovely Clare Balding interviewed Harvey live (and in front of literally hundreds of millions of viewers, woo hoo!) about his Hickstead glory days. It was very nice to see Hickstead featured in so many national papers the next day, as countless journalists regaled with the famous V-sign story. To mark a very special year, Harvey and Sue will present the Derby trophy to next weekend’s winner.
It’s also been a very special year on a personal note for some of our riders, with brand new baby Breens and Whitakers making their debut into the world, and a mini Skelton on the way. Watch out the poor Mini Challenge collecting ring steward in precisely five years time is all I can say, who will be tasked with keeping all the little monkeys under control! In fact there’s a lovely symmetry to it (and a horrible reminder of how old I’m getting) as the first mini challenge was started purely to keep myself and (now new dads) Matt Broome, Rob Whitaker and (father-to-be) Dan Skelton under control!
Finally, and somewhat predictably, it is in fact me who said the dappiest thing in the office today when talking about our traditional evening of light entertainment on the Saturday night of the Derby. Hilariously, we have gone for donkey chariot racing this year (the mind boggles), and my sister Lizzie really was quite adamant that I referred to the whizzy little things as sulky donkeys. “I mean I know Eeyore didn’t exactly give the species the best rep,” said I, “but I’m sure some of them are really sweet. I really don’t think we should keep going on about them being sulky, it might put people off coming – we’re trying to make it fun.” “No, you fooooolll”, said she, joining the hooting laughter ringing around the office, ‘they’re not sulky donkeys, it’s actually called donkey sulky racing.” Apparently everyone apart from me knows that in fact the chariots are actually called sulky carts – oops!"
"Some riders are good at the whole technology thing. They have websites, twitter pages, Facebook fan sites, and they actually update them (or persuade a nice PR lady to do it for them). Others are far too busy riding and competing to go near a computer, and wouldn't know a smart phone if it bit them!
But US event rider Doug Payne falls firmly in the former camp. We love this video he's made of his horse Running Order, who started life in Ireland as a racehorse trained by Enda Bolger, and ended up eventing at four-star level. Doug shows you the horse's transformation, from early first attempts at dressage and jumping, to advanced level eventing. It's a fascinating glimpse of how a professional produces a horse, showing you his career path in just 18mins.
The horse is now over here in the UK, being ridden by William Fox-Pitt.
They’re calling it the clash of the titans. William Fox-Pitt and Andrew Nicholson, two of the most successful event riders of all time, are both going for the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam at this weekend’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. This bonus prize goes to any rider who can win the world’s top three-day events in succession, namely Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky.
Normally only one rider would be eligible, but following the cancellation of Badminton in 2012, William’s chance was put on hold until this year’s event. Then, in the 12 months since, New Zealander Andrew Nicholson has sauntered into contention with wins at Burghley 2012 and Kentucky last weekend, and a thrilling grudge match was on.
Both riders are hugely successful, often battling it out for top spot in the world rankings, and as long-term rivals you can guarantee they’ll both be doing their utmost to win. William Fox-Pitt rides Parklane Hawk (the horse who gave him his Rolex Grand Slam wins with wins at Burghley 2011 and Kentucky 2012) and Oslo, winner of the Pau four-star in 2011. Andrew Nicholson is equally well armoured, with Avebury (Burghley 2012 winner) and Nereo, who hasn’t finished out of the top five in his last 11 runs including his fourth place at the London 2012 Olympics.
The man set to throw the proverbial spanner in the works is Michael Jung, the reigning World, Olympic and European champion. The German rider is making his debut at this year’s Badminton Horse Trials, but he’s certainly not one to overlook and poses the biggest threat to Fox-Pitt and Nicholson’s Grand Slam plans.
All three come to Badminton with two rides – the event is always hugely oversubscribed and the horses are accepted on the basis of ranking points, so some riders with several high-ranking horses are able to compete twice (effectively giving them double the chance of winning, especially considering they’ll get to ride the cross-country course and showjumping course twice, allowing them to spot any potentially tricky fences before their second ride). Other riders to have two horses entered are Caroline Powell, Jonathan Paget, Mark Todd and Lucy Jackson (all New Zealanders), Australia’s Sam Griffiths, plus Brits Mary King, Kristina Cook and Francis Whittington. Both Mary and Tina have both got masses of team experience, and are definite contenders for the £65,000 first prize.
These double-handed riders are all worth looking out for, while others worthy of consideration are Italy’s Vittoria Pannizon and the cross-country machine Borough Pennyz, eventing royalty Zara Phillips and her London 2012 ride High Kingdom, plus Pippa Funnell, the only rider in history to have won the Rolex Grand Slam. But a total of 84 horses will attempt to conquer Badminton’s fearsomely big cross-country, while a strong dressage performance is almost essential, so don’t be too surprised if one of the long shots causes a serious upset come Monday’s showjumping conclusion.
In the run-up to his Rolex Grand Slam attempt at Badminton, William Fox-Pitt talks about what's been going on in his life over the past few months.
"The big excitement at the end of October last year was definitely the arrival of Chloe Rose into the family! Luckily she waited to appear before I got back from Pau, so her timing was perfect. She’s now six month’s old and it’s like she’s always been here – she gets on really well with her two older brothers, and parents for that matter – we’ve been very lucky, she’s a good girl.
The break I had between November and January was fairly baby focused. Normally at that time of year we would have a holiday, Alice and I, but this year that wasn’t really going to be possible. That said, I did go to Adelaide for the four-star event over there. I was originally going to take a horse to the show, but by the time that had become impossible to do due to horse quarantines, I was already committed to going, so I went to Australia for 10 days, which was highly enjoyable – there was very hot nice weather, and it was good to experience a different side of the world. Apart from that we’ve just been around the UK enjoying a quieter time over the winter. The horses had a holiday, grooms had a holiday, we had a holiday, and although we didn’t get away we were by no means working hard.
The feeling around the team is good. After the Olympics, I felt that this year may be a bit of an anti-climax for everyone as it was such a big focus throughout last season, but actually this year has got me really excited due to our horses’ prospects. I had a few that missed 2012 because of injury that have now come back into work, so for the season ahead I have lots of exceptional horses to concentrate on. I’ve got a new top horse called Running Order, who came from America, and I’m very excited about him. He’s produced by Doug Payne and is at four-star level, he rode in the Rolex Kentucky last year, and although it’s early days he’s a super horse. Cool Mountain is also back, having been injured last year, which was a shame as he missed out on the Olympics. I’m hoping he will be back up to top form very soon.
The spring season has started well, we did have quite a frustrating start with cancellations at two or three events thanks to the weather, but since then its dried up well and I’ve had some good competitions with the horses, including Burnham Market and Weston Park, where the horses have run well and felt good. Results aren't always my focus at the one-day events but they are always good training for the three-days.
I'm riding Seacookie and Chilli Morning at Kentucky, while for Badminton I’m taking Parklane Hawk and Oslo. It’s been very much business as usual for me in the lead up to Badminton, but there has been some perennial hype surrounding Badminton and this year the Rolex Grand Slam too. The build-up is always exciting, and this season has been fantastic with lots of media interest and various interviews. It’s important for me to realise though that winning at Badminton is a very long shot, as this year looks very competitive thanks largely to a high international contingent, including Michael Jung among others. Then again, if I do my bit, with the horses on good form, it’s by no means a foregone conclusion.
I don’t think whether Andrew is in contention for the Rolex Grand Slam or not makes much difference to me. I have to win Badminton either way if I am to claim the Grand Slam, which means beating him. However it would obviously make things highly exciting, and create another edge to the competition, which everyone would love, but I think it won’t make that much difference at the end of the day."
William is the current live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize. Follow our reports throughout Badminton at our special minisite
Hey guys. I hope you are all well, and I have to say things have all been ticking along quite nicely for me. Finally we may have found a new groom, so fingers crossed it all works out.
Don’t you find at this time of year you feel the need to have a spring clean and a good sort out? Well mine started with getting my car cleaned! Firstly I had to muck her out, which took a good 10 minutes, I then took her down to the local car valet and £30 later she came out looking like new! What’s going to get cleaned or thrown out next, I wonder?
So the boys have had an easy few weeks since Patchetts, so I popped them down to Hartpury for an outing. Jen Goodman’s Who Boy won the 1.25m and VIP was second in the 1.35m. This was the first time I had jumped them there, I also used this show as a pre Bluechip Championship run, which is held at Hartpury College. Boyce has qualified for the Winter B/C and 1.25m and VIP is jumping an Open class and the Winter Grand Prix on the 12/13 April.
A few days later I went off to Hand Premier show. The three boys jumped great, and I had some good results. Boyce was fourth in the Winter Grade C qualifier and won a 1.30 class by nearly 4sec - the class had 87 starters in it! VIP jumped really well in the 1.40m classes and finished the week off with a steady double clear in the Grand Prix to finish seventh. We are going for consistency at this level so not worrying too much about fast jump offs.
My very small team of horses is now looking even smaller as Athene H is to go back to his owner at the end of the month. Dutch has been going really well and we have built a good partnership but his owner is cutting back on costs, so he has to go back too. I now have a couple of spaces for some new rides...
As you may have noticed, the team from H&C have made some changes and I think the new look website is ‘looking good’. This does remind me that my website is long overdue a revamp, so watch this space. While I am on the subject of looking good, have you seen the new member of the H&C team - Dean Dibsdall? I cannot wait to see what he has to offer in the upcoming show 'Dean Dibsdall: Model Farrier', but I can tell you guys that I think my farrier is hotter!
"My how 2012 has flown! As I write my final blog of the year (she weeps!) for the fantastic H&C, I can hardly believe that another Olympia is nearly over, and another year gone. More terrifying still is the speed at which January turns into June and the 2012 Hickstead season will be upon us before I know it.
The best Olympia in years
It’s been a great week here in London, and one of the best Olympias that I can remember – not that the flurry of British wins has made me biased of course! Okay, well, to be honest, it has of course, but it’s hard not to get excited when Team GB performs so superbly, at such a high profile event, and when it really matters. There has been a lot of interesting debate in the press recently about the best way to proceed with the future of British showjumping. ‘PR’, ‘raising rider profiles’, ‘increased coverage’ and ‘commercial investment’ are phrases particularly hot on peoples’ tongues, and while I wholeheartedly agree I also understand just quite how difficult these things can be to come by. However, never has the task seemed easier, or so well supported when the riders fulfill their part of the deal so well, notching up a slew of wins jumping against the very best in the world: here at Olympia this week are no fewer than four previous World Champions and the current European Champion to name but a few.
The highlight of week had to be Ben Maher’s win in yesterday’s World Cup Qualifier, on Triple X III, usually his second horse, but one that has stepped up to the mark to replace his injured Robin Hood this year. An increasingly popular new feature at shows it to interview the riders on horseback, immediately before the presentation, and the crowd absolutely love it. It’s an excellent way of helping spectators engage further with the personalities of the sport (both human and equine: Ben said that Triple X was full of himself and knew how good looking he was, and when the very pretty interviewer asked Ben whether he knew that about himself I thought he was going to fall off sideways with embarrassment!)
Joking aside, showjumping press conferences are very rarely broadcast, something which is commonplace in more mainstream sports such as rugby and football, and it gives the public an excellent inside track in to the tactics riders use, their views on a particular course etc. Sitting here typing away in the press office, I have just heard three of our top riders being interviewed for a variety of print and broadcast media, and they all sounded like seasoned old media pro’s. The riders are playing the game, and it will only help our cause. Keep it up guys!
Some big news of the week has been the disappointment that John Whitaker’s star ride Peppermill is unlikely to be fit for next year’s Olympics, but for once all is not doom and gloom as a lot of riders, including John himself with Argento, are hopeful that they have more than one good Olympic prospect in their string. There’s something in the air, and it really does seem to be a very exciting time for British showjumping.
After such a great week, there is a real buzz around Team GB and a few nice shiny Olympic medals to add to this year’s bronze in the European Championships seems more achievable than ever.
Happy Christmas everyone, and rock on 2012. I can’t wait!"
"We Horse & Country girls were already big fans of top German rider Marcus Ehning - but we like him even more after last night.
Marcus had been placed in the Santa Stakes here at Olympia, but when he rode into the prizegiving his mount had changed somewhat... Marcus's horse Noltes Kuchengirl had been getting a little wound up during the presentation of the prizes, so Marcus rode out and came back in on a 'borrowed' horse - one that was about to appear in the Christmas finale!
We're having a brilliant time at Olympia, and have met a whole host of top riders and personalities. Keep visiting our Live Reports to follow the action."
The H&C team invaded the press tent at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials on Sunday – even though there were just two of us!
Sparkly new blog
Blenheim marks the start of our new behind-the-scenes blog. Our users have been asking us what goes on at the competitions we cover while we’re busy Tweeting, interviewing and writing to keep you all up to date with the latest news and results so we thought we’d provide you with an insight to the media side of competing.
A minute to remember
As this is being written, the whole of Blenheim Palace descends into a minute’s silence to mark the ten year anniversary of 9/11. It’s eerily quiet in the media centre – a very rare occurrence – as everyone takes the time to reflect on the dreadful events a decade ago. But after 60 seconds it’s back to the usual hustle and bustle of clicking laptops and the H&C team making too much noise!
H&C Paparazzi Team
Today’s action included the CCI3* showjumping, the CIC3*8/9YO cross-country and the Tri-Zone BE100 Eventer Challenge. Our Tweeting fingers were kept busy and our photography skills sharp, all the while trying to dodge the intermittent downpours. Make sure you check out our gallery to see if we papped you in the Eventer Challenge.
We had the pleasure of talking to some of the competitors taking part in the Eventer Challenge who all said how exciting it was to be competing alongside their horsey heroes at such a prestigious event. We even managed to grab a couple of interviews with riders Charlotte Bacon and Zoe Taylor. Make sure you check out the videos below.
In life we often learn lessons the hard way. And we had a harsh reminder today that technology cannot always be relied upon while interviewing William Fox-Pitt. After a great interview about his first and third placings in the CIC3* we discovered when we got back to the media tent that the sound had not actually worked. Frustrating is an understatement!
All in all we had a great day at Blenheim Palace and send our congratulations to everyone competing.
Results of the BE100 Tri-Zone Eventer Challenge
1st - Ellen Goodwin riding PG Tips
2nd - Charlotte Bacon riding Ballyvaden Ivy - see interview below
3rd - Lynda Cockrill riding Amoreal
4th - Phoebe Cromer riding Its Gotta Be Dun II
5th - Zoe Taylor riding Lyndwey Tune - see interview below
Rimmer showing his delight at being in front of an audience
“I’m writing this blog quite stressed out! Annabel is clamouring to leave – we have to walk over to the farm and pick up the turkey with the sledge. There’s so much snow here still that that’s the easiest way. We’ll stick the turkey on the sledge and pull it back. Fun for the children, but frankly I’d rather be using the car!
Olympia seems like a long time ago now. The kur went well and Rimmer went out and enjoyed himself. I did miss the first two time change, but despite minor panic, I carried on and pretended I hadn’t wanted the first one and still managed to fit them in, luckily. We got the ones on the centre line which was great.
I must say, having a 9pm is not the easiest thing in the world with two kids, that was pretty testing. But Rimmer enjoyed it, and at his age that’s really important.
He was incredibly hot in the warm up though, I literally couldn't touch him with my right spur. He kept warning me ‘if you touch me, I’m off!’ so I had to decide whether to just sit quietly or to insist that he let me ride him.
Overall we had a great and extrememly hectic time. Annabell loved every second of it apart from the War Horse demo – she thought that was terrifying and she was screaming so much I had to take her out.
We all stayed down in London on the Wednesday night and kept an eye on the weather forecast. In the morning we drove the four hours home, arriving just in time for another colossal dump of snow.
Best laid plans
I had planned to hit the ground running and had entered My Hyde for competitions on the Saturday and the Sunday, but everything was cancelled due to the snow.
To add to my delight at the not being able to compete, the boiler conked out on Saturday so we had no heating or hot water, and overnight it was -10 outside! To add insult to injury we had a burst water main on the Sunday, so no water at all. Maybe we should have stayed in London.
It took two days to get the water back on, but thankfully we are all up and running (haha) now.
After this second bout of show, we’ve lost the arena again. Yesterday Annabel was out there riding round on Jessie her Shetland while I was digging and scraping round the edges. I’m sure most riders had better prep for Olympia than we did!
We’re so limited with the weather over Christmas here now. Simon’s parents were going to come up and stay with us, but they didn’t fancy getting stuck on the M1 (at at ninety-something who can blame them?).
So Christmas looks like it’s going to consist of desperately trying to get the horses working somehow – Clyde (My Hyde) is just being lunged at the moment and I walk Rimmer under saddle as it’s safer than letting him loose on the lunge. We do a lot of piaffe in hand. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. It must be five or six weeks of this stupid snow now, I’ve never known it this bad. Suppose it’s our own silly fault for living in the Peak District.
So these next few weeks will be quiet-ish. Simon will make the dinner on Christmas day, I’ll try and entertain the children and the horses will have the day off. Rimmer will go out in his paddock – he has to have a smaller area to stop him getting up a head of steam and hooliganing about like a fruitloop.
Mr Hyde is now out at Medium and I hope to qualify him for the advanced medium regionals in the new year when he will be rising six. His Medium regionals are in February which I’m sure will come around fast. Other than that, I’ll carry on doing the local pony club stuff, helping the kids with their ponies.
I’ve just looked out of the window and I can see that it’s started snowing again. Joy. It was very pretty but now I’d like it to go away. Must go and get the turkey before it’s too icy for even the sledge!