3, 2, 1 UP! I hold my breath and fight the impulse to tuck my own knees in. He lands, the poles stay up. I stay transfixed as he bounces his way to the final fence, his head is held high yet tucked in soft to his rider’s hand, his big neck arched proudly to ears stretched forward, focused on the next fence, he so clearly loves his job. Instinctively I count the final strides again then half cover my eyes as I see he’s slightly off, I hear the whole crowd gasp with me as White Star puts in an almighty leap and sores high above the fence kicking out his back legs in an incredible show of athleticism. As they land Justin pushes him on hands up his neck like a jockey, they thunder through the flags and the whole crowd roars, they’ve won! Tears come to my eyes and pride wells in my chest as I watch them gallop around the arena waving to the crowds. The horse looks a million dollars, almost blinding in his whiteness as the sun shines on him, muscles rippling just under the skin as he comes back to a trot and practically dances back towards me such is the power in his every stride. When you see him perform you have no doubt that this is a star of the future you’re watching. As they leave the arena my boss catches my eye and gives me a huge smile, a smile that says a thousand Thank you’s because it’s moments like these that make all the hard work worthwhile. Continue reading
I think I might have finally begun to understand the saying I interpret as –
It is only by leaving your home to experience the world outside of it, that you can come back to appreciate and understand the beauty which surrounded you to begin with.
This is the eye opening process I am going through now as I fall head over heels in love with my home county Devon.
Mountain biking at Dartmoor
Devon is the third largest county in the UK with a population of around 1.1 million. It is largely a rural county, with the population spread widely around the coastal and market towns. Traditionally inhabitants have always made their money from trades such as farming, fishing and mining which I think has given the towns a large part of their character today. Farmers markets selling groceries and livestock auctions are both still well attended events in the communities of rural towns. However, as time has passed tourism has really come to the fore as the main source of income for the county.
Who can blame them? North Devon has its long stretches of perfect sandy beaches with the wilderness of Exmoor pressing right up to it. South Devon has its towering cliffs with numerous quirky coves and beaches, part of which is the Jurassic coast one of only 2 natural World Heritage sights in the UK. In-between we have Dartmoor national park, Exeter and the many quirky old faming towns with their rather excellent local pubs!
I could write reams of text here covering the vast array of tourist sites in Devon but there is already many websites that cover this subject very well, here are a couple of my picks
What I would like to share with you is what makes Devon special to the people that live here, what does it mean to them? Continue reading
JOB = QUIT
HOME = MOVED 4½ HOURS SOUTH
How do you decide when enough is enough? This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. My method is to make a list of pros and cons for leaving and staying. When I saw that the reasons I had for staying were things such as money, security, not wanting to let people down (even though said people would let me down regularly) not wanting to admit I was wrong and this life path wasn’t working. None of these reasons had any real value to me, these are things we are told to value but when compared to my pros – happiness, doing a job you consider worthwhile and that your passionate about, being around those that love and value you, living in a place that suits you. You can see how they pale into insignificance. Continue reading