Adventures of Frangipan

Sunday, 31 August 2008


It seems I have made an enemy. Either that, or there is something about my car that makes it a prime target for yobs to vandalise. A few months back, it was kicked and there was a dent in one of the panels. And Friday night, my wing mirror was smashed and my rear windscreeen wiper pulled off. All for shits and giggles.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of all these kids coming up to the castle at night, making a nuisance of themselves, shouting and screaming in the early hours of the morning, and vandalising property. I'm not the only victim. And apparently nothing can be done about it. Makes me understand vigilante justice - where's batman when you need him?

I personally will be threatening to call the police if they don't move along when asked. The police will soon get sick of coming up here to sort them out. Maybe then we'll get some CCTV, and hopefully the peace and quiet will follow soon after.

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Friday, 22 August 2008

Mounted Games Championships - Results

So we all trekked down to Derbyshire, set up our penning for the ponies in the rain, pitched our tents, and at 9am on Thursday we started the first competition.

The day did not go as planned. Nerves and the pressure of the occassion got the better of the team. I didn't deal with it in the best way possible: I was angry that their attitude had changed, and rather than deal with that by happily getting them to concentrate on having fun and enjoying their day, I basically told them off about their attitude.

That said, if they could've managed one more point in the morning session, they would've been in the runoff for the championships final.

So we had a break and started the runners up final at 1.30pm. Again we didn't get off to a great start. I said I'd meet them for a practice at 12.30pm, and they were 25 minutes late. So that got us off to another bad start. The afternoon session went better. They qualified for three finals, and I think they were first in each of those heats. But they seemed to get some bad luck in the finals.

We ended the day 10th in the runners up competition, and 22nd out of 24 overall. They should still be proud of themselves for getting that far: only the second F&D team to do it 10 years. And they beat a lot of teams to get there. Three of them are now too old for juniors, so move into the seniors age group where I hope they do as well.

So now we have to find a way of dealing with the pressure, and putting together a team that really wants to win, and believes they can.

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Schmap Guides

A while back, three of my photos were chosen to appear in the Schmap Guides to Brisbane (one photo) and Auckland (two photos). I've just received an email to say that these are now available in the Schmap guides on the iPhone and iPod touch.

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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Mounted Games Championships

The season started off well just after Christmas, with a win in their first indoor competition. They competed in several other friendly competitions before going on to the Area competition, where they finished third and qualified for the Zone finals. They trekked up to Newcastle minus Becky, who had broken her leg. They had horrible weather and were soaked through, but finished second and qualified for the UK Championships.
We've had about six weeks of training for the finals, and Becky is now back, albeit in a non-riding role. I haven't seen enough of the other teams to be able to say whether they're in with a chance, but I'm looking forward to finding out. They're a great group of kids, with a fantastic attitude towards the competitions and to each other. I hope they don't take it too badly when we shout at them for not concentrating in training: I think its just because we believe they're capable of winning if they put their minds to it.
I'm going to be so full of nervous excitement tomorrow when we travel down, and obviously on Thursday. I hope I can keep it to myself and try to get them to relax, enjoy the experience, and focus on getting it right rather than the other teams. It doesn't matter where they finish, as long as everyone can look back on it and say they were the best they could be.

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Monday, 4 August 2008

Grey Seals and Other Matters

Just a quick note today to say I will be updating again soon...

Came across an article while checking my emails, talking about marine life around Britain. Apparently more than half of the world's grey seal population lives and breeds around the UK coast. There are also some other interesting creatures down there, including the basking shark, which can grow up to 12 metres in length! Check out the article and photos: Marine Wildlife

I haven't been all that busy since quitting work, but I have managed to find my way out of the house on a few occasions. One of those was to travel down to the Royal Welsh. Got some photos of that which need posting, once I get through editting them all.

I'm now volunteering with the Stroke Association, Samaritans, Red Cross, and Pony Club. I feel like I want to do more, but I also know that I don't have much time left before I'll need to start working again.

Back soon with photos and stories and stuff