Sunday, February 5, 2012

Waitangi Weekend

Greetings to all. Sorry for the delay in posting but I've had a very busy week. Unfortunately I seem to have picked up a bug in my first week back at school, and feel grotty today. Luckily yesterday I was in good form because we had the Scarlett Oak Equestrian Show and Dressage Day. It was a great success. I discovered that Bay Sam can look very good indeed, and we won the best turnout class. Look Grey Sam featured too. I do like fussing over a horse getting him/her ready for action. The limited time nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. 
 Sam wasn't quite so beautiful in the paced and mannered classes. In fact he got stressed and silly. I had to strap on my safety vest to ride him safely, which was a bit unfortunate because I had my fancy riding gear. We did a very creditable effort in the dressage test. John thought I was talking to myself but I was constantly chatting to him to keep his attention on me. He seemed to find the activity overstimulating. You can see how high he is carrying his head in this photo. I did get it down some of the time, but I was pleased to do an accurate test, and we did get an 8 out of 10 for our final trot to halt transition, which was a fabulous result. We got 6th in the intermediate class behind 5 very experienced riders. Pretty good!
 I'm going to prize this ribbon because I really earned it (unlike the ones Emily and Viv give me because they have no interest in their winnings).
 Johnny had a very happy time this afternoon making Haloumi with his new cheese making kit (thanks Meg, Ryan and Henry). It is utterly delicious, and as good as any bought stuff. The yield was very good too. Haloumi is made to be grilled or fried, and it forms a lovely golden crust and can go melty in the middle if you cook it long enough, but has the most amazing squeak on your teeth as you chew it.
During the week we did the McLean's Island bike track, which is 15km of mountain bike track. My old bike isn't really ideal for such things, but I gave it my best. Riding horses has given me so much more confidence in my balance. Today I got a new mountain bike so that we can work on our fitness together lots. It is called an Aggressor (which I thought I could shorten to Aggie, which Johnny didn't think had the same tone to it). We went for a spin around the neighbourhood and had a great time. I even practised going up and down on the grassy hillocks in the domain.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel a bit more lively as we want to go for a bike ride, and I need to do lots of school work. I really hope this won't be one of my "catch every bug" years.


Anonymous said...

Awesome cool!
I am glad your riding went well, great effort. Sam looks beautiful (as do you!!).
I am glad Johns cheese turned out well, looks great. I haven't eaten much Halumi, maybe we need to get some.
I went out to Ngatimoti today and had a lovely day, Henry really enjoyed himself.

Hope Monday is a great day off for you both...yay for a short week!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Fiona,

I decided to check out your blog today and there was some new and exciting stuff. Yay! I am very impressed with your equestrian results - you look very professional in the dressage photo!!! Congratulations on your deserved ribbon :)

I LOVE haloumi. In fact I had it for lunch today on some vogels topped with lettuce and cherry tomatoes and a little bit of Telegraph Hill balsamic drizzle. Delicious! I buy the Zany Zeus brand from Moore Wilson's - it is yum (as is their mint feta!). A friend has been to a cheese making course though and once she's settled in her new apartment, she's going to show me how to make ricotta and haloumi!

As for the biking, well done! 15kms is a big effort. I am doing 5km stints at the moment to practice for my baby triathlon. It's a fair bit of work, even cycling that far on the flat! Yesterday was my first combined swim, cycle, runwalk (though I only walked). I wish I had a training partner as it makes the motivation side of things a easier - though fear of humiliation in the tri is a fairly big motivator as well! (it is 6 weeks yesterday away). I think my bike is a bit small for me and it's only a cheap one from The Warehouse. I quite like the Avanti Aria and Blade - more hybrid road/sport bikes. Maybe if the tri goes well and I keep up with the cycling, I'll get a better bike. My current one will be fine for 10kms though. Will be keen to hear your next entry on how Aggie goes on your ride tomorrow :)

I hope you feel better soon.
Megan :)