Tag Archives: horses

Horse Blog Link

Here’s the link to the horse blog I mentioned on Sunday – Sense and Sentimentality.

Sorry it took me so long to find, I’m not very organised.

I have a number of horse-based stories from the Great War, which all confirm in my mind that it’s better to be shot at than be anywhere near a horse. However, it’s still an interesting subject, despite my misgivings.

Have a look – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Paper Flags

I first became interested in paper charity flags when I saw some in an antique shop in the early 1990s. They were stuck to a card and had obviously been in a scrap book. This rendered them useless to a collector in many ways but it had allowed the previous owner to write dates and information next to them, so they were more interesting in another way.

As you can see – ambulances were a popular subject. The stories of privately raised medical units, and the people who staffed them could be a book in itself. This list  gives you some idea. Add Lawrence Binyon to it. He often gets overlooked.

Over the years I added a few more, even buying a few off a lady who had kept one of each that she had sold for the Red Cross in 1918. She was sitting with her grand-daughter at an antiques fair in a Suffolk village hall. She was happy that the flags had found a good home, and I was happy to have spent a few minutes chatting with a lady who had eighty years of history behind her. That was in the days when it used to be worth stopping when you saw a sign by the roadside.

Horses were popular too. Eight million horses died in the Great War, plus countless mules and donkeys. They had, as far as I know, no strong views on Belgian neutrality, and didn’t get the right to vote in 1918 after their contribution to the war effort. All in all I think they got a raw deal.

There’s a good Word Press site on military horses but I can’t find it at the moment – I’ll have another look tonight.

As with almost everything, I have various parts of the collection scattered in a variety of boxes around the house, and have a patchy knowledge of the subject. If only I’d applied myself to learning more about the subject I might be an expert with a PhD on litter and a TV series on The Things We Threw Away. Stranger things have happened.

I took a few photographs recently, so here are a few examples for you to look at.

Belgians were also popular in the Great War (see Hercule Poirot for example) and ended up here in great numbers. This link told me a lot I didn’t know about them. I’ve seen the odd plaque about, including one in the Nottingham Guildhall but I never really looked into the subject. I believe that Belgians did have strong views on Belgian neutrality – look here and here for two who certainly did.

Bad Things to Buy on Ebay – Update

This is the update from yesterday’s post – any more suggestions?

  1. Wives
  2. Horses
  3. Things sold “for spares”
  4. Bomb-making manuals
  5. Chemical fertiliser (large amounts)
  6. TBA
  7. TBA
  8. TBA
  9. Diamonds
  10. Things with blurred photographs

I’ve had two suggestions that ebay is a bad place to look for a wife, from John Knifton and Charliecountryboy and have to admit I can see that being true. I’m surprised at how many people seem to meet online these days. It seems that 22% of couples meet online, making it the second most popular method of meeting, compared to 24% who meet through mutual friends.

John even went so far as to introduce Thomas Hardy and The Mayor of Casterbridge into his answer, ensuring that I have some culture and history in the post, even if it is a history of wife selling. It also gives me a chance to work in the story of Hardy’s heart.

The other suggestion, from The Snail of Happiness, is “things sold for spares” as the bit you want is invariably the bit that has worn out on the one you just bought. That brings back memories of searching scrap yards for car parts in the days when cars were simpler and I was poorer. When you found the right model of car it was invariably lacking the bit you wanted.

Charliecountryboy did suggest Betamax videos, but nobody (including charity shops) wants VHS either. As for Philips 2000…

I’m going to wait and see before making a decision about this.

10 Bad Things to Buy on Ebay

I covered this briefly a few days ago, when suggesting Ebay was a bad place to buy a diamond. John Knifton followed up by suggesting it was also a bad place to buy a horse. That immediately took over as Number One on the list. Diamonds, for the moment, are Number Nine on the list. I’m going to put “Things with blurred photos” at Number Ten. I haven’t been on Ebay for a while and the standard of photography seems to have gone down so that many slapdash postings seem to be accompanied by pitifully blurred photographs.

I’ve just bought something with a blurred photograph. I can’t escape the idea that the blur was deliberate.

Here’s an initial plan – let me know if you have any ideas that should be Top Ten.

Horses. Always a tricky thing to buy at the best of time, but with the added problems of internet anonymity and sloppy standards this could be a real problem. Blurred pictures of teeth are a further complication. Anyway, have you really got a big enough garden?

Bomb making manuals. Buying one of these could see you booked into prison for a spot of waterboarding. This sounds like it fits in nicely with surfboarding and snowboarding but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t, despite all you may have heard about prisons getting soft, and it can really make for a bad holiday.

Large amounts of chemical fertiliser. Unless you are a farmer. See above.

So:

  1. Horses
  2. Bomb-making manuals
  3. Chemical fertiliser (large amounts)
  4. TBA
  5. TBA
  6. TBA
  7. TBA
  8. TBA
  9. Diamonds
  10. Things with blurred photographs

 

That leaves five slots, and if your suggestions are good enough they could easily displace some of the others.

What are your nominations, or horror stories?

Something you don’t see every day

I know from my own work that people take animals to Care Homes because the residents benefit from having animals around. We’ve even taken ducklings and chickens to visit when we’ve been to Care Homes, though the consequences can be messy, to say the least.

Seeing my father for his 88th birthday yesterday we found something we’d never considered before – a miniature Shetland pony visiting the rooms.  It’s not bad when you can reach 88 and still find something new to do.

The home has been doing well with events recently, and Dad has also been bowling and sailing, two other things he’s never done before.

As a family we’ve had a couple of bad experiences with horses over the years. Dad was cornered by one of his grandfather’s plough horses (an animal well known for nasty temper, as was the grandfather). His father was nearly killed by one of his gun horses whilst serving in the Royal Artillery during the Great War. It panicked whilst under fire and kicked him in the chest. However, I think I’ve mentioned this before so I won’t go on.

I didn’t have my camera with me, and I’d left my phone in the car too, so there is no photograph. However, I did manage to find their website so you can see what they do.

Sorry about the lack of photos again – I’m going to have to up my game. Here’s a cheery picture from the archive to make up for it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Care Bears on the Farm

Flintham Show

Well, after days of baking and making salt dough shapes the show finally arrived, as did busloads of kids.

Apart from salt dough and bread tasting we had the bread story,  corn dollies (with paper straws), the bread shed, adverts for our two new educational units (Festive wreaths and the Great War), the famous Ecocentre bread-plaiting roadshow (modesty prevents me telling you which charismatic,  bearded fat man runs that) and Julia’s two pig sculptures made from straw bales..

Of course, with all the good stuff, we also had a helping of adversity. One of the wheatsheaves, having dried badly, developed cracks before falling apart, and Julia’s pigs suffered from an outbreak of vandalism. They were popular all day, but for some reason we kept having to retrieve the snouts and ears from various souvenir-hunting children.

In a short break I managed to knock up a small wheatsheaf loaf to check how practical it was as a group exercise. It seems OK in terms of scale and time, though I couldn’t get anyone to give it a try on the day. That’s one for next week. Note the decorative charring to the smaller loaf – a feature of all our bread on the day.

Fortunately the day, which started cold and drizzly, was dry and sunny by the  time the gates opened and all the hard work of the show committee paid off. The photos don’t do it justice, but it’s hard to fit it in with the other activities. By the end of the day all I wanted to do was sit down – one bread roll a child for 80 children is works out at about 12 sessions and 6 kilos of dough, all mixed by hand.

The results of the Bread Test were:

  1. Home baked white
  2. TESCO cheap white sliced
  3. Home baked brown and shop bought seeded brown  (a tie)

We’ve run this session a number of times and it’s always the same – a narrow win for home made white over Chorleywood white sliced with brown, seeded and sourdough lower down. So I won, but it’s depressing.