Category Archives: Real Life Story Bro

Oops It’s been a While…

Well I’ve been through a degree of work related turmoil, as I may have alluded to previously.

I have since left my previous role and taken up the sword of contracting.

It has to be said that it was the best decision I could’ve made. I’ve since met, and continue to meet, a great many skilled people and some bloody managers.

Any regrets? Only that I didn’t make this choice sooner!

I’ll be adding some posts shortly…


My Blogpire for a Horse.

I like horses. No really.

I always have done, even as a child I remember badgering my Dad to take me horse riding. He did, once. I enjoyed it but he only ever took me once.

Anyway, fast forward thirty years and I’m a father, and I took my little girl horse riding. It was nothing intense, half an hour on a Saturday in a group. She loved it, I had thirty minutes of peace and quiet [and a coffee]. it was a pure win win situation. It only set me back £12 too. Cheaper and healthier than the cinema!

After a few months, I suddenly found a long lost passion rekindled inside me. I took the leap, and got on a horse too. I have to say that the first lesson was *the* most painful experience for my legs. I was not unfit, but back then I could’ve been fitter. I was unable to cross my legs under a desk at work for the next three or four days. Plus even two weeks after I had started taking private half hour lessons, my legs still felt like jelly on the clutch as I drove away.

I did jot down my experiences from when I first started; they make amusing reading for me now. I should blog them I suppose.

Well fast forward a couple more years and I am riding two or three times a week. I realised that I wanted my own horse, or perhaps a half share. I’d have half the horse and ride him when I wanted, and the Riding School would own the other half.

It works, but it hasn’t quite sunk in.

On Saturday I saw my horse (hmm?) in a lesson. Every time he trotted past, he would check me out. Quite heart warming! At the end of the lesson, I told the stable girl that I’d take my horse back to his stable and untack him.

Yeah, my horse.

I untacked, rugged him up and stood there with his head resting on my right shoulder. THen Mr Chips, in the stable to my left, poked his head round. I used to ride Chips exclusively, and we do have something of a food bond.

I ended up with Chips resting his head on my left shoulder, with Breeze resting his head on my right shoulder. They snuffle me, and occasionally each other.

It was both scary and exhilarating.

My horse xD

Landrover fun, Puma sad. Hulk sad.

Okay, I did warn you that this would go off topic…

I have owned a Ford Puma for a number of years; she was my baby… unbelievable grip, accentuated by the addition of 17 inch low profile alloys. Even at the grand old age of 16, the enhanced 1.7 Zetec engine still growled with such a passion that I never lost the thrill of gunning her up to 50 – 60 mph in second gear (hey I use a slip road correctly to slot into the traffic…).

Well with the MOT looming at the end of this month, I knew I was in a spot of bother. I had a list of advisories as long as my arm. For starters, the rear bushes would most likely need replacing. Ouch. To add to that, I think the other sill had rusted through, as the floor upholstery was absolutely sodden. You could put your hand on it, and water would pool around it. The exhaust was blowing again; most likely the silencer had rusted out (again!).

At one point, I had a seedling growing in there :-/

Then, a final spasm of mechanical rigor mortis, the hand brake cable snapped. Fortunately I always leave the car in first and the wheels turned to the kerb accordingly. That was still very unsettling.

So I started looking for a new car. As a keen horse rider, I had always considered driving a Landrover. What else can you tow a horsebox with, if not a 4×4? So Mrs Clavain and I would go car hunting, and one day she jokingly pointed out a rather nice looking Freelander TD4.

Landy_wooI loved it. Mrs Clavain hated it. So I managed to twist her arm into a test drive… Mrs Clavain loved it. Women…

So I scrapped my Puma; I said a silent and forlorn mental goodbye as a forklift crunched into the side of what was once my pride and joy. I kept the alloys though, hah! I then ran round to the garage, got the Landy, drove back and chucked the alloys in the boot. Oh yeah, I have boot space now.

Needless to say, following buying our first home, our first Christmas in our new home, buying the Landy, taxing it, insuring it… I am skint and we’re in a seven week financial month.

Fast forward to this morning. It was very frosty and the car was iced up. I have to say it was a real genuine pleasure to be able to open the door (the Puma would have been frozen solid), scrape the outside of the windows (the Puma would have needed the insides scraping too) and drive off with the sunroof open and the rear window down.

Everything is awesome. Yes, but I wonder how long I’ll carry this aching tinge of loss with me. I imagine I’ll be heading over the Pennines via the A686 in my dreams for a few years to come. *That* was the best driving experience of my life.

The King is dead. Long live the King…sleep_tight