C is for Carriage Driving

Every Thursday during school terms, I go to Carriage Driving at the Riding for the Disabled Centre. We cater for about 21 drivers, of varying abilities, and we are there from 6.30am until noon. Speaking for myself, I go home with a warm glow of pleasure and satisfaction. I have been trying to work out why and have come up with this list.

10 Reasons to love carriage driving:

• Mixing with horses
• Mixing with and catching up with my friends
• Fresh air, sunshine and the wildlife we see around
• Exercise, especially core strength building
• Wind in my face
• Exhilarating speed
• Teaching others to drive
• Seeing the looks on our drivers’ faces
• Morning tea at the canteen
• Going home with the perfume ‘eau de cheval’
long-reining and driving


B is for Blogs and Blogging

Starting up a blog is a daunting prospect and the more I investigated, the more daunted I was. However, some of the pluses have been the number of great blogs I have visited and the wealth of information I have collected. Now I am even more daunted! But I have followed my daughter’s advice: ‘Just start, Mum!’

I have decided to share 21 of the blogs and websites I have liked along the way, not necessarily the ‘best’, but sites which I have found entertaining and informative:

3 blogs for helping to start up a blog

3 blogs about horses

3 blogs about politics

3 blogs to help people with disabilities 

3 blogs about home, lifestyle and garden 

3 blogs about the environment’s future 


3 blogs about the crafts I enjoy 

I hope you find some interesting topics in the above suggestions. Have fun exploring them!




“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

Autumn has always been a season of mixed emotions for me: when I was young, living in England, it brought feelings of joy and satisfaction at the sight of the beautiful colours of autumn leaves, the Harvest Festival produce, or the first, glowing coals in the hearth on a cool evening: on the other side, feelings of nostalgia and sadness are common because of the passing of summer, the ending of the growing season and the cool, misty mornings, which herald a grey, chilly winter.


Autumn leaves, Takayama, Japan  2004.

I have now spent more than half of my 66 years in the Southern hemisphere, living in SE Queensland, and here Autumn brings Easter, symbols of Spring in the shops, and chocolate bilbies. The joy comes as the heat of the last 4 months abates and I discover a new energy, having to ease my way back into some degree of fitness, and trying to catch up with jobs around the house and garden. It seems that there is no autumn season. There are no autumn leaves; the colours change later in the winter, even just before the Spring. It is in the Spring when jacaranda trees turn yellow and drop their leaves, exposing a bare skeleton. This traditionally happens just in time to be covered in blossom, usually the third week in October, when university exams are underway.

Autumn in Qld means the beginning of the winter growing season of all sorts of delicious vegetables:­­ spinach, leeks, broad beans, parsnips, as well as the all year round crops which include lettuce, Asian greens, and herbs like basil, parsley and coriander. It is a season of clearing garden beds, chopping down weeds and slashing back the undergrowth – well, that is how it goes in my garden. It is the end of the rainy season, and as soon as seeds are sown and plants are in the ground, the weather turns dry again and the whole garden seems to immediately demand watering every day, in the bright, dry, wintry weather.

New growth and new beginnings are common themes in March and April, both in the UK and here in Queensland. Here the school year is underway and Universities have started up again. As I plant my winter vegies I will be thinking of the countryside in England and imagining the seeds being sown in neat rows in the gardens of my family and friends.

Starting up my blog, and being a bit of a language nerd, I am going to warm up by writing about subjects from A to Z, and ‘Autumn’ has been the ‘A’ blog.

I wonder what Autumn means to you?


I am going to write an introductory post to explain my reasons for starting blogging.

This will be a varied yet focused blog and my main interests will be covered in different categories:

• General musings, which might include, philosophy, politics, thoughts on being a grandmother, and what’s going on in my life. One could say this will be a type of therapy for me, a 66 year old ‘nonni’ with a less than perfect house and garden, and a busy life.
• Practical ‘How to…’ posts to cover the areas of horse care, training, riding and, most importantly, carriage driving. This will be used in a practical way as a training tool for volunteers with our local riding for the disabled group; we need to create new manuals and I came up with the bright idea of creating material via a blog, getting input from others and using the medium for training our new riding coaches and whips (carriage driving teachers).
• Magic Moments, which will take the form of fictional stories, loosely based on anecdotes from our riding and driving groups, or stories of animals and pets.
• Crafty moments, when I might indulge in knitting, crochet, sewing, and all other sorts of DIY.
• Home and garden, sharing trials and tribulations with a smattering of hints, tips and recipes.

So you can see, this is really a horsey and animal blog, with the proviso that I can write about absolutely anything to do with my life, if it takes my fancy!

Hoping to get to know my lovely readers, and I will welcome your positive contributions in the comments.

Cheers, until next time,