• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.


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Mucklerazt Horse Camp

Playdoh’s Brave Try-out

Daughter, Susan’s Playdoh is a six-year-old Paso used to delicate gait events. She decided to broaden his experience and entered him in a 25 mile endurance test held in the  hills of Weiser State Forest in southern Pennsylvania. The test was  a friendly competitive event but Susan was only interested in her pet’s conditioning and was not about to press him beyond his limits. She invited me to join her in the 3-day event and I couldn’t thank her enough for the adventure.

We ate collectively in a cabin on the camp site.  Food was provided by the organisers.  Breakfast was at 5 o’clock so that the ride would take place mostly in the coolest part of the day before the brutal sun reached its zenith. Reveille was sounded by a rendering of “Star-spangled Banner” over the P.A. system–very, very effective!

But first you have to get the horse into the horse-box :

Click on the pictures for the best detail

Playdoh’s current home

You can lead a horse to the horse box, but . . . . . .

. . . . first you have to explain where you want him to go . . . . . .

. . . . . . showing him where to step . . . . . . .

. . . . . NO Way am I going in that trap! . . . . . .

. . . . . well, perhaps for you I will . . . . . .

The spectacular views from Weiser State Forrest – This is the hang-glider launch

The camp site–Portapotties to the fore. Our spot is the open white horse box in the distance

Mutual admiration

Horses’ tuck shop — electrolytes available

Tips from seasoned endurance riders

Vet inspection

Horse of a different colour

Ten legs are better than……? George Orwell, I think?

The Vets

Playdoh gets his turn

. . . . . and has to show off his paces.

His tent is ready. We are going to be a bit crowded in there!

Tethered next to a shady tree where his hay, water bucket and pellets are.

Supper time

Nice looking but the red ribbon on his tail warns that he kicks — don’t get too near the rea end!

Happy pair

Everybody’s equipment at the ready,for cooling down the horses when they return from the ride.

The ride master in thoughtful mode. He treated us all as his own family (Many members of which  were helping him organise the outing) and made expert and beginner feel equally at home.

The Ride Master’s house in the valley, from the Hang-glider Launch

I helped a bit (I-phone picture)

. . . and so to bed!


Young Playdoh made a great effort. He was the smallest horse in the pack but bravely tried to keep up with the big boys at the start. He was having to canter just in order to keep up with their trot! Susan  saw when he had had enough and wisely walked him back the last five miles alone.  All the other participants joined to give them a standing ovation when they came home, so impressed were they that they had completed the course.   But Playdoh was flaked out, and, after the vets had looked at him, rested up for the night. Susan decided not to ride him the next day even though he was fully recovered. She is going to give him some conditioning training in preparation for the next outing.


2 Responses

  1. I showed your pictures to my 19 year old grandaughter who has a white thoroughbred horse named Peppermint Pattie. She rides her as much as possible and Mother(my daughter) takes up the other times. She was fascinated as most of her riding is in the fields of farms near Scranton, PA. Believe it, Pattie does like hard peppermint candies.


    • John. Isn’t it amazing how it is the females of the family who become obsessed with horses? Ben

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