One minute until scheduled departure time for the bus, but I can’t park as the bus is in my parking space. The bus finally moves. I drive past the mounting block and horse boxes, reverse and swing my car into my parking space. I leap out my car, wave my remote vaguely at it and dash up the wet bus steps. I can’t see who’s inside as the windows are all steamed up. It would appear, they have been in there a while!
The bus driver says “Can you do your seatbelt up?” through a toothless mouth which concertinas his whole head when he speaks or chews. He is monotone and neither friendly nor unfriendly. I do it up – I can’t remember ever having to do my seatbelt up on a bus before.
Jeanette passes smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches down to me and a can of Fosters. I’m not sure Fosters goes with smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, but there’s a first for everything.
I am sitting with Grace, the little girl who loaned Ted the Teeth. She talks non-stop about her new pony, however this is not all bad as before we know we are driving through central London!
We are on our way to Olympia, The Olympia Horse Show. I never thought I would get to this point in the day as getting there has been far from straight forward.
I was originally working a full day but I swapped with Lucy. She’s done my full day and I’ve done her half day, dashed home and got changed, getting back to the yard to catch the bus, which was supposed to be 3pm. Perfect!
It turns out however, we are leaving for Olympia at 1pm not 3pm, which when I realize induces a small panic as how could I possibly muck out all the stables I’ve got to do, go home and get showered and be ready to leave by 1pm?
My small panic makes me tell Ollie I’ve decided not to go if he’s not got the tickets but would have mince pies with Lucy instead. However, Ollie has got the tickets, which calls for a rethink.
I will go in early and work like a dog. The morning of Olympia I start work early, so early it is still dark.
All the horses are fed and rugged up by the time Lucy arrives. Everyone who is going to Olympia mucks in or rather mucks out and I do have enough time to drive home, get cleaned up and drive back to the yard for the bus’ departure.
Olympia is nothing short of fantastic, however, I’m not sure it is fantastic enough to warrant only four hours sleep before getting up for a full day at work on Sunday, which is a killer. It would have been bad enough without three extra straw beds for the brood mares, who have just been brought in.
Note to self – Next year remember to ask for the weekend off!