Baileys Blog

2nd June 2020

Plus 10 and dry when driving in. There is a change on the way?

Yesterday..Newcastle produced some good racing and although I am not a fan of watching all weather racing it was just so good to see racing on my screen.

SkySports racing also covered all the meetings from France, including their 1000 and 2000 guineas from Deauville so you had the full spectrum of racing thrown at you.

Frankly all-weather racing never really attracts crowds, bar the exception of the Good Fridays meetings, so being behind closed doors was not that different to watch. In many resects French racing only fills their stands on Arc day?

Day 2 of the return of racing.. Kempton and Newcastle both on the all-weather..

Click here to see and watch what has been put in place for those going racing

Derek Lance has kindly taken up the mantle of the Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..

I first met Kim at Ludlow when my sister Bridget had a share in The Good Guy who duly won easily albeit jumping pretty poorly. I was able to report that I had been the judge when he won his Point to Point in Lancashire.  Later I was at Aintree when Set in Her Ways won brilliantly under farmer Cookson; she then went on to have a Cheltenham Festival winner with Non So (Nicky Henderson and Mick Fitz).  It all seemed so easy , so I embarked on syndicate ownership with Kim.  I am sure that there are readers who had shares in Lucette, Highrate, and The Devil's Paintbrush, and will understand why I say no more!

My life ambition was to be a NH jockey, albeit my size meant being an amateur, so my selection of a career was what would best offer opportunities to race, so I ended up in the Army for 37 years.  My riding career was hugely great fun albeit undistinguished and I will not burden you with it; in summary I had 152 rides in Point to Points and under rules in England and Ireland with 2 winners under rules and 12 Point to Point until my family retired me at 40 as being too old injured and incompetent...

I earlier mention my sister Bridget; as a 14 year old schoolgirl she had a job on the petrol pumps and saved enough to go to Ascot sales and Buy Master Miller which she and my mother trained at home.  The stable was primitive, and their gallops were on the Hampshire/Surrey commons.  I benefited from some super rides including The Grand Military at Sandown and a winner at Exeter.  Bridget and the family had huge fun with MM, and she rode him with success herself

Our family history with horses goes back a long way: maternal grandfather Matthew Meredith was an outstanding producer of show horses. He was Master of Horse to Baron Rothschild, and lived in Germany (now in Chekia, where my mother went to school).  He later chartered a ship and took Irish horses to Poland for their cavalry, who were disastrously deployed against German tanks in 1939.

On my father's side, General Fred, my great uncle was at The Somme mounted with 19th Lancers, Fane's Horse of the Indian (now Pakistani) Army.

I mentioned having judged at a P to P; actually I started by judging at The Malta Racing Club many years ago.  Since I have done most jobs Point to Pointing except Clerk of the Course.  I believe that we who enjoy sport have a duty when we retire to put something back into the sport, so I have also been rugby referee, a Pony Club instructor, and Clerk of the Course for The Telford Marathon.

Best wishes to you all - Derek

Todays non virus video nasty..

1st June 2020

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

Well that’s May done.. My favourite month and frankly it was a good one as I can remember…weather wise it broke all records.

Freddie Wills’s birthday yesterday. Sadly due to social distancing and the country not ready for mass family gatherings we had to settle for a Zoom meeting last night. Much talk of past photos.. of six packs when younger.. not sure Mrs B knew what we were talking about!

Racing starts again today.. and if by chance you are a twitter fan you will be as horrified as I was to the see the shit that Matt Hancock received for announcing .. ''Thanks to the nation’s resolve, horseracing is back from Monday’’... Sad times we live in....Perhaps we should take notice and try and educate?

Lets be positive.. we are starting and the country needs sport.. Time to leave Cheltenham out of this.. ..

Hopefully there is some good news.. Owners need to be able to see their horses run.. especially as they are ones who have supported us through the last few months.... No owners.. no trainers.. no racing..The BHA have announced..

Dont forget to buy your Racing Post Paper..They restarted print copies today.. it will be a collectors item in years to come..

Monday morning and Doctor Haze, Station Master, Minella Warrior, Mon Palois, The Bull Mccabe, Sadlemor and Starvoski all returned to Thorndale.. Holidays over..

Modern technology is scary.. Last week I mentioned about buying a bigger bike saddle as the one I have almost cuts me half…. Next time I went on my instagram account there were adverts trying to sell me bigger saddles!

So excuse me if I have used this before..

Ordering Pizza In 2020

CALLER:Is this Gordon's Pizza?

GOOGLE: No sir, it's Google Pizza.

CALLER:I must have dialled the wrong number.  Sorry.

GOOGLE:No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.

CALLER:OK.  I would like to order a pizza.

GOOGLE:Do you want your usual, sir?

CALLER:My usual? You know me?

GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three kinds of cheese, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, and meatballs on a thick crust.

CALLER:OK! That’s what I want ...

GOOGLE:May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?

CALLER: What? I detest vegetables!

GOOGLE:Your cholesterol is not good, sir.

CALLER:How the hell do you know!

GOOGLE:Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.

CALLER:Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza!  I already take medication for my cholesterol.

GOOGLE:Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you purchased only a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, 4 months ago.

CALLER:I bought more from another drugstore.

GOOGLE:That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.

CALLER:I paid in cash.

GOOGLE:But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.

CALLER:I have other sources of cash.

GOOGLE:That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law.


GOOGLE:I'm sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.

CALLER:Enough already!  I'm sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I'm going to an island without an Internet, or cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.

GOOGLE: I understand sir, but Alexa says you need to renew your passport first.  It expired 6 weeks ago???? !!!!

Todays non virus video nasty..Even after a long lunch I was not sure it was possible..

30th May 2020

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

Good to see David Bass here to ride out..for the second time this week..

We had two Japanese event riders here to watch first lot..a slight change of scenery for them..They are based with Angela Tucker..

We are still assuming racing will start on Monday and although we don’t have an entry we will be watching with interest.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I rang round the summer jumping courses and although most answered there were a couple that did not answer and even leaving a message did not warrant a reply.

Mathew Taylor, who judging by his enthusiastic email about Scotland’s resumption of racing,  eulogised about his racecourse Perth and what they are offering this summer season. Mathew your email was much appreciated and great PR.. No other summer racecourse has sent such a well written note.. if at all..

It is a big weekend in the Wills family. Clare's father Freddie has a birthday on Sunday..

So perhaps it would be rude not to include an email he sent over yesterday.. Certainly not written at his birth.. Shortly before..!

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be Here are some facts about the1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It's raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat..

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..dead ringer..

And that's the truth...Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

Todays non virus video nasty..

29th May 2020

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

Scottish racing is the latest to start planning on return.. Late June..

We had a visit from our vet Graham Potts this morning.

Graham is a BHA vet so there was much to talk about especially with racing starting again next week.

I should be creeping off to fish the Wye today.. But there always seems to be an excuse as to why I can't go.. Wales not allowing fishing, and now the river is looking very sad and has turned green.

Lack of rain, rising water temperatures and filamentous algae is the problem... No relaxing time in the river this week and probably not for a while with this weather semi set fair..

I had a long mesage from Marek Kwiatkowski yesterday from Adelaide.. It was Marek's birthday this week..

This week also I had communications with Jamie Butchard....Jamie now lives in the USA and has been for many years.. His daughter Emma is a top show jumper..

Moving on..Not a story that came from Ms B after a last night of clapping for the NHS and care workers..


The other night I was invited out for a night with "the girls." 

I told my husband that I would be home by midnight. "I promise!" 

Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easy.  Around 3 a.m., a bit blitzed, I headed for home.  

Just as I got in the door, the cuckoo clock in the hall started up and cuckooed 3 times.  Quickly realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another 9 times.

I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution (even when totally smashed), in order to escape a possible conflict with him.

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in, and I told him midnight.  He didn't seem disturbed at all.  (Whew! Got away with that one!).  

Then he said, "We need a new cuckoo clock." 

When I asked him why, he said, "Well, last night our clock cuckooed 3 times, then said, "Oh, crap," cuckooed 4 more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another 3 times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the cat and farted."

Todays non virus video nasty..

28th May 2020

Plus 11 and dry when driving in.

That was another hot one yesterday..

Mat's comment about yesterdays excellent blog from Nico was. 'You can see that was written by somebody who was well educated'...

Well Mat, if I may carry on..

I feel racing has missed a golden opportunity to be seen to be thankful to the NHS and its care workers when naming the races at Newcastle and Kempton next week..

There is bound to be a fair bit of TV coverage on June 1st and I feel that racing should have shown the way to other sports by showing we care for what they have done.. and are doing..

I would have certainly named the first race .. The Care workers and NHS condition stakes.. or something that might show that we, as a sport, appreciate what they have done for us in the past, and what they will again in the future..

Why the Brenkley Handicap?  It is the name of a village 4 miles from the racecourse in fact all the races are named after local villages..

Actually I suppose I would not have been shocked if the races at Newcastle were named after the nearby towns of Durham and Barnard Castle..

Sadly we are still struggling with the gallop camera.. something amiss.. Hopefully now that lockdown is becoming more relaxed Ben Thompson will be able to get up and fix..

Some classic gems from the British Civil Service annual confidential reports of its officers over the years which have been declassified (minus the name of the officer and his/her boss who wrote these) - published by the Guardian.

1. His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.

2. He is a very quiet officer. He opens his mouth, only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

3. He is technically sound, but socially impossible.

4. Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has now started to dig.

5. He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

6. The officer is tall and that is all !

7. He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire

8. He has wisdom of the youth and energy of old age.

9. This officer should go far; and the sooner the better.

10. This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

And the final :

A very pushy person - even pushes the door marked 'Pull' !

Todays non virus video nasty..

27th May 2020

Plus 11 and dry when driving in.

Large entries at Newcastle next week for their June 1st meeting and to add to the excitement the Racing Post paper is returning to the shelves of newsagents the same day....I suggest you keep the first copy as a memento...

Yesterday Andy Martin and his team of blacksmiths spent a busy morning rasping the horses feet out in the fields at Andoversford.. All this dry weather/ground has meant that some of the horses feet were begining to flake and crack.. Time to sort before there are any problems.. 'No foot no horse' is the old saying.. and a very correct one too.

Another Venture...Two For Gold....Grey Felix and Flint.....Galante De Romay.....Inflagrante

David Bass was in this morning.. He will now be in every Wednesday and Saturday.. Time to start getting him and the horses fit for the July resumption of jump racing.

David Bass and Nico de Boinville are best mates...You probably did not know that.. But.. Anyway..

Nico has kindly taken up the mantle of the Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..

'As they say on many radio talk shows “long time listener, first time caller”. Thank you Kim for allowing me to write a few words.

David Bass, my housemate of five years at Seven Barrows, quite rightly questioned why I should be given the opportunity. The phrase “you rat”, commonly used amongst my fellow jockeys to depict someone spreading their wings into territory they perhaps should not go, came tumbling down the phone at me. However I can assure him this is not my intention. I like to see my friends do well, so naturally I take an interest in the KBR horses and enjoy them winning, so long as I’m not in the same race.

Over the past couple of months, I have tried to embrace the situation as best I can. From the intensity of battling it out at Cheltenham for four days, to finding ourselves with horses to run, but with nowhere to go. It probably wasn’t the easiest way to settle down into being told to stay at home. We were fortunate that our side of the sport managed to complete the majority of the season, although it was a shame to miss out on all the big spring festivals.

Lockdown for me has been spent doing a lot of mucking out. I now have callouses on my hands which I haven’t had since I skipped out for the last time at Seven Barrows back in 2015. My wife Serena who owns a Connemara Stud, tells me I am her second assistant stud hand, and no, there is not a chance of promotion. Between that and reconnecting with my daughter my days have been fairly full up.

The first month I decided to let myself go a bit. I confess I put on a bit of timber and also succumbed to the trend of seeing what I looked like with a hairy face.

Why, during lockdown, have a good many of us foregone the razor? From David, to Matt ‘Gandalf the Grey’ Nicholls, to Ben Pauling, and, me too.

It is our responsibility as professional horsemen to always appear fresh, clean, and looking ready for the job. It has been this way for all our working lives. During these ‘unprecedented times’, (a Covid 19 phrase I have become particularly averse to along with ‘ramping up’) it appears that all these set rules went flying out of the window. I saw in an earlier post, Kim referred to David as looking like Rasputin. Living in Tsarist Russia I don’t think would’ve been quite Davids bag. Post 1917 however…. much more his cup of tea. Talking of Russia, I have just finished a book called “A Gentleman in Moscow”. A novel about Count Alexander Rostov during the start of the Communist regime, who is put under house arrest in the Moscow Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. I highly recommend it and very fitting for our current situation

As for what I looked like. I did a Instagram Live session with Matt Chapman one evening, sporting to my mind, my Flashman-esque whiskers. The remarks poured in. A number of my colleagues were online and seemingly couldn’t wait to fire the first broadside. The most devastating of which was from multiple Grade 1 winning jockey Paddy Brennan. He said that I looked like “Henry VIII”. I imagine he was suggesting that alongside the beard I was looking a tad chunky. Nothing like abuse for a bit of motivation. The following morning the beard went down the sink, and my trainers came out!

On the racing front, France have really led the way as far as Europe is concerned, proving there is a first for everything. I have been getting a bit of intel from Felix de Giles who rides out there. Jockeys have to have their temperature taken when entering the track and from that point onwards must wear a mask, including whilst riding. I think England will follow suit. So expect us to all look like Brigands going round Worcester next month. The French are also not allowing showers or saunas. No showers on a midsummers afternoon might be pretty grim, but I think I can speak for every jockey in the country, we would be willing to do just about anything to get back to our jobs. Cheltenham feels an awfully long time ago!

Good luck to everyone over the summer and for the new season. I’m sure it will be a little strange to start with, but still plenty of fun to be had. Bring on July 1st!!

Pat on the back if someone can name the Hazleton racing media personality, who received an official Police Covid warning for having a sneaky lockdown glass of red, in a neighbours garden. He used to ghostwrite a Saturday newspaper column for me. The best headline appeared the day of the Ascot Ladbroke Hurdle meeting just before Christmas. “I can’t wait to get into my wife’s stockings”, it read. Thankfully Mrs de B doesn’t read said paper!'

Thanks Nico..  I too have read A Gentleman in Moscow..

Moving on.. Happy birthdays to Giles Wilson, Ian Hewitt and Mary Anne St Clair Ford..

Todays non virus video nasty

26th May 2020

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

Yesterday..Bank holiday Monday at home. 25 degrees .. BBQ and zoom chats with some very 'old friends'..I raised many a glass to celebrate..

Exciting for those flat trainers who will be making thier first entries .. Newcastle all weather starts on June 1st..Hopefully.. entries close today..

Sandra Steer-Fowler who has Miss Gemstone here has kindly taken up the mantle of the Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..

Over to you Sandra..

'I guess you could call me a girl with a BIG dream.

From a dairy farming non horsey family it took me a good long while to persuade my parents to let me have a much longed for pony. I had only ever sat on a donkey at the beach, and once took a retired racehorse for a walk believing it to be a friend’s horse when in fact it belonged to another farmer. My parents certainly would not have wasted money on lessons!

Once I had the green light I had to get my pony quickly before they changed their minds. I was 11 years old and clueless. I searched the equine section of a weekly West Country paper, an advert jumped out at me: 14h, 2yr old, Grey Arab Colt. My heart fluttered and off we went to see him. It was of course love at first sight. He was beautiful. I could not believe my luck. We bought him and took him home.  A simple straightforward life soon turned into complete chaos. He was a lunatic but to me he was adorable. On the advice of my best friend’s dad, a vet, we soon had him gelded. We quickly bonded. After a few weeks my grandfather got me a saddle and bridle, so on one sunny afternoon in my parents back garden I hopped on and off we went. Blind leading the blind! Cuts, scrapes and broken bones later I learnt to ride and sit tight.

Being an Arab he was quick. He could jump and so within no time I thought I had all the right skills to become a jockey. That never happened but my love of horses and my new favourite pastime of following racing soon became an addiction.

Moving on I met my husband Martyn some 39 years ago. On our second date (we got serious pretty quickly) we wanted to know all about each other. Martyn was the most organised, driven (in a nice way) and ambitious person I could have met. He was enjoying telling me all about his future dreams and aspirations. His 5 year, 10 year, and 20 year plan. I sat kind of listening , my mind more on what might happen later that night than in 10 years time!!

Then it was my turn.  Laid back, romantic, dreamy, get-by by the skin of my teeth kind of girl. I had no real plans but I had one big dream. I want to breed and own the winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup says I. Simple. I could see Martyn (non horsey back then) think that it?!

Moving on 24 years, marriage intact, 3 grown sons, I decided that the time had come for me to pursue my dream. We meet Kim. It was through an advert that Kim had placed in the Horse and Hound that I acquired my first brood mare. The advert jumped out at me! A weird way to get into bloodstock!

We collected the mare from Preston Capes. During our visit Kim asked Martyn what he knew about horses. “Nothing” Martyn replied. Kim’s advice was “don’t blame you ... keep it that way”!

We warmed to Kim and Clare who was heavily pregnant with Archie at the time. We bought the mare and on leaving the yard I turned to Kim and said “if I ever have a horse who I think may make the grade, you will train it”.

Four years later I rang Kim, who remarkably remembered me and our conversation, in his usual efficient way. I think I have a horse! Kim drove to Devon, agreed with me, and that was it. We were off! With friends, The Real Partnership was formed, and Real Treasure was our mare.

Thorndale quickly became a major part of our lives. The non horsey family quickly became hooked, and from that day we have enjoyed some wonderfully memorable times.

My mother squealing and launching herself at Kim after our first ever win at our local course Exeter. So many family and friends were there that day to support that 36 of us piled into the Winning Connections Lounge to celebrate. We drank most of their champagne. They said nothing, but joined in the spirit of the day.

Dear Ed Cookson’s wonder ride on Such A Legend at Kempton was second to none!

A Shade of Bay’s win at Doncaster with AP McCoy on board. Obviously that photo is at the front on the sideboard!

Pulling Power ploughing through the mud at Towcester in a slog to get the better of Happy Diva, who went on to be a very useful mare.

It’s a privilege to be associated with these wonderful animals. So majestic to the eye and so brave at heart. I cry regularly with joy, with pride, with worry and of course with grief. Kim instinctively knows how to handle the highs and lows with an owner. He shares the joy of the win, on occasion with a tear in his eye it means so much. But he delivers the bad news with genuine remorse as he understands the heart wrenching pain.

I have obviously learnt to accept that winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup might be in the life beyond this, but it matters not. It’s so much more. Our Real Partnership is our racing family of very special people. The time shared at home with our family talking and reliving racing moments. Being able to look out the window and see our next star grazing happily in the field. I am a true hand’s on owner-breeder. How lucky am I? Well it doesn’t really get much better!

Martyn has ticked off and achieved most of his dreams. Mine let’s say is ... work in progress!

Thank you Kim, Clare, Mat and all for everything.

I look forward to my drive up the M5, horsebox in tow for the start of the new season. Watch this space!

Many thanks Sandra.. I will try and achieve your dream.. Work in progress as they say...

Todays non virus nasty video

25th May 2020

Plus 6 and dry when driving in. Stunning morning, not a cloud in the sky.

How was your social distancing weekend?

A bank holiday Monday and we would normally be racing. Last week Doncaster Sales or Goffs sales at Doncaster.. I wonder how many horses I would have bought??

Martin Jones will be sadly missing out this year as so far as I have not bought any horses, especially ones that needs breaking in... Martins facebook page.

Rose To Fame returned to the yard.. Cherry Jones drove her horse over from Coln Valley Stud..

Red River also returned to Thorndale after 6 months rehab with Jason Maguire

Did you know that our KBRP horse Donnie Brasco was such a good traveller  .. long way to go to the USA but better than staying at home!

I know it is my birthday but I am not this old?

Well not according to Liz Wills....

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

When you're 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish.

At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.

As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.

Todays non virus video nasty..

23rd May 2020

Plus 9 and dry when driving in. It had tried to rain overnight..

Bloody hell the wind blew yesterday.

Clare and I popped over to Sibford Ferris last night to see Lord Sibford's (John Perriss) and Penny's horses.. Lord Sibford is the affectionate nickname given to John by the jovial Cornelius L ....  I have known CL for many years...impressive that he has his own Wikipedia page!

Social distancing around John's fields to see his horses Bobhopeornohope, Getaweapon, Hollymount Holly, Lady of the Night, Lots of Luck, Rocky's Treasure, Rosmuc Relay and Penny Perriss’s Wandrin Star.

We nearly got blown away, but it was a fun evening and good to see their horses looking so well.

Saturday morning and we had David Bass here... Who the bloody hell is he? No beard..

Martin Kiely's homebred Owbeg arrived over from Ireland..Back into training.

Oh no..I hear you say.. Not another poem..This I believe was supposedly written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara although repeated for the Spanish flu. Rumour has it ..not..

And people stayed at home

And read books

And listened

And they rested

And did exercises

And made art and played

And learned new ways of being

And stopped and listened

More deeply

Someone meditated, someone prayed

Someone met their shadow

And people began to think differently

And people healed.

And in the absence of people who

Lived in ignorant ways

Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

The earth also began to heal

And when the danger ended and

People found themselves

They grieved for the dead

And made new choices

And dreamed of new visions

And created new ways of living

And completely healed the earth

Just as they were healed.

Another Bank Holiday..So enjoy

I have just finished the book Churchill's Colonel.. By Charles Barne

Charles Barne found his grand fathers war diaries and transcribed them into a fascinating book..

The book is an extraordinary insight into his grandfathers life during WW2, from the desert war and on through the push through Italy..  - beautifully written, superb historical references and wonderful humour throughout. A privilege to read and a great testament to a very humble and brave generation.

Todays non virus video nasty...

I am off now..Have a great weekend... I will be back on Monday..

Before you go.. We have a new owner of the month.. Graham Lloyd..

22nd May 2020

Plus 12 and drizzling when driving in.

A welcome 'bit of rain' overnight.. It has laid the dust..

A family bike ride last night. A first as Mrs B now has a new bike from Cotswold Cycles.. Who would have believed it 6 weeks ago..

It is good to be walking up the gallops..These beautiful May mornings are something to behold. No vapour trails and clear skies.. I was only saying to Mat yesterday that we can now see further as it is all so much clearer.. Just wish our new lives were as clear..

I always say that horses are safer in a stable than in the field.. Last night we found one horse with a nasty cut which needed to head off to the vets for further treatment. A change in weather often starts them off galloping or fighting.. Hence we have to check round the fields so often..

I know poety came in to my blog yesterday and it does again today..

Kipling..Probably not the one that Archie would understand although his is exceedingly good...

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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