Despite the heat we are making some progress I think. He’s getting calmer about saddling using the clicker to reinforce not nipping or puffing out behaviour. He’s standing much better to be groomed although his leg waving habit is very ingrained and will take a while to stop. He walked all the way to the arena yesterday, tacked up, without stopping at any point. So I’m pleased with all these.
The nipping is beginning to come back into the ST work, which is frustrating. I need to step back and take the pressure off again but I was starting to look for 2mm improvements. I think the LFS has improved, and the shoulder in isn’t too bad. The haunches in is still pushy so we need to go one step at a time I think.
He’s enjoying the connection training work so I think once session a week purely at liberty is a good idea. On the one hand this is a bit ‘chasing too many rabbits’ but I do think he enjoys the variety and the nipping and pushing comes back if we focus too much on one thing so I think I’ll stick with it for the moment!
What a week. London hit about 34 degrees this week which is too hot for me or the pony! Half Spanish he may be but he was born in Kent and really doesn’t cope with temperature over about 25 degrees. Poor thing. He came out in hives!!!! They’ve gone now but it was a bit worrying in the middle of the week. I think it just a heat reaction and he wasn’t much bothered fortunately.
So we haven’t done much actual training this week. We did have a go at some Connection Training work though, targetting a cone and sending to it and coming away. He enjoys his clicker sessions. Here’s some rubbish video:
I did also get the SLR out again and take some summer photos. He really is my favourite of all his colours at the moment. He’s mostly a sort of deep mahogany to look at but in bright sunlight he goes quite orange!
Yesterday it was cool enough to get the saddle out and have our third ride since April! He was really good. It’s still pretty warm but we got some reasonable transitions and a few steps of both shoulder-in and haunches-in on both reins. I feel like we’re getting back to things. Need to arrange to do some hacking though!
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable
You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.
Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.
So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.
Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.
Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.
And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...
Museums cost in Madrid, luckily many do a special last 2 hours free entry for EU citizens on certain days (although they did not check just queued for a bit) , so it is perfect to see a glimpse of the big museums for short trips also work in the palace).
The Prado is pretty amazing so could easily spend a few more hours there but this was a short trip so it worked perfectly for us, especially as I had prepared a short list of my must see: Goya Saturn, Witches Sabbath, El Coloso, Third of May and discovered a few more from his black series. The Bosch collection , especially Garden of Delights was just extraordinary and lovely to finally see some of those iconic Velasquez.
Afterwards we went on search for food, that is the most complicated bit in Madrid, finding food, Spanish people never seem to eat, bars are full but apart from the odd tapas it sometimes seems quite hard work to find proper menus, also very pricey for a few croquettes. Lunchtime much easier but evening. We were trying to be on Spanish time..looking for food around 9.30pm but i guess till way too early..in the end we had to accept defeat and go for big jug of sangria and a few tapas before being back to hotel and collapse as everyone only start to head into town.
( Photos )
That morning we caught the first tune to Heathrow to catch our mid morning flight to Madrid ( we both been to the airport a few times but never to Madrid so it was time to remedy it). then more tube to get to our little hotel in the Anton Martin area. Hard work with a big suitcase, 40+ degree and 3rd floor room with no stairs.
Finally started being tourist mid afternoon.
we went straight to visit El Retiro Park, beautiful with lake, sculptures alleys, palaces and gardens.
We also went to see the fountain of the Fallen angel, claimed to be the only known public monument of Satan.
Great party at Jake and Ian, what a marvellous multi levels gardens they created. The theme welcomed time travelling divas, cosmic beings, space captains and aliens as well as of course , Shirley Bassey and Daleks. Fittingly the basement was turned into a spaceworld dancing room (made from paper and cake plates and its own tardis) , an Egyptian cocktail room (sadly I had decided to drive back and what a full on drive it was crossing all London) . Lots of fun & fab outfits.
( Photos )
£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?
The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.
If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
- owned a home
- bought a new car every two years
- didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
- were in the pub three nights a week
Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
- a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
- a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
- a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
- Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.
Anybody know any politicians?
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