I’d hoped to schedule at least one, if not two Furniture Painting Courses this Autumn, but my workload hasn’t relented, so it’s with regret that I won’t be running any for the rest of this year. Each time I’ve expected a lull, more work has come my way and it’s been very busy this year. I’ll be sending out an email in the next few days to everyone who has contacted me over the past couple of months.

Bit by bit I’m trying to sort out a chaotic life. My trusty little old van went off to a new home a couple of weeks back and has been replaced by a newer model. The new van’s electronic gadgets and gizmos get on my nerves; a sure sign that I’m turning into a grumpy old fuddy duddy. The ‘automatic’ indicator’ cancellation thingy, cancels as and when it feels like it, and I’m perplexed with the heater control dial, which doesn’t seem to have red and blue icons to tell me if I’m about to get blasted with an Arctic wind, or roasted with a tropical breeze.

The bathroom isn’t there yet, but there is slow progress… sort of. It’s turned into a bigger job than anticipated!

Jasper has been busy eating. The cooler weather suits him better and his waistline has expanded. His Summer coat has been replaced with a sparkly white, little Autumn number, which will be ‘off yellow’ come January. Although his new coat is currently quite short, it feels very velvety and dense. His poor old tail still looks a little strange, but the clipped bits are growing back nicely.

Along with a passion for eating, Jasper also has a penchant for gravel driveways. He loves em. Not sure why he likes them so much, but I think it’s the crunching under his hooves that makes him feel very special? Whenever we pass a gravel driveway he edges towards it and gazes lovingly at the little pebbles.

This gravel ‘crush’ got me into an embarrassing situation last week when I was walking him around the village. We got to a tight corner and squeezed past a parked car, only to be met with a large lorry coming towards us. I had no choice but to walk Jasper onto a gravel driveway, to allow the lorry to pass. All went quite well and my boy stood solidly whilst the lorry came past. And then a slight problem arose. The ‘stood solidly’ remained. He wouldn’t move. So, I’m stood there, trespassing on a gravel driveway, looking at the ground, hoping the gravel would swallow me up, and he’s stood there in the middle of the driveway, head in the air, full of self importance and all four feet planted firmly on the gravel. After a few minutes, the gravel driveway owner came out and stared over at us. “Ooh, I’m ever so sorry, he likes gravel driveways and I can’t get him to move” I said. The gravel driveway owner disappeared. A few minutes later, the gravel driveway owner came back with a camera. “My Grandkids will just love this” he laughed, and started to take photographs of this huge, stubborn horse, parked on his driveway. I hid behind Jasper’s shoulder, but he didn’t seem to mind, in fact the limelight seemed to please him immensely and he adopted an even more self important stance.

Quite some time later, when my bladder was full to bursting, the gravel driveway novelty wore off and he sauntered off in the direction of the paddock, looking quite pleased with himself. I made sure we went nowhere near anymore gravel driveways whilst on our way.