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Pics from Cardiff

The weekend before last, Audrey, my mom and I went to Cardiff for a conference (which was great, by the way). We arrived a day early in order to do a little sightseeing. It was very gray and wet the entire weekend so we didn’t get to wander around quite as much as I would have liked, but I did get some nice shots  of Cardiff bay:

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National Assembly for Wales

National Assembly for Wales

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Spot the TARDIS!

Spot the TARDIS!

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Merchant Seafarers' War Memorial

Merchant Seafarers’ War Memorial

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We also seized the opportunity to indulge my Whovian side:

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The First Doctor's TARDIS console

The First Doctor’s TARDIS console

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Hey, is that K-9?

 

 

"Affirmative!"

“Affirmative!”

Of course, I had to get a picture with “my” Doctor:

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He wasn’t all that talkative, though. ;)

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The Doctor's crib

The Doctor’s crib

Oh, hello Davros…

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"EX-TER-MIN-ATE!"

“EX-TER-MIN-ATE!”

Uh-oh, don’t blink…

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No, seriously, don’t blink!

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Handles

Handles

The Eleventh, Tenth and War Doctor's TARDISes

The Eleventh, Tenth and War Doctor’s TARDISes

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Look at all the goodies...

Look at all the goodies…

"WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA?"

“WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA?”

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Bessie!

Bessie!

Yeah, I had fun. :) Our tour guide probably enjoyed my reactions as much as I enjoyed the Experience itself: upon noticing my geeked-out expression, she said she had the same look on her face the entire first year she worked there. As she put it, “When you arrive at work in the morning and the first thing your boss says is, “Go clean the TARDIS,” you know you’re in the right line of work.” I quite agree. :D

Kitties Vs. The Camera

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will have noticed that cats are one of my favorite subjects to photograph, second only to horses. The reason, aside from their general gorgeousness, is their huge entertainment factor. I’ve often said that you don’t really need a TV when you have cats; they’re practically walking cartoons. Or cartoon fodder, in this case:

lucy cartoon 1s lucy cartoon 2s lucy cartoon 3sOther times they’ll make it pretty clear what they’re thinking:

"I am not amused."

“I am not amused.”

*sigh* Are we done yet?

“You better not be using that warping app!”

Doing “photoshoots” with Lucy can also be highly entertaining. She’ll strike a fabulous pose or two:

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And then she’ll get bored:

*yawn* "Are we done yet?"

*yawn* “Are we done yet?”

Sometimes I’m not sure I want to know what’s going on inside her head…

"Hmm..."

“Hmm…”

 

 

 

I’m cutting it extremely close, I know (and my all-day sci-fi marathon didn’t help), but it’s not midnight in the States yet so it still counts, right? Right, thought so.

So, without further ado, a sampling of pics from the last few months:

October

Dressage show at home on the 6th:

Laurélia on Nénuphar, waiting their turn

Laurélia on Nénuphar, waiting their turn

Manon on Saho

Manon on Saho

Drill team

Drill team

Justine on To Moon

Justine on To Moon

Lucie on Voltaire

Lucie on Voltaire

Me on Naika "Hi Mom!"

Me on Naika
“Hi Mom!”

Fred on Beauwaldie

Fred on Beauwaldie

Warming up

Warming up

Océane on Naika

Océane on Naika

Eventing competition on the 13th:

Elise getting some last-minute tips

Elise getting some last-minute tips

Caroline on Tosca

Caroline on Tosca

Manon and Saho, ready to go!

Manon and Saho, ready to go!

These kids were utterly cute :)

These kids were utterly cute :)

Halloween jumping show on the 27th:

DSC_0492csTJ was going to be part of my costume, but with the massive puddles that was a muddy bear waiting to happen, so Sissi wound up hanging onto him for me all afternoon.

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Pony in the mist

Pony in the mist

November

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Jumping show on the 17th:

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December

Jumping show on the 8th:

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Christmas with the family:

I think she likes them ;)

I think she likes them ;)

He likes. Muchly.

He likes. Muchly.

This is called putting your gift to good use immediately

This is called putting your gift to good use immediately

Lena, the newest addition to the family

Lena, the newest addition to the family

"Here, this one's for you!"

“Here, this one’s for you!”

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DSC_0300csAnd just for giggles:

"Of course I'm not using your computer to post pictures of myself online; whatever gave you that idea?"

“Of course I’m not using your computer to post pictures of myself online; whatever gave you that idea?”

Happy New Year, everyone, and may 2014 be a very blessed year for all of you! :)

 

 

… I end up writing stuff like the following poem. My brain was in “rhyming mode” at work one day, and this was the result. Enjoy!

Teddy Bare

Young Teddy was getting ready for the fair
When he suddenly let out a howl of despair:
“Oh no! Of all the times for my pants to tear!
I might as well go bare!
In fact, I will, so there!”
His mother said, “Fine, I don’t care.”
At this point, I should mention that young Teddy was a bear.
So young Teddy the bear went to the fair completely bare
And no one stopped to stare.

Breathing? What’s That?

As you may have guessed from my long silence and this entry’s title, I have been very, very busy these past few months. I finally have a couple of weeks to catch my breath, so I can tell you a bit about what’s been going on.

My job at the snack bar lasted until August 31st, and no sooner was my contract up than I got drafted back at the big nougat factory. I was there almost six weeks, and to be honest, I’m glad my contract ended a few days early. The folks there are generally nice, but I can only take working in a huge, loud place for so long. Plus, at the time they were still attempting to get reorganized after buying out one of the other major factories back in January. In other words, things were decidedly less organized than before, and guess who felt it the most keenly? That’s right, all of us floor workers. Not a day went by where I didn’t hear at least one person complain about it. My team leader was particularly vocal in her displeasure, and the whole situation had her nerves so frazzled that her temper was on a hair trigger most days. Needless to say, I frequently found myself praying for an extra dose of patience. Oh, and did I mention that this was also in the middle of the rush to get the (huge) Christmas orders done? Which meant working overtime every day? My bank account was thankful for the extra hours, but my feet and head were not. :P

I think that after that experience I won’t be going back there if I can avoid it. Some things just aren’t worth a massive headache.

Anyway, right after that I had an interview at a small local company that specializes in, among other things, gift boxes composed mainly of local products. They get orders year round, but their busiest time is around Christmas. The past seven weeks have been a blur of boxes and bags of every description, cases and cases of wine, and tons upon tons of foie gras, paté, nougat, and various other goodies. We had to put in some overtime the last week to get everything finished in time (the deadline was last Friday evening), and despite a late shipment of raspberry marshmallows, we managed to complete the last order with about an hour to spare.

Now that that contract is up, I’m taking a break until January. I’ve been working almost non-stop for the past six months, and the last three have really drained me. Between the long hours at the nougat factory and the unheated warehouse after that, I am utterly wiped. I did finally get a start on my Christmas shopping today, but I’ve mostly been resting the last few days.

My busy work schedule has meant that up until now I’ve generally only been able to ride once a week instead of twice, but it’s better than nothing. I’ve been able to do a few shows as well, which went well for the most part. The dressage show I did with Naika in October was kind of a disaster (I didn’t fall off but we finished dead last of our event), but surprisingly we did better in eventing a few weeks later. I still did better in eventing with Leslie a couple of weeks before that, despite having come down with a massive cold a few days prior. That little mare might be almost 18, but she’s still got plenty of oomph. :) Mountain Blue, one of our new mares, may have robbed her of the title of Resident Speed Demon, however: you barely touch her and she takes off like her tail’s on fire. I rode her for the first time a few weeks ago and as you can imagine, it was far from dull. And of course it was a jumping class (Fred really likes throwing me into the deep end, it seems). Still, she’s a fun challenge and I would love to work with her some more.

In other news, we’ve learned that hosting two conferences two weeks apart is a very bad idea. Said conferences both went really well and God did some amazing things, but after the second one we were all wiped out. And because I was still working at the time, I didn’t even get the luxury of sleeping in the next morning. That was one of those situations where you have to rely on some supernatural strength to get through the day. Playing some extra upbeat music in the car in the morning helps too. ;)

Now, in case you’re wondering if I’ve had any time for photography with all the insanity, the answer is yes. Not quite as much as during the summer, but I still have plenty to share. I already posted a few back in October; more to come soon. One more to tide you over until I finish sorting:

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Let’s Dance!

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Puppy Love

A little girl and her puppy = cuteness overload. :)

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