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Meg Robbins
Northampton, Massachusetts
Interested in many things, life generally spent in and out of Hot Soup
Interests: writing, walking, learning, checking the weather on -line, walking places other than downtown, being upgraded on my next flight, admiring trees, adventuring with our children and their children, being paid to walk around and look at things, riding my pony through trails and fields...generally curious.
Recent Activity
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Edinburgh, Summer --It's about this time of year when you start to remember odd parts of old holidays; the ones where the sun always shone and everyone was a little bit younger. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2014 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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...when the countdown began, we stood in a circle on his garden lawn, high above high tide far below. Joining hands as the call went, " 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" the circle broke into a melodic Auld Lang Syne floating up and across to the sea below. Quickly followed by a series of Elvis songs (Elvis is Very Big in Wales) we gazed up to the strong stars and sang along as best we could, calling the New Year in, ushering the Old Year out. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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August It has been a long day's night. Work in Boston, Logan shuttle to JFK, 8 hours to Schiphol, we emerge blinkingly into early morning Amsterdam dragging suitcases we are eager to dump for the day. We spend 20 sleep-... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2013 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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Looking at the map and realizing we now had all of The Black Isle to traverse before I saw my dinner, I stared out at the golden light on fields of rye and timothy and yellow rape and wondered like all first time visitors where the Black Isle gets its name Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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Winter 2011 It's nearly Christmas and the night draws in cold and dark up on the hill. There are no lights on the winding steep drive up to the barn which stands with a welcoming glow shining out over the small valley. Stalls clean and inviting, mashes steaming in wait, it's time to call the horses in. But do they come? The three ponies in the far meadow are led in by head collar and leadrope. The old mare nearly trots in her enthusiasm to reach her senior mush and they are left to their meals while we call in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2012 at Life With Archie: midlife with horse
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I thought Up the Ben should offer as does every other travel column, some Helpful Hints on Airplane Etiquette. The woman in the photo above has perhaps the best advice--begin your trip with a neck brace. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
Thanks Sandra— there seem to be some pretty good sheepdog training options state-side as well so hopefully Jake will find some tuition that will well suit him- IF you have sheep? Hopefully subscribe link is active—let me know please if not. I enjoyed your site as well and noted that you have endangered species as well so know you will enjoy my ongoing saga of bringing a Dales pony home!
Toggle Commented May 9, 2012 on Sheep and Dog at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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The set-up is this: dog-youth-sheep (and whistle). The challenge? Dog and youth must communicate via word and whistle to herd 5 unruly sheep through long runs via gates and maze to the pen. Words, whistle, words. Some dogs understand 100 commands. I understand three. Lie down. Come (coomb) bye. Click click click. Good lad. Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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Bucolic British countryside, horses, dogs, money. Now add amateur racing over formidable hurdles, regulation tweeds and the presence of both the local hunt and local folk and you've got point to point Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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Most of us collect remembrances from our travels. A sniff of that sachet from last year in Provence brings back summer and soft skies and endless expanses of heathery lavender fields. The bottle of Hawkes Bay sav blanc is long past its drinkability but a glimpse of its luminous liquid trapped behind the small vineyard label brings an immediate you-are-there presence of sea and cliff. Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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The rest of the crowd starts a car park chant, “Grace Day! Grace Day!” which is apparently the British version of “Broken Meter—Free Parking” and skip off to shop. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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The fog, sitting heavily on Haytor Down has, if anything, intensified. Not only can't I see my had in front of my face-- I can't see the tor in front of my horse. Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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We are awake during our prime REM time and, stupid as it is and sounds-- we're about to (legally and on the 'wrong side ' of the road) drive a car. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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In the Life of Archie, his five-going-on-six winter would probably not be at the top of his list unless you turned the list upside down. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2011 at Life With Archie: midlife with horse
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Somewhere in the great wood lies a castle. Long ago and beyond memory it may have been a remarkable place. Motte and Bailey structure, it lies buried under soft leaf mold leaving only a suggestion of shape. The surrounding forest harbors nuance and guards against discovery. Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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The sky went green and the winds swirled and the horses in the barn tried their best to kick their way out past the deafening hail and wind and noise. Sirens roared and television news focused on loss and anguish and damage and terror. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
absolutely--and inventive and incredibly funny and it happens every year--so go!
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A British pub snug is just what it sounds like--a cozy place to sit with a drink. Think settle or stools, open fire and room for a few couples or a group of after-wMabel photoork celebrants. On this evening it was just me-- and Mabel. Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
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"...and here I was--a complete Doc M neophyte when my friend Gwynedd and I walked the SW Coastal Path frDoc martins houseom Pentire Farm to Port Quin (a three- footprint walk according to the map's scale of 1-3 ) to Port Isaac last year. It was an absolutely gorgeous cliff-side walk around the Qellan and Varley Heads past Lobber Point, up and down seasid e hills, hoisting Rosie the Lurcher over the stiles she refused to leap and finally the descent into Port Isaac. Noting a sign importantly announcing the home of Doc Martin I naively asked Gwynedd, "Who's Doc Martin?" She was horrified--you don't KNOW? Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2011 at Up the Ben and Down the Boozer
Thanks Stella, and I very much enjoy Cavaliere Attitude as well--your Pom looks lovely. It is good fun sharing the nuttiness of life with horses after a "certain" age. Bon chance!
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So what's wrong with this picture? Last week Archie looked dangerously like a Case of Colic coming on. Off his feed, a funny sort of dazed gaze, he looked weak around the eyeballs in a wobbly way. Since Archie's poop is nearly as riveting a topic of observation as his feet, it was duly noted that his poop was frequent, mushy, green and with an odd vinegary cow manure tang. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2011 at Life With Archie: midlife with horse
Hi Marsha, Actually I WAS 59 but now 60 with 61 looming ahead. I actually feel pretty chipper physically and credit daily riding,stall cleaning, vegetarianism with the occasional rare hamburger, baby backribs and chardonnay with good health. There's a lot to be said for the sitting trot. Not too sure what horse facts are as mostly what I have discovered are horse myths, horse whoppers, and horse hopefuls. Very sorry about the loss of Rex. I a had a long-ago pony named Beaner I feel very much the same about--we were both 8 when he took command of our family. My right foot big toe has never quite recovered its toenail from when he trod (heavily) on it. Archie and I would be very much in favor of being featured in your horsie blog which would hopefully link to our horsie blog? We will send you a photo and thanks very much,we will look out for your books!
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Great--what's step one?
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Thanks Katherine: I love this--everyone has said that i MUST stand still and that has always been a challenge and makes the ticking clock hands feeling more profound. The traffic cone is visually appealing but I was also thinking about being taller. Tell me more about practicing with the lunge whip? Are you of the hold it cleverly and casually behind you or the pointed towards the horse at all times school?
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I don't know about the rest of the equestrian world, but turning my feet in a circle to guide a trotting horse around and around makes me dizzy. Although I appreciate the concept of lunging, I wonder if it can't be improved upon for both lungee and lunger. I have compiled a short list of pros and cons and welcome creative suggestions for possibly re-thinking the 20 meter circle from the inside out. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2011 at Life With Archie: midlife with horse