Friday, July 18, 2008

Greetings from England!

Hello everybody! Coren sent me this e-mail a little bit ago and I though I would share with you all...


Hello all-Well here is the first update from this already exciting trip. The horses and all riders are now here safely. I figure the best way to share all of this is to start from the beginning.So.... quarantine.. Oh quarantine. It was ... um BORING. We arrived from NC to a nice farm in ATL. Got the horses off the van, set up stalls, hand walked and then sat. And when I say we sat, I am talking like from 2 pm till 3 am. We did get to get up to do I.V. fluids on some horses and tube the rest of them. Otherwise we sat. I slept for one hour on the concrete aisle wrapped up in Murry's sheet. Emma (Philip Duttons head groom) sleep in the corner of Woodburns stall for the same amount of time. At 3 am the vet arrived, identified all horses and put them on the van to the airport. Well due to the delay in the horses flight, Emma and I went straight to our terminal to pick up our tickets. Here is where the first "problem" was.Emma is British with a green card. Therefore her one way ticket to England was not of worry. However, an american trying to go to England on a one way ticket it is. I was immediately a "threat". Well after a large argument between me, Emma, and the ticket counter they gave up. They handed me a ticket to Washington DC and said word for word "Let DC figure this one out". Well that sounds smart. Go ahead, send the threat to DC. Anyways, in DC Emma frantically tried to explain my problem to them. However her heavy accent prevented them from understanding. They got confused, and gave me a ticket. Now the threat was headed over seas. SCORE.The flight was short (6 hr 30 min) and we arrived early. Well much to our surprise, we found Phillip Dutton on our flight. This was excellent because Emma and I had no way from London to the farm. After getting a rental car, Philip drove at extreme speed to get us to the farm. I had many moments of panic. An Australian driving on the wrong side of the road in a stick shift muttering many words I could not understand. A brit in the front seat telling him to go faster so we could meet the horses to unload. And me in the back seat so crammed, holding luggage and freaking out. 60 MPH down single lane streets with tall hedge brushes. Sounds like my idea of a good time.Horses arrived an hour late. No need for the previous speeding. We unloaded and walked and un packed and walked more and unpacked more. Then at 3 am went to sleep. I was exhausted. Keep in mind no one had slept in a bed for well over 50 hours.I got up in a panic this morning thinking that I had overslept. Well it was 8:30. Pretty late for starting chores in this world. I was the only one up. Guess everyone was still too tired! I did chores in my PJ's and went back to bed. Then after I got up, Bonnie arrived. Boy was this exciting. She brought coke, chocolate and another polar fleece for me! She knows me all too well :)The weather is cold. 50 and raining. Murry is warm. I am not. I live in a camper which is actually pretty nice. I have a shower. The hot water lasted about 37 seconds. GREAT. I slept well though..Bonnie and I went to the store in town. Driving there was exciting. My turn is next. After battling traffic in the grocery store, I think I am ready. Those people are crazy with carts and always on the wrong side of the aisle when passing!Leaving the store was my first encounter with the opposite sex in this country. And by that I mean flirting with them (sorry mom and dad). I was left waiting on the corner for Bonnie while she tried to figure which way to go to get the car out of the lot. I must have looked crazy or something because 3 very good looking 20 something year old guys approached me. I must have screamed american all bundled up in my winter coat and multiple polar fleeces. Anyway, we chatted for a good while (it took bonnie a while) and what not. It was successful. I got the "we hope we see you at the pub tonight". Well, I'm thinking Im going to the pub tonight.Bonnie and Murry are out hacking now. He was VERY frisky and she was very cold. Sounds like a good combination. The rest of the day we will just hang out. Tomorrow the horses have a gallop on the amazing hill. The BEST footing I have ever scene. Then Monday US Olympic Show jumper Laura Kraut is coming to give jump lessons. I guess I better bathe Murry for that. BURR.The scenery here is amazing. If someone would please ship me Ollie, I think I will just stay. Plus Im just a short train ride from my sister.Hope all is well in the states. Excuse my horrible grammar and spelling (again, sorry mom and dad.) I am just too tired to correct it all!Coren

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