Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

It is minus nine this morning...

Saturday, 18 December 2010



The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.
Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.
And who but listened?--till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all.



Second lot sets off at the bottom of Warren Hill

It is minus nine this morning and, as the light has come up, it seems to have got even colder. There is plenty of ice and a good covering of snow and, although it is a clear, bright morning at present, there is plenty of snow forecast for later in the day. We have got a few wispy, red clouds on the horizon and the old saying 'red sky in the morning, shepherds warning' looks like being right. All the old horses have been out and had a canter and I think I will keep the yearlings in the indoor school today out of harm's way.


MHT breaks the ice on the pool, while the string trots round

Plenty of racing off today with Ascot, Haydock and Newcastle already cancelled.  Lingfield has already had an inspection and there is another one at 10.00 am, so it looks like Southwell could be the only meeting to survive today. There will also be plenty of other sport off, especially football and rugby. Arsenal are at home today as Stoke City visit The Emirates and Phil is hoping for a better result than Monday; I think he should be happier by 5.00 pm. Wednesday's match at Exeter is, according to the newspaper, still on but there has been plenty of snow forecast in the West country and it must be in doubt. Don't forget to vote on Sunday for Tony McCoy and keep voting as many times as you can, also encourage all your friends to do so as well.  


On the Rocks gets a new set of shoes 

It was great to see a Flint Cottage owner, Judi Dench, voted the best theatre actor of all time this week. The readers of 'The Stage' magazine were asked to decide and she came out top against very stiff opposition. She richly deserves this very high accolade, as she is absolutely brilliant at every aspect of her profession and gives so much pleasure worldwide.


Dame Judi out on Warren Hill earlier this year 

We have had a considerable amount of entries for yesterday's competition, some very good and amusing ones. Here is the picture again, so keep them coming. Don't forget Phil's Christmas quiz will be up early next week.