There are very clear lines of engagement in the Loots household. Frans loves sailing, Rosie loves horse riding and Jamie loves cycling. Me ……… well amongst all this chaos I sort of just tag along, I know very little about horses, yachts and bicycles and as a pure survival tactic I am going to keep the status quo just as it is.
For as long as Rosie has been riding horses – since she was 3, it has been her dream to go to the Bathurst Show. And the plan was she would be taking the beloved horse she rides – Lezaar, to Bathurst 2013. It was all great excitement until Lezaar really started to be a bad traveller. He is an old man – 27 and the travelling was just becoming too stressful for him. Rosie was gutted, but gutted in a good way because she totally understood the reasons behind the decision.
Then Rosies world gets tilted back into a good space, she gets invited to Bathurst to ride a teeny weeny pony she has been helping to school – we jumped at the opportunity.
Weeks of planning go into Bathurst. Where we are going to stay, what nourishing well balanced meals we are going to have, is there a washing machine in the house? booking a maid, teas, coffees, breakfasts and transport are all carefully discussed – each bedroom is carefully allocated.
So off we go to Bathurst ……… a week of uninterrupted horsieness. A house full of horse mad people, a show dedicated to all things agricultural …. but mostly the whole of the show is centered around horses, horses and more horses.
Back at the home corral Frans and Jamie plot their own excursion. They are going for a few days of cycling. They get up, on their way out of town they stop at the Spar and buy meat (for braaing only), breadrolls, butter, coke, energade and beers – oh and Milo breakfast cereal. In their car they have a tiny tog bag each but mostly the car is taken up with two bicycles.
Our Bathurst car is bursting at the seams – so much so we take a horsebox with us ……. not for horses but a horsey equivilant of a venter trailer. We each have so much girly luggage it is stupid. A change of clothes for every day, a new pair of pajamas for every night, a change of clothes for the evenings (which we didn’t use because we were so tired every night we simply came home, ate and slept) – makeup bags, hairdryers, straighteners, snacks (lots of them) extra pillows, blankets, reading books, magazines, cellphones, chargers, computers, DVD’ees, cameras …… and more. The horses are being trucked up to Bathurst.
At our holiday house the boys take 2 ticks to unpack, they light a fire, make a boerie roll and put the bikes together. It is raining so they settle in to read the old magazines and books lying around the house. That evening they light another fire make some more boerie rolls – using the rolls as plates and go to bed.
We go straight to Bathurst to meet the horse truck, it is raining, 6 horses slide out of the horse truck. Each horse gets put into its stable, it is given grass, boots and protective travelling gear is stripped, each horses feed box is allocated, each horse is loved and settled in – this takes a couple of hours. Only then do we go to our house where we eat and go to bed.
The next morning to boys get up, light a fire, and make boerewors rolls for breakfast. They pack the car to go cycling.
I wake up at 4.30 am and take the first load of pre-show grooming people to Bathurst, and the rest of the day we Jump, Show, do Equitation, Dressage, as a horsey Mom I get to meet some amazing other horsey moms, the organisers and some really cool dogs. We eat all the delish goodies available at Shows. Afterwards we go home 12 people fighting over 3 bathrooms, eat a well balanced delish meal and go to sleep. No TV is watched we are tired.
Frans and Jamie pack their bikes and go for a ride at Storms River. Now remember Frans has only ridden one race – the Karoo to Coast on his old bike with no shocks. Jamie has loaned him his 2nd best bike for the expedition. Jamie has one speed on a bike FLAT OUT and Frans believes in enjoying the journey. So through the forest the two of them go ….. on single track, over rocks, sand and through mud (there is always mud).
Now Frans is quite chuffed with himself ……. he is coping. Just as he is thinking that it is great that he hasn’t wiped out he sees a rocky patch rushing towards him.
There is nothing he can do ……….
the back wheel slides out ……….
The bike flip ……. Frans goes flying …….
“MAN OVERBOARD!!!!!!!!” He screeches into the empty forest.
Lying on the grass at the bottom of the pass Jamie hears a screech from the forest …… he ignores it …….. its a boy thing.
Back in Bathurst there are plenty of spills and falls.
The week goes by in a blur for both the boys and the girls and it seems that in a flash we are all on our way home.
Everyone is tired, happy and in a good space.
We walk into the house Jamie looks me in the eye and says “whats for dinner?”
After my fifth load of washing I decided to have a grumble ……… “cant anyone help me here?”
“But we did” a chorus meets me ………..
“We took the washing to the washing machine”
I quietly count my blessings ……… one little one at a time ……….