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A Horse called Mice

This month, I’m writing from sunnier climes, having decided to spend a few days riding a horse with a funny name through the Spanish desert! That isn’t quite how the song goes but you get my drift. In reality, my mount was called Maiz, pronounced ‘Mice’ which just seemed wrong somehow. I could have dealt with a horse called Mouse, a misjudged naming perhaps, but Mice was just weird! But the horse in front of me was called Trucha which translates as Trout so who am I to complain?

I could spend hours describing the incredible climate and beautiful scenery of Andalucia not to mention the joy of taking the horses across the beach and into the Mediterranean for a splash about, but I’ll save that for equestrian friends and my family, who have no option but to listen to my (often lengthy) tales of my adventures!

Rather, it was the stay in the lovely hotel that intrigued me, because it reminded me that, as a kid, I used to niggle my mother by asking why we had to set and clear the table for meals, when we’d only be putting it all back on the table a few hours later. The look she gave me all those years ago indicated that to do such a thing would be akin to setting off for hell in a handcart! Even the suggestion that just the salt and pepper might cease their relentless shuttle from kitchen to table was not greeted with enthusiasm! There’s a point where even the most bolshy and opinionated youngster recognises the futility of further argument!

Now a mother myself, I can admit that few things irritate me more than people leaving debris on the table after a meal. Along with unmade beds, clothes on the floor and a bathroom that looks as though a tsunami has washed through it.

But staying in this fantastic hotel made me realise that by their standards my early family life was quite relaxed. By 7am, the dining room looked as though a wedding planner had been in. Teaspoons were arranged facing the same way. Cold continental meats and cheese slices were arranged with military precision; bread artfully arranged to attract and tempt. Fruit was cut up in such a way to lure even the laziest eater who usually can’t be bothered to deal with difficult items such as melon or kiwi fruit. (Apples were pretty standard though and I’ll admit here to snaffling a couple for the horses!) There was also a dedicated egg area where omelettes were prepared to order and bowls of hard boiled eggs both hot and cold. (I was probably the only guest who managed to take one from the wrong bowl only to break an uncooked egg across my salami!) Everything was labelled in three languages just in case you didn’t recognise it. My favourite was the moniker given to the full fat milk, which was described as ‘milk with scum’! Suddenly, I’m a much bigger fan of semi skimmed!

I genuinely have no idea how many people are needed to start work at goodness knows what time to provide such an amazing display and variety.

And it made me realise that here in Skegness, with tourism vital to the local economy, there must be hordes of people doing exactly the same thing every day for their visitors. People who must rise before the dawn to make sure that their clients are catered for beautifully and that their environment is clean and welcoming. Such work is rarely recognised but, certainly in my case, appreciated. And I hope that after a busy summer, the autumn is offering all those who work in the hospitality sector some well earned rest.

My holiday over, I’d usually be eagerly anticipating the arrival of winter but with a malfunctioning boiler and a defunct oven, the future is looking a little chilly. Bad mother that I am, I left my children with these problems whilst I frolicked in the sunshine. My mother would never have done that any more than she’d have left condiments on the table between meals! But justice has been done.I may have survived my four feisty days of dangerous desert riding but I managed to break a small bone in my foot by dropping the oven door on it whilst trying to fix.She’s trying no


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