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Published: September 10th 2019
The mornings are beginning to get darker. A mist has started to hang in the air and Autumn is pretty much just round the corner. The summer has been pretty poor this year. Unlike last year when it was hot all summer this one has been poor. The nights are drawing in and the house lights are being switched on earlier . The heating has even started to come on . . The gardens have their last flush of colour. Chrysanthemums and Dahlias are giving their all to provide colour. The Autumn yellow clematis are crawling over the trellis. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees. Just a trickle like an April shower. It won't be long before they fall like heavy rain and cover the ground like a snow fall. The conkers are growing , the elderberries turning purple and the Hawthorn covered in red berries. We have butterflies . Not the insect variety . It is that time of the year when we are on the cusp of another European trip. We always get butterflies as we count the days and weeks down. The train has been booked for months. Gabby has been emptied ready for cleaning.
Adverstising poster for the a horse show
Looks more like an advert for clothes for high class ladies
Her carpets have been taken up and hoovered. Her work surfaces cleaned. Her bed linen has been removed and washed and is waiting to be returned to its rightful place.
We ordered our Umweltplakette - the German emission zone sticker . It needed replacing after our windscreen change . We need to replace too our Crit Aire sticker in order to go into some French cities . Finally we ordered our Swiss vignette. All necessary and all arrived safely. A toll tag for Italy has been ordered from Toll Tickets in Germany and should be waiting for us at Harbour Shipping. Our first stopover has been booked . Theobalds Park just on the M25. We should get there for tea time and stay overnight allowing us an early morning start for the tunnel. All good plans coming together . All our cupboards have been emptied ready for our habitation check and Gabby is booked in for that plus her service . Once done we can start the task of putting everything back .
We are excited as always. Which way will be go out of the tunnel - to the right and a quick dash to Luxembourg for
a fuel stop. On through Germany and Switzerland to our first stop in Italy - Monza . Through Italy to Monte Cassino and to Sicily. A plan in the making . Some stops at campsites but others on aires. When we return we are booked in for a new Lithium battery to replace the two leisure batteries currently in Gabby. Lithium all new , all singing and dancing should last longer to enable us to wild camp more. Expensive but hopefully a good choice .
We get another viewing for our home. Apparently it is lovely. Our front room is large and sunny, the decor is stunning , the conservatory is wonderful but ........................ There is always a but isn't there! The bungalow is not large enough. The couple who viewed currently live in a large 5 bedroom terraced property. They want to downsize . OK - that's fine - 5 bedrooms down to 3 is downsizing . They need an office , they need a place to put gym equipment . They need like many people to realise what the word downsizing means . How many viewers have we had who want to downsize but have little idea
what the concept means. They want the same space in a smaller property . A waste of their time and of ours . Let's get away on holiday and forget this selling lark .
So where do we end up today ? The Museum of the Horse in Tuxford . Have you heard of it ? No neither had we. We fell upon it by accident . A few weeks ago we were watching Bargain Hunt . The host went to the Museum of the Horse and our ears pricked up. See what I did then? We realised it was around the area of Newark where we would be taking Gabby for her habitation check and service. She is coming up to two years old and needs a full expensive service and a habitation and damp check . The Horse museum was just up the road and seemed the perfect place to stop off at and waste a few hours.
It is a bit like a tardis. We couldnt find it at first. We parked the car up and wandered around Tuxford . We needed breakfast so after locating the museum we headed for a capuccino , a
double espresso, a bacon butty and two slices of toast . Over breakfast we wondered if the service would go well. We hoped so , we hoped that SMC who looked after our girl would find nothing wrong , that they would fix the handbrake and the back high level light . We talked about the house viewing and wondered what we needed to do to sell the house. There is something nice about sitting in a corner drinking good coffee and passing a few hours away doing not much. What a shame the internal rubber seal has not turned up. Another trip may be needed to have that fitted .
After our coffee break we headed back to the museum which is housed above an art gallery. It cost us £3 each to visit and the receptionist had to get her keys to open the doors to let us in. It felt as if they had few visitors and that was a bit sad as the museum was one of the nicest we have been to. Well worth the time to view it. Upstairs we walked and the first thing we saw was a jockey weighing scales .
It was tempting to try them out . The collection in the first room concentrated on the functional equipment needed to ride a horse. Pieces dated back to 600BC with antique bridles, bits stirrups , horseshoes and harnesses . Each cabinet was filled with bits and bridles some Roman , some medieval, some English and many continental . Stirrups of every shape and size . Saddles made from the most softest of leather all finely tooled. Everything was labelled with dates and explanations of what they were and where in the world they came from . Armerican saddles, the saddle of a Canadian mountie. Horse shoes made of wicker , some iron , some aluminium. South American saddles and equipment used by cowboys.
As we walked from room to room we were astounded at the paintings of horses , the posters from the Victorian period and from the 1920's, medical equipment some of which were barbaric , heavy working horse brasses and items used by pit ponies. We wondered where everything had come from . One room full of Asian horse equipment , another full of horse riding clothing - ladies jackets, hunt jackets, boots and whips . Case
after case full of medals and cups and riding caps used by famous jockeys.
Apparently there were over 400 horse bits from around the world, the oldest being over 2000 years old. There were over 170 stirrups and 100 spurs, the oldest of these being Roman. The saddle collection begins in the 17thC and has over 50 saddles. The American section includes Native American pieces, Cowboy gear and military items. There is even a collection of early American barbed wire which was known as ‘The fall of The Cowboy’ because the invention of it eliminated many of the cowboy’s jobs. We stopped at the cases that were filled with items from the Great War. These were of interest to Glenn as his grandfather rode a horse during the conflict and he has his spurs. We saw the same spurs in the cases. A model house was kitted out just as it would have been for a battle during the First World War . From the leather gun cases attached to the saddle to the sword case . The museums items just went on and on. It is true to say we have been to many museums both in this country and abroad but never have we been in a museum dedicated to the horse . It was a really enjoyable visit and made a welcome change from the normal museum. So over the last few weeks we have been to a Museum of the Clock and now a Museum dedicated to a horse . Makes you wonder what else is out there . Hidden away and not advertised . . Museums and houses just waiting to be found by us.
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