Horsing Around

The National Stud at Newmarket

I have been off gallivanting again since I last wrote (for the last time this summer, honest!)

Last weekend we were in Newmarket and while we were there, we had a tour of the National Stud.

Among all the beautiful, incredibly valuable stallions (which we weren’t allowed to touch and obviously, I was too scared to even photograph as I don’t have a picture of any of them! #AweStruck), there was a ‘companion animal’, Albie the Shetland pony.

Albie the Shetland


Isn’t he sweet? Look at his little hairdo!

You can see how small he is here with a couple of non-stallions (geldings), that the guide (also pictured) took us to feed with polo mints. (Polo mints being, basically, sugar cubes).

It was a great tour and we learned all kinds of weird and wonderful things although there was perhaps a little too much information when we went to the ‘covering shed’ (I think that was its name. Don’t quote me), which is where the serious business of making future racehorses takes place.

I’m sure Jilly Cooper must have done her research at the National Stud, before she wrote her book ‘Mount’, which I mentioned here back in 2016.

Writing Groups/Classes: New Term

If you live anywhere near Chipping Norton (or even if you don’t but you like a long drive), then you might like to know that the 2 writing groups I teach/take are resuming IRL at the theatre in Chippy from Monday 6th September and there are spaces!

Only £80 for a ten-week term, which is just £8 a session. A bargain! And might be useful if you want encouragement to write, a deadline each week (because I set ‘homework’!) and some feedback on your work.

They’re not, strictly speaking ‘lessons’, although hopefully we all learn something each week and they’re daytime classes (2 hours from 10.30am or 1pm), so I know that’s no good for a lot of people but if you’d like more information, Iet me know.

If you’ve been watching Jeremy Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime (I know, I know, I didn’t think I was a fan of Jezzer’s either but the programme is brilliant), you’ll know that the farm is in Chadlington, just down the road from Chipping Norton, so if you come to the class, there’s always a chance you’ll see Kaleb or Jeremy wandering around Chippy’s backstreets, chewing on a straw…

Free Stuff – Competition + Festival

Middleway Words 5th – 11th September 2021

This is an on-line book festival, show-casing Midlands-based writers, taking place in September and FREE. Details here.

Writers Kate and Mark Hamer are running a FREE, non-fiction writing competition for over-40s, living in the UK, who have not had a book published. Closing date 25th October (‘at dawn’, which I rather like!).

Evesham Festival of Words Flash Fiction 30-Word Story Competition

It doesn’t open until 1st September but here’s a ‘heads up’ about Evesham Festival’s latest writing competition, which is free-to-enter and open to everyone over 16 (one entry per person, so make it count!).
The theme is AUTUMN and your entry must be exactly 30 words, plus title.
All the details are here.

Good luck!

This entry was posted in Competitions, Television, West Midlands and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Horsing Around

  1. Eirin Thompson says:

    Thanks for another newsy post, Helen. Best wishes as your writing groups resume – I hope some interesting characters and promising new material come your way.

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