We all know the best weather follows a snowfall, or at least those of us who live in the Midlands do. Last night witnessed the first snow-dusting of our neighbourhood this winter, and from their lofty perch at "The Monastry", high up on the Giant's Castle end of the farm, our students at the School Of Equine Management Excellence and those doing their internships at Hartford House, looked out on a crystal-white landscape from the Drakensberg in the West to the ancient scene of the Battle of Willow Grange on their North-Eastern perimeter. No matter how often you've seen it, you never quite get over the goosebumps that come with it, and while this fall was just a smattering of the destruction of 2012's, the early rays of the rising sun and the ebbing mist of early morning found us in a winter wonderland.
There's a fascination in most of our hearts, and particularly those of our coastal dwellers, for a snowscape, and if your hospitality establishment isn't already full, you can count on a weekend like this to make sure it is. Mercifully, Hartford House has been "cooking" for the past couple of years, and there's seldom a spare bed on a weekend, but that doesn't mitigate the palpitations we feel in our breasts when we rise to this sight. Suddenly there are Beverly Hills helicopters flying in for weekend lunches, Ballooning SA's hot air balloons (two of them) will be billowing up from our paddocks in the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday, and those that are lucky enough, will have a view from an entirely different perspective.
Diners at tomorrow morning's breakfast and disembarkers from these escapades, will be treated to the incomparable energy of our traditional dancing troupe, whose name and fame extends to Tokyo and Hong Kong, where they ranked third and second in the world respectively on their debut performances. Now they've been invited to perform at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival, where no doubt, they will dance the socks off anyone who's lucky enough to see them, courtesy of Col. Reggie Purbrick (let’s not forget the OBE part!).
It's never good to speak ill of the dead, and this is not intended to diminish in any way the marvellous talents of Michael Jackson. As a dancer, he was as good as he was because of his "Africaness", not because he was American, yet in this company, he would battle to make the bench!