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13 May 2017

Countdown. D Day minus 14 (.... errr.. 4)

When I started writing this post (which admittedly only got as far as a single paragraph) we were 14 sleeps away from walking onto a plane and flying to Ireland.  My kitchen bench is a sea of lists and they don't seem to be getting shorter although I am crossing things off, so I guess I'm making progress.  But on going back into my only just started post, I had to correct the title because it's now only 4 sleeps until we walk on board of said plane!  Which demonstrates how parlously bad I have gotten at writing on my Blog.  Sorry about that.

This will be my very first trip to Europe which when I think about is a bit pathetic.  Somehow there were always horses and not much money and overseas travel wasn't possible.  Then my kids came along and so straight away that made it a lot harder.  Well, impossible really. 

Naturally this trip will be incredibly horsey but surely you'd guessed that already. Actually, I think it's going to be almost all about horses.  And much to my disgust I just discovered that the one really touristy thing I wanted to do, which is the Princess Diana Exhibition at Kensington Palace, is sold out for the dates we are in Europe!  The website does say that there will be some tickets available at the gates but to expect huge queues.  "Disappointed!!!" 

At the moment I'm spending nearly all my time organising things for my children while I'm away and also preparing all the things we need to do before we leave.  This activity comes off the back of a very busy summer and autumn carnival so there's no shortage of things to put on my list.  There's a diary as long as my arm of the kids' commitments, all nicely entered into the calender and printed out which I hope my Nanny will be able to follow easily.  And then of course its the "how much camera equipment can I take?" debate.  I think that the equipment is all in hand.  We've bought some nice camera bags which should work well and there's a few other new items as well.  We do after all want to produce our very best work.

First we go to Ireland.  Oh hurraahhhhh!!!!  I've ALWAYS wanted to go to Ireland.  We'll be visiting the Irish National Stud and Gilltown Stud.  And we're hoping to go and meet Galileo at Coolmore and it would be terrific to see champion Australian mare Atlantic Jewel (or "AJ" as we called her affectionately) seeing as she's now a resident at Coolmore Stud.  She has a few Galileo foals although I don't think any of them are of racing age yet.  We will also go to the Irish Guineas weekend at The Curragh (again, oh my god....)  and we'll meet photography luminary Pat Healy.  Namesake, right?!  But no, we are not related. 

From there we fly to France. We're doing french lessons and they are complex and hard but I just love it.  I remember doing lessons when I was really young but I hated it and was terrible at it.  Of course now I wish I had persevered.  We are going to keep up with the lessons on our return.  I think that my pronounciation is better than Darren's but I am struggling to remember it all.  Most of our time in France will be in Normandy and Chantilly.  We will go to the Aga Khan Studs and to Haras d'Etreham and also to the French Derby. 

The final leg will be in England.  I'm going to pretend to be Bridget Jones in London.  We have a few days to just swan around in London (staying in Kensington) and then we'll spend the last few days in Newmarket where we'll see Juddmonte, Dalham Hall and go to the gallops. We're staying with a great friend of mine and that will be fabulous.

So stay tuned and watch for the images.  I hope that you will like them.  As we say, the Image is Everything.  I'll leave you with a series of images of The Legend, Redoute's Choice, who stood 2 seasons for the Aga Khan Studs in France.  He is represented this weekend but some of his French bred runners in a couple of Group 1 races in France this weekend.  This is the horse who has made all of this possible for me.  Redoute's, it's been a privilege to be your stallion photographer. 

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