Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." ~ Alice In Wonderland

My entire body aches right now.  It is amazing how exhausting it is here! I am currently sitting on the couch recovering by watching Discovery's Life (in Swedish) and drinking a Carlsburg... :)

In the morning I worked in the school's hot shop with Malin.  We worked on making bowls with curly feet again.  I cheated a little bit by making 4 feet instead of 3 because those are SO hard to space 3 evenly.  Malin wanted to make whiskey glasses with 2 handles as a spin off on kid's sippy cups! Her sister just had a baby so she is making cute baby things all the time.  We also made some of the long skinny vases with colors and tried to make them bigger.  At that point Bjorn came by and wanted to see how they were made.  We explained how simple they are in theory (blow a bubble and keep it really hot then let it drop towards the ground) but how difficult they really are.  He made one small one with great success and gave us that look like "yeah, this is difficult... psh!"  Bjorn often learns things very quickly and I think it has given him lots of confidence.  His next turn he tried to make a bigger one and it fell INSTANTLY on the floor! Ha! I was like "Seeeeeee! It is tricky!"  He and I made a few absurdly big ones that I have a feeling might crack or be too thin in the end.  Oh well, it was fun.

In the afternoon I went back to the hot shop in the factory with Maja.  She did not have a good day and I don't think she made a single bowl... She kept getting mad and throwing it out before I could even bring her a foot or anything.  She wouldn't just toss it in the trash she would SLAM it into the trash and bang around a whole lot.  It was a mess.  So, after a while Micke came over and calmed her but she said she wasn't going to make any more just assist me.  During the break Bosse  came up to me and was like "Are you two getting along?  Is everything OK?" I tried to explain that its not so much that we aren't getting along more that she isn't getting along with the glass and is freaking out.  He suggested that I talk to a teacher about getting a new partner, I explained that I already had and we only work together when I don't have anyone else to work with because the first year Nordic students are in the cold shop.  Then, very sweetly, the older, very tall and skinny, Danish guy Anders (though it is pronounced weirdly... Anash or something) said he would be happy to work with me one day, or any of them, their class is a big mix of skill levels and etc.  It was very nice.  I guess maybe Maja and I's very loud discussion did not go as unnoticed yesterday as I thought, or her tamptrums today.  That is very sweet of them, but I feel kind of embarrassed that it has gotten so obvious and awkward.  Thank goodness for Micke today calming her down so much today!  Here are the bowls I made yesterday... I made more but they broke in the annealer.. These two made it!
 Orange and purple bowls!
 Super thick!
Curly pig feet!

After school I took a nap and did a HUGE mountain of laundry! Then I got to go riding today! I got the stables and my name wasn't on the list :( I asked Pia and she said "Lady!" Sooooo, off I go and try to tack up Lady.  She was in a HORRIBLE mood today, she tried to bite me and stomped her foot at me! She quickly got her halter put on and tied up tight in the stall! 

 Look at her... such a Lady... aka a complete bitch today.

I put the saddle on and the girth barely reached her other side! I went snooping for another girth and found some but they are all really small and Lady is a big girl.  I got to the lesson a few minutes late and Pia laughed when she saw that the girth was on the first hole on one side and the second hole on the other side.  I got on and she said that now I have to make sure to always have more contact and more leg.  I have to use so much leg that she wants to canter or gallop and then hold her back in the trot or small canter.  I have to do this as soon as I get on the horse and I have to start holding my hand closer to my body.  I have always moved my hands up the neck when I shorten my reigns and have strong contact.  Now I have to have my hands on the withers (right in front of the saddle) at all times! I guess I have graduated to big girl riding... but damn is it hard!  Then when we went to jump Pia made me put my stirrups up even shorter.  She said it would make me sit up more and use my hands more.  My stirrups were so short it felt like I couldn't even squeeze with my leg much less stay on! After I rode my first course she laughed and said she had never seen someone put their heels down so far trying to lengthen their leg on the horse.  Today we jumped a jumper course and the jumps weren't very high (2'6"-2'9", less than a meter) but they were REALLY wide! The oxers were about 2 feet wide I guess, it was very strange and made me nervous at first but it was fun to jump.  We didn't have to take the jumps down for once and I got to take a picture of my course for you guys!
The course was: 
1. Left lead over the oxer in the middle where the man is standing
Turn right
2. Purple bending line coming home in 6 strides (Lady did it in 5 a few times) the first jump is behind the horse to the jump on the left of the ring. 
3.  The combination in one stride going away, starts with the X jump to the yellow and striped oxer.
4.  Right lead over the line on the far right in 6 strides.  The end oxer was super wide!
5.  Go right in front of the camera, turn right and jump the orange and teal jump going to the right
turn left on landing
6. Jump the first jump again where the man is standing in the middle.

The guy riding in the picture changed the jumps some but some of them are the same size and width as when I did it!  That horse in the picture was BEAUTIFUL and amazing! As was the guy... I think it was a professional trying a new horse but I am not sure.

When I got home I went and messed around on Facebook some, I took one of those silly quiz's "What Fairy Tale Do You Belong In?"  This is what I got:


This classic tale was written by Lewis Carrol, and the story has been well-loved for over one hundred years. The main character, Alice, was modeled off a young girl he secretly loved and dedicated the book to. Filled with symbolism, parodies, riddles, and sometimes utter nonsense, Carrol even invented quite a few words in his work. While Carrol loved little girls, he despised little boys (an allusion to the baby boy that turns into a pig, in his book). The things that suit you are madness and strangeness.

Pretty funny I thought since Alice inspired this title of this blog.  Sweden Through The Glass instead of Through The Looking Glass.  It isn't a close link... but it did inspire the blog.  Who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland?  Now, off to bed, school starts super early tomorrow and I have another riding lesson!

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