Its a pivotal day the shortest day and the longest night - I am always thankful to celebrate the return of longer daylight days.
The Winter Solstice a celebration of light returning and the earth awakening. A time of togetherness and glimmerings of hope for the new year, and toasts to those we have loved and lost. Of remembrance, thanks and celebration.
A festival of lights - twinkling brights, welcoming the light with candles and also lit for remembrance of those loved and lost. An Evergreen solstice thanks to the garden which happens to have holly. (but I do need to introduce mistletoe )
A celebration of all good things had and to come - to be enjoyed and treasured. A friend knowing my appreciation of the Winter Solstice sent me this poem called The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
'So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Back in May at the UKAgility Show 2011 - Zev and Me qualified for the Tug-e-Euff Performance Challenge Final to be held on the 3rd December. On the 2nd December 2011, on the friday evening I was nervous and cranky - not of me and Zev, but I had no idea what it would be like - it was a new event and on paper seemed a really good idea. Could all the costs such as petrol/hotel etc be justified?
The Grand Entrance
UKAgility Finals Weekend 2011
I need not of worried - it is the best agility event in the UK that I have been too. It was professionally run - the team of helpers - combined with Greg and Laura's experience. It is the first time for me in Agility I have seen the emphasis on the agility and the competitiors and their dogs. For the presentations at the end all the competitors were included which I thought was a really nice touch.
I had just a fabulous day - Zev worked his little sheltie paws off for me as always - how lucky am I to have such an incredible sheltie. He won the jumping round. Here is the video...
Which meant we went into pole position in the final round. But I cocked it up, the angle on to the dog walk - I should have helped Zev with it more - assuming he would take it - and he did not - and the gutting part of it is his times even with so much time wasted was still so good - how exciting. The results can be found on the UKAgility web site - so we ended up 5th overall. Huge congratulations to Ziga and Liz (Zev's brother) who won the event overall.
However, it was no matter - yes as a human being sure I would have luv to have won - but I will have to do it next year instead - the big step for me here is that I have been hit by the 'finals' bug - I wanna be in more with Zev.
The day was full on nice bonuses catching up with friends, meeting a potential sire of my next border collie puppy, making new acquaintances, met Zev's half brother Gimzo who just like Zev is too handsome and cute for words. I was so wishing that I have another but I am just gonna have to wait...but but the temptation.....
Then Bernadette as thoughtful as ever gave me and Zev our own sheltie charm...
Like I say it was just one of those fabulous days full of nice bonuses. With special thanks to:
All the helpers that did such a great job
Laura and Greg Derrett for having the vision and drive to deliver a great standalone final event - specifically for agility
Marc for putting up with me being cranky on Friday evening
Zevman - endearing, passionate and opinionated. Perfect in fact . See Zev's web page for more information. by clicking on his picture.
Ag Ch Vanitonia Mister Big - Marcs tiny bundle of mega fun and attitude
The names Big - Mister Big ! See my webpage for more information on my adventures.
Dixie aka Nedlo Strictly Classic
A Small and Mighty.border collie who is definitely large if a bit tiny!
Rivi aka Nedlo Drives Me Wild - AWG
Christine's Rivioli - the one and only - unique.
Nuts aka Woodsorrel Drives Me Nuts
My Nuts - my beautiful border collie, who is my Forever Nuts...In loving memory
Storm aka Storm's A Brewing
My boy, who taught me so much. Thank you and miss you. Took me from Elementary to Novice, in his final year of agility was second overall for the Novice Classic and finished third in the final - DINAS 2004. In Obedience Storm took me from Pre-Beginner to 'A'
Wings aka Woodsorrel Bright Wings
Marc & Wings, a journey indeed - came to us with more baggage than a airport luggage conveyor belt, not that you would know that now :-) Grade 6 in agility with one agility win to Grade 7. Won the KC Novice Cup 2007 and Qualified Crufts Team 2011. Now retired to watch TV and herd to her hearts content.
Raz aka Woodsorrel Crazy Nut
Marc's crazy sweet dog – Obedience C only and Grade 7 - Championship level in Agility. Raz had floaters in his eyes that cause blurring since birth, which build up and cause the retinal detachment. At 6 he finally became blind in one eye and worsening poor vision in the other due to retinal detachment, which meant he was retired at 6 years old. It is amazing and a testament to Marc's handling that Raz did as well as he did. The problem is hereditary / CEA. Raz also has the occasional 'fit' and intolerant of any cereal ie wheat/maize.
Tri aka No spills Tri Thrills
Marc's girl - sorely missed - one fantastic season going senior and to the semi's before being retired at 3 years old - due to chroic hd/back and heart problems. That one year was a golden summer of agility, watching them run together was simply thrilling. Her previous owners had brought her from a pet shop, fortunately they rehomed her to us when she was a around a year old.