Trotters, Arabians, Donkeys and Other People - Page 49 - The Horse Forum
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post #481 of 2745 Old 06-01-2018, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Oh, and 40+ & K&K are huge sanity savers for me. I really needed a laugh and 40+ is providing abundantly at the moment, I'll link right to the middle of all the fun in which I landed after checking back in post-fire:

I really recommend also going back to the language videos various people posted here; so funny:

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post #482 of 2745 Old 06-02-2018, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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You asked me earlier about ants and I didn't answer. Last year, in July, ants got into our air conditioner and totally fried it by short-circuiting various relays with their bodies. The repairman hadn't seen it before. He called his boss to consult. The boss said it happens sometimes. Some ants just seem attracted by electrical circuits. We now keep the area around the AC treated with ant-killer. It was a $400 repair bill.

Before entering the military, I studied biology. Wanted to move into range management for a masters but ran into that Great Limiter: NO $$$$$$. Even 40 years ago, the consensus was that controlled fires were needed. It is just that fires are like some horses - not fond of staying controlled! Your story reminded me of a visit to a farm in Idaho that tried a controlled burn. Except some sparks got into an area with lots of fuel. I was in that area and suddenly flames exploded, shooting up as high as the telephone poles. I have no memory of going over/through a 5' barbed wire fence to get to open ground, but I did. Something about enormous flames just behind you that makes a person suddenly athletic!

Luckily, that section was surrounded by the farm's plowed out ground, a road and some railroad tracks. The fire department - all volunteers - same out and helped. Rural Idaho 40 years ago, so no one got too upset.
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post #483 of 2745 Old 06-03-2018, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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I finally got to ride!

So, Sunday. Early morning spent proofreading and then sending a manuscript on installing a recycled kitchen, for The Owner Builder magazine. In short: We began with a recycled kitchen bought serendipitously for $2,000 at a local auction, and modified it to raise the benchtop 10cm above standard height so we don't ever have to stoop anymore when cooking. We refinished the benchtops and made inexpensive new kickboards out of rough jarrah facecuts obtained for $5 a board at the local mill. Rustic timber cornice and architraves were made from the same inexpensive but beautiful material. The pine corner units and pine panelling were stained to match, as was the square pine post with which I closed the gaps between the cooker and the cabinetry. The cypress pine pantry door we made nicely matches the island benchtop patch (just visible in the foreground) Tim so ingeniously made to close the gaping hole that had housed the benchtop cooker in the kitchen's original home. Creative tiling and the texture paint help to make everything glow. It's just the right kitchen for our strawbale farmhouse.

I'd worked on that piece on and off for two days and it was good to get it sent, after the fire-related busy last three weeks outlined last page. This is article three for this magazine; the first was on our house build and the second a tour of our interior. The editor does such a fantastic job of laying out the text and photos; magnificent!

Bill came at morning teatime as usual, and I made rye waffles with our own peach sauce and cream for everyone. I threw two smallish Pennsylvania Crookneck pumpkins into the oven, and started some pizzas. Once the pumpkins were done, it's a piece of cake to turn them into pumpkin soup - they basically self-peel, and only have a seed cavity at the bottom of the pumpkin.

Some of this year's pumpkin harvest; Dutch Crooknecks and even longer-necked Tromboncinos at the back of the table, Potimarrons front left, Painted Mountain Corn in the middle, Tromboncino zucchini front right:

We had salami & onion pizza and a potato pizza today (yes really!) - this is a photo from 2017 which shows the first type in front, and a pumpkin, ham & capsicum pizza at the back.

We then showed Bill the pilot episode of The Prisoner, an English surreal, satirical sort of Pleasantville x Brave New World x James Bond from 1967. It's really excellent, filmed in colour even though half a century old, and set in the beautiful real location of Portmeirion in Wales:

Both Portmeirion and the show are on this page:

We had coconut cake I'd made in the morning for afternoon tea, and after that I went out to feed the horses. Bill came to look, and said to me, when he saw Romeo's bowl, "Who gets this?" - and, "No wonder he's still running around at age 33 even though he has lost lots of teeth." He also said, "When that horse goes to heaven and you eventually follow him, he'll be waiting for you there to show you around." To which I replied, "And then he can take me on rides for the rest of eternity!"

Romeo and his twice a day bowl:

Romeo, who's allowed in the garden due to his teeth, having a kip on the front lawn a couple of months ago:

After cutting everyone some tree lucerne for an evening supplement (after their hard feed), Bill drove back to town and I saddled up Sunsmart for an evening ride around the recent fireground. He'd had one short outing at the start of our controlled burning, where he had shown great interest in the burnt section the moment we came to it. (The donkeys, when we let them out after the fire, immediately started licking the ash to see if it was tasty; and told us they prefer carrots. They're so food driven!) Today I showed him the whole lot, including the burnt swamp and the south-east neighbour's small burnt section.

When we trotted up to the end of our central sand track, we startled the donkeys, who like to go walkabout on the farm bush tracks (they are so adventurous, and do this much more than either the cows or the horses). When they heard my voice, they slowed and turned around. It was time to get off for me anyway, so I could give them a scratch and a hello. They were grazing in the small "secret meadow" there on the south boundary.

We now have a new gate directly between us and the south-east neighbour; currently it's in the form of a live electric line at around 10kV. Sunsmart was a little wary of the clicking tape and that I was going to touch it, but then he does know I'm the electric gate opener at home as well. I'm sure he was aware though, from the sound, that this was a particularly hot wire, which it is.

I have permission to ride next door, but previously had to go around through the forest and along the road to get to the far gate to do it, i.e. traversing sharp rocks in sections, so only with his Renegades on! With the new gate though, I can do big long barefoot rides, as no rocky forest trails are involved - it's all sandy valley soil, woodland, pasture, and firebreaks. So I did a sandy loop with him at the neighbours'. The donkeys were so funny, they followed us at a gallop on the other side of the fence, throwing their rear hooves up in the air and generally larking about. Soon I left the fence line though, and we waved them goodbye.

The bush next door was mostly burnt 4 years ago (except the small section that burnt week before last, which hadn't been burnt in 10 years or so) and looks lush and green, with lots of bush grass and young bushes and trees, as well as the ancient eucalyptus trees, paperbarks etc which dominate the woodland. I promise I'll take off-horse photos sometime soon and show everyone!

We went past a soak and a dam, and Jess jumped with delight into both of them - total water fanatic, much to Sunsmart's puzzlement. He's long gotten used to the loud splash she makes from out of view when we ride past water - "Ah, here goes Jess again!"

This is Jess on a recent coastal walk, finding a suitable pool:

This is Jess shepherding ocean waves, getting ready to sprint alongside as they break along the shore:

We came out along the south-west neighbour's fenceline, where a group of young Angus and Friesian steers were hanging out at the boundary. (We've just got new neighbours that side, and they're really nice, just like the south-east neighbours - which is great after the grizzly bear we all had to suffer who owned it for seven years before that and was really un-neighbourly.) We trotted back to our own boundary and I got off to deal with the 10kV line. Sunsmart was going, "OK, just be careful, and don't touch me with that whatever you do!" We said hello to the donkeys again, then rode back home via the newly re-made swamp track - no more getting hit in my face with tea-trees when we gallop along that trail! Sunsmart also liked the improvement; he doesn't particularly like bush-bashing either. He also liked the extra oats he got after riding.

So nice to be on the horse again!
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post #484 of 2745 Old 06-03-2018, 08:54 AM
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Love this whole post! Photos are gorgeous!
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post #485 of 2745 Old 06-03-2018, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
...Bill came at morning teatime as usual, and I made rye waffles with our own peach sauce and cream for everyone. I threw two smallish Pennsylvania Crookneck pumpkins into the oven, and started some pizzas...

We had salami & onion pizza and a potato pizza today (yes really!)...

One question: If that is "morning teatime", how come y'all don't look like hobbits?

Of course, back in the 60s, my uncle had a 4,000 acre farm in Indiana. One morning, when we were visiting, I asked my aunt why my uncle ate such a huge breakfast.

"I suspect the fact he's already worked for 4 hours has something to do with it..."
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post #486 of 2745 Old 06-03-2018, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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That's so funny, @bsms !

Probably the reasons we don't look like hobbits are...

None of us were fattened up as children, but had old-fashioned active childhoods and didn't live on junk food. You lay down a certain number of adipocytes as a kid, and the number of them doesn't get smaller unless you get liposuction down the track. The more adipocytes you have in the first place, the harder it is not to fill those guys up with fat - since they send "feed me" messages to the brain. That plus bad food habits created in childhood are a real handicap a lot of young kids are saddled with from the beginning these days.

On our farm we don't have a tractor or a ute, so we do a lot of things by hand - lots of walking, wheelbarrowing, scything, shovelling etc. We're basically medieval peasants with internet access. I am responsible for keeping 12 donkey hooves and 16 horse hooves shipshape (except when Greg comes out to trim the horses in mid-summer, or when I really have too much on). Also for pole-sawing and feeding out tree lucerne and fodder acacia to the cattle and horses during top-up periods like just now (still not much pasture), doing fence repairs, running the orchard and vegetable garden, doing general maintenance, and exercising the dog and Sunsmart. And when we've done our chores and have energy to spare, Brett and I love to go on long walks on the coastal and mountain walk trails around here for fun (with a backpack full of food).

Bill, who visits Wednesdays and Sundays, is 84. He grew up around here and later returned to live in a caravan in the bush (excellent self-taught naturalist!!) and act as neighbourhood watch and do contract farm work like fencing around Redmond. On top of that, he'd ride his ancient bicycle from his camping spot to the highway and back to keep in shape - that's a 30km run. These days, he does laps with his bike around suburbia on a daily basis, and an early-morning jogging lady has taught him how to stretch pre and post exercise!

We do all our meals from scratch, increasingly with materials grown on the farm. We have loads of fruit and vegetables, almost all grain products wholemeal, and considerable amounts of full-fat dairy plus we include eggs, meat, fish, olive oil. We bake our own bread and avoid eating processed and refined foods like the plague, although we make the odd exception for potato crisps or corn chips (great with sour cream). Good-quality dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and eaten regularly in small quantities. We also eat far less sugar than population average (e.g. I don't make jam because it's 50% added sugar, I make fruit sauce from whole fruit, maximum 10% added sugar if that; halve or less the sugar in cake recipes, add none to pancakes or waffles because the fruit sauce goes on top anyway, etc).

So our food is full of actual vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, etc, all the things stripped out of the modern processed diet. So the food is really satisfying and fills us up and fuels us for hours, giving us the energy to go out and do more stuff. Just like food is supposed to, really. I think healthy weight is about eating nutrient-filled foods and being active, not counting calories. If you eat right, you'll want to go burn off energy because you'll feel full of beans.

And both food and outdoors activities are a really enjoyable part of life...

Bummer about those ants in your AC! We had been spraying both the fence unit and the powerpoint after past incursions, and we religiously spray our inverter and other electronic parts of our off-grid electricity generating system - that would be one hell of a bill if they got in there. Must have forgotten to do the last spray topup on the first two items... we now have it in the diary and on the computer so we're reminded to do it on time, like worming the dog...

Hope you get some nice trails in over the coming week!
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post #487 of 2745 Old 06-04-2018, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
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I needed your kitchen inspiration this morning. Our new kitchen is, practically speaking, in worse shape than we thought from the few times we'd visited before moving in. The oven completely died the 3rd time we used it, and we've got mice eating everything that's not in glass jars! The kind of problems that come up when a house has been more or less empty for an extended period of time, as ours has been...We always knew the kitchen would be our first renovation project, but looks like the timeline is going to be accelerated. We are also planning to use a lot of recycled/reclaimed materials and I loved seeing what you've created!
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post #488 of 2745 Old 06-04-2018, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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A while back I wrote about why I chose Sunsmart as my follow-up horse when my Arabian mare retired. It was on this thread:

I'm "reprinting" it for my journal. The question was about gaited horses and aspersions cast on them, and how to find the right horse.

It's best not to listen to hot air. A good horse is a good horse not matter what the breed, and you can find a good horse in any given breed. Look at what characteristics you want though, and go with that. It's a bit like getting married. Do you want a horse that likes to take it easy and prefers to take things slowly, that you can simply relax with on sedate rides? Or do you want something with a lot of go because you plan on getting some adrenaline rushes? How much riding experience do you have? What is your own temperament like, and how well do you stay glued to moving objects? Are there health issues to consider for yourself? What does a compatible horse look like for you personally?

Like in marriage, appearances can be overrated, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The breed is less important than the individual. There's so much variation in each breed, in terms of temperament etc. Ride ride ride the horse before you commit, and see how you do together.

I spent most of my youth riding trails, endurance and basic dressage with an Arabian mare who was excitable and "all go". They say pets are like their owners, and sometimes I laugh thinking about that - e.g. my dog is definitely crazy, but good-crazy!

Dog Entertainment I – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

And our donkeys are such personalities.

The Three Stooges? – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

My husband and I derive much joy from the particular personalities of our companion animals. It really pays to get compatible personalities!

When my Arabian mare retired, I was heading for 40 and decided that my next horse had to be very solid and well balanced, and carry me effortlessly (80kg of gear and rider combined plus I'm very tall). I'd had a couple of falls with horses (I rode a number besides my own mare), and wanted the one to take me into middle age to be as fall-over-proof as possible, but still the sort of horse that could move - so no Clydesdale, much as I love Clydesdales! As most over 40 would understand, we no longer have illusions of immortality or invulnerability, and it suddenly became ultra important to be on a horse that wasn't accident-prone.

I'd been looking sideways at one for ages that I'd known since birth. I thought he was just the ticket - marvellous work ethic, great endurance potential (I'd seen him effortlessly run lap after lap of sand tracks in harness training, like a Roman chariot horse, and after each lap go, "Another lap? Sure thing!"), very solid and muscular, and wide as a boat. And when he retired from harness pursuits, I put my hand up, and re-educated him to saddle. I remember the very first time I trotted him, around that very same sand track, deliberately shifting my position far right and far left till I was nearly hanging off him, to see how it affected his balance, and it didn't deter him one bit from travelling in a straight line, or affect his gait. Excellent! These days of course he would perceive even subtle shifts in weight as aids for moving differently, but at that early stage this had not been taught to him, so I could run that test.

French Trotter Influence - Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

Better still, he was equally happy to really run, or to drop back and relax. I liked that Zen-ness in him. He loved to work, but back then, the moment work was over he didn't want to know you. That's another story, but that was mainly due to the way he had been kept completely socially isolated from weaning (because a stallion), had no grazing and was a very frustrated horse. So he was gelded at age 11, and when I took him down to the South Coast I socialised him gradually with other horses, and showed him what pasture looked like, and did a dressage and trails program to keep him entertained. A decent life goes a long way to making a horse happy, and this one is now so laid-back and relaxed nobody would recognise him from his harness days - when he was wont to attack all human beings and other horses over the bars of his cage, and made a miserable face unless you were taking him out for work.

Sue and Sunsmart - Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

You probably figured out I like puzzles, but then with your occupation you would be doing lots of puzzles yourself.

As for breed, Sunsmart is by an American Standardbred stallion (and that breed is related to Morgans etc); out of a French Trotter cross (French Trotters were bred mainly from Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, Carriage and Draught horses). Many people turn up their noses at "those horses" but it tells you more about those people than the horses! He's from a trotting line so not a pacer. I love his wonderful effortless ground-covering trot (and yes, he has a lovely soft canter too, and a mean gallop). I'd also ridden a horse in endurance in my 20s who was "ambidextrous" - could trot like that, or pace, as required. I've never had an issue with gaited horses.

To sum up, I wouldn't exchange my horse, or my husband, for any other individual, and that's a nice place to be in. Wishing you lots of fun and success with your horse shopping!
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post #489 of 2745 Old 06-07-2018, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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It's time for a song. That's because I love lots of things in life and would find it tedious to journal monomaniacally about horses. I can't do it, not for fun anyway; I can write in an integrated manner or not at all.

I like lots of different sorts of music; it's actually easier to list genres I don't like, which are basically most Top 40, rap, most pop, most heavy metal, cheesy sorts of Country & Western, and the cheesier sorts of folk music (there is great folk music as well). I'm not very fond of opera either, although there are a few exceptions - spine-tingling pieces I love to bits.

Here is a song which I love everything about. The first version is deliberately audio only and HQ. Hope you're hooked up to good speakers; you really need the bass right for this one.

And just as an aside, the intro to this would be superb for a medley for Freestyle to Music. I'm not a dancer myself, but hearing music like this always makes me think of dancing to music with my horse, and plotting medleys and moves.

It's a funny thing; I started liking this band when I first heard In-Between Days - though that wasn't actually until about 1987, so two years after release. I just looooved the intro then, and I do now; it's an unusual song, and especially in the candypop 80s it really stood out as authentic:

Of course, my first loves back then as a 16-year-old were U2, The Waterboys, serious things like that, as delineated from the me-me-me 1980s stuff and the endlessly nauseating synth-based plastic type material. Indeed, Perth radio station 6UVS-FM, run out of a local university, specialised in alternative music, and both Brett and I grew up with that as an important part of our lives, even though it would be nearly another two decades before we would meet. They played Echo & The Bunneymen, Siouxie & The Banshees, The Triffids, Lou Reed, The Cure, The Smiths, U2, XTC, David Bowie, later on Bjork, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, that sort of thing.

They also had a request show (yes folks, this is before YouTube, before iPods, before music on tap at home), on which you could request alternative songs. The other great thing you could request was that they smash a Top 40 tune you hated live on air - this is back in the days of vinyl singles; CDs were only just appearing. Vinyl makes a pleasing crunch when crushed on air. You can't get physical with music like that anymore. Common "please smash this" requests included Jason Donovan, Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Wham!, George Michael, Billy Ray Cyrus (whose "Achy Breaky Heart" was surely a crime against humanity), and that sort of thing.

You could also send in projects; I remember sending in a photo (from a newspaper) of Michael Jackson dancing with his hands suggestively in his pants pockets, to which I'd added a speech bubble, "Oh no! Where are they?" - and I'd written a little 500-word story to go with it, which was duly read out on air, under my pseudonym of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo so I wouldn't be found out. I was 14 or 15 at this point and completely delighted that the university students were reading out what I'd written. They actually played the Skippy soundtrack in the background while reading out my piece. Someone else had sent in "100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Listen To A Jason Donovan Record" - one of which, memorably, was "Rub Drano into my buttocks." It was all great fun.

But I've digressed. Back to The Cure: When Lullaby came out, I was mesmerised, and still am, except over the years I discovered depths to this piece I'd not plumbed in my youth. It didn't mean I was a huge fan of the band, not yet; I was going through this puritanical, ascetic sort of stage, and didn't know how to let my hair down, or how to appreciate pure fun. That didn't fully blossom until my mid-30s, and I met Brett and his huge music collection, amongst them lots of things by The Cure. So then, I got into their music in a big way, and also into other things I'd never heard of before, in Brett's musical dowry (parallelled only by his extensive literary dowry, where he, for example, introduced me to Haruki Murakami).

Back to Lullaby: I love the wonderful way the instruments come together at the start of the song, the almost Japanese quality to the main melody, the breathiness of the words, the evocation of a child's nightmare (Robert Smith, the dear, was afraid of spiders and had recurrent nightmares about them as a young child, and was channelling this), the black humour, the sheer theatre of this song. The more I listen to it, the more I like it - and if a song can do that, that's a huge accolade - for familiarity not to breed contempt, but new discovery.

I see human beings as being like trees with their annual rings - inside of you is every year of your life; if you go deep into the centre, you'll have your first day at school, and further on, earliest memories like learning to walk, becoming conscious of a self, I've even got one of kicking my legs as a baby and this sort of befuddlement trying to work out how to operate them. I remember when I stopped clenching my hands in my sleep; discovering you could open your hands like a flower. That you should walk heel-first and roll, rather than flat-footed. That looking into the sun gave you black spots in your vision.I can go back to every ring and feel what I felt, see what I saw, smell what I smelt, hear what I heard - it's so amazing that we can store all that. It's like going into the Pensieve in Harry Potter - travelling back in time and being there and witnessing it.

So I can really appreciate that aspect of Lullaby, and indeed of other songs like Into The Heart by U2. This is a really early one many people don't know, from their first album, and it's magnificent:

I'm really grateful for art, for music, for literature, for the people that make these things, that help us to be human, and to live our lives in meaningful ways.

In my youth I was a bit uncomfortable with stage make-up and theatrics, now I really get it, and enjoy it. So of course, I've also appreciated David Bowie's work more the older I have become. Indeed, Robert Smith got invited to play live at Bowie's 50th birthday concert; interesting symmetry. Also, Neil Gaiman, Tim Burton, all those people whose artistic work we like who we found out later were influenced by The Cure... it's really interesting to observe this web, this interconnectedness.

Here's a nice live version of Lullaby:

The Cure really reminded me of my own European-ness at the core; this music could only come out of Europe, and resonates with that part of me. Over the top I'm clad with Gondwana, with ancient landscapes, flora and fauna, with a burning sun, a crystal sky, with droughts and flooding rain. And here's an Australian song that really captures this:

Ah, music - what would we do without it. And the only way I'm going to stop writing is by promising myself to revisit this topic another time!
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post #490 of 2745 Old 06-08-2018, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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Music is too good a subject to drop, so I'm going to do some open journalling on it here. I kept actual paper journals – one jumbo one for each year, anything goes for topics – just for fun and reflection, from middle school through to my late 30s. Then I decided to write out in the open instead, and since then have been producing pieces for various magazines, and participating on forums and blogs. I started this online horse journal because horses figure in my life in a big way again, but there will be a bit of a music focus for a while, between other, more horse-related posts.

In the 1980s, the small Celtic countries/localities of Ireland, Scotland and Wales produced remarkable “big sky” bands with a cinematographic, rousing sound that immediately conjured wild landscapes in the mind of the listener. Their music was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the 80s synthetic candypop days. They were the clever, capable, muddy working sheepdogs amongst a crowd of manicured, fluffed-up toy poodles.

I'll start with a little collection of things from Scotland.

Note: This kind of music really doesn't work on tinny computer speakers; the music is built on bass and drums and needs a full dynamic range to do it any sort of justice. Good headphones are fine, but actual decent speakers allow you to pick up the vibrations with more than just your ears - a better experience.

Big Country got a lot of international exposure as one of the bands espousing this “big sky” sound. The first tune typifies this. It also makes a good anthem for serious endurance riders, with its feet-stomping drumbeat and four hundred miles/ without a word until you smile/ four hundred miles/ on fields of fire chorus. @phantomhorse13 , this could be for your mental soundtrack when you go on those long loops through amazing countryside! These are the types of tunes that carried the Scots into battle.

For sunny days and flat roads, you might like I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) by fun Scottish outfit The Proclaimers. Come A Long Way by another Scottish group, Simple Minds, suits a variety of landscapes and was on my mental playlist – you know, DIY Brain-FM – when I was endurance training back in the day. If you have a mental playlist too for your long rides, do tell!

Moving on from the feet-stomping Fields of Fire, we go to a contemplative piece on the textbook cycle of violence and neglect. It's apt that Big Country covered this topic, given the awful statistics on alcoholism and domestic violence in Scotland (and Ireland, and Australia, and many other countries) – and many people's personal experience of dysfunctional homes. Ugly topic; beautiful, heartfelt song. The gorgeous, almost fairytale guitar melody in the middle sections speaks eloquently of the hope unhappy young people hold onto to get them through, often dashed by bitter experience as the cycle repeats itself after the typical early big romance.

The instrumentation of this piece is pure genius all around – the words say much, the music says far more than words can ever express. Music is a language without which we would be mere babbling poltroons.

You can see why Stuart Adamson used to say, “We're musicians, not pop stars.”

I'll include this last track because this wonderful singer/guitarist died far too young after battling Scotland's endemic generation-to-generation alcoholism for much of his early life. His marriage fell apart, and so did he. His now-grown daughter, Kirsten Adamson, says this song means a lot to her. Recounting her father's storytelling when she was little, she cites the lines so let me fill my children's hearts/ with heroes' tales and hope it starts/ a fire in them so deeds are done/ with no vain sighs for moments gone.

It's a beautiful song about trying to be a decent person, and trying to live a worthwhile life.

Rest in peace, Stuart Adamson, and God bless.

More from Scotland soon.
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Last edited by SueC; 06-08-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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donkeys , free-ranging horses , french trotters , life & the universe , riding standardbreds

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