And so, a few days away catching up and celebrating with family in Northumberland and here in Scotland, interspersed with a couple of hours back here on Sunday afternoon to put the new snowplough into action and a sad and poignant farewell to Alan Normile at the service of Thanksgiving for his life in Perth yesterday. 
The gallop here was operational on Saturday & then all surfaces were put back level prior to the arrival of the snow on Sunday, given the absence of imminent racing I decided to repeat the routine of last week and give the horses 3 days on the walker.  The plan is to start riding them all again tomorrow and with plenty of good riders about for Xmas we will get them all out in two longish lots; the way I see it there won’t be any racing in the North until the New Year so we will now focus on having them fit and ready in 10 days time, not sure whether we will manage to get any faster work into them but we will do as much as we can.
Great news that “AP” won the Sports Personality of the Year award, a thoroughly worthy winner and also good news that the BHA have finally published the race programme for Q1 2011, although I’ve loved my few day away I am very happy to be back on the job and part of that will be making plenty of plans for the horses for what I am sure will be a mild and open January!  Let’s hope so, the long range forecast suggests there might be an improvement by this time next week; like most places it is extremely cold & we have had an unprecedented range of problems caused by freezing water pipes etc, even the cat’s water bowl in my office has frozen, by the time the thaw arrives (when? ed) we will have had a whole month with temperatures only making it above freezing on two days, I’m going to go and buy a Christmas Tree now, first time in my life but the alternative prospect of harvesting my own this year is not very enticing…