Two of my favourite weekends are coming up, and they are collaborating to give me grief over how to spend my time. Tomorrow is Midsummer Eve and it’s the biggest holiday (including Christmas!) in Sweden and it’s something that is imprinted on us from an early stage. Think from the crib-stage. After months and months of darkness, to celebrate summer over three days is something spectacular.
The other best thing is that Hickstead International is starting today. Four days of jumping in one of the best arenas in the world with awesome Derby and side classes that keeps you going all day. Even us mortals can enter Hickstead and live to tell the story. I have to make due with the live cover, but it’s decent enough and free to watch. But nothing beats the atmosphere of it. It’s like the old times, phone bars are unheard of, so you actually have to talk to people and if you are a group, bring a walki-talki. No kidding.
What strike me most about this place, like so many others, is the friendliness. It’s an open atmosphere and mostly just for fun. When anyone tells me that they are going, I know that they will have a good day out. Food, people, dogs and horses. Shopping could be a bit better, but there is plenty to go around. It’s like the RDS but in the UK. National and international classes are being mixed, showing and just “tweed” is the word that pops up in my head. Just can’t say enough good things about it. There is also a Speed Derby before the big Derby, and it looks completely doable…with half a bottle of wine before and a ex 4* eventer, then I’m all game.
So while I’m running between the kitchen and the living room, making sure the food for tomorrow isn’t getting to burned, I’m slightly jealous of the grey clouds and heavy threats of rain over West Sussex, bring on the wellies and have a go at some jumping.