Wow it has been two weeks since I last posted on my blog. Thank you for a couple of amazing friends who have been asking for new blog posts! I love that my blog is being read and missed when I am “slack”
On Thursday the 15th November we had Granddad’s funeral. It was a harrowing day. My Dad did a wonderful, beautiful job on the eulogy and one of my Aunties wrote a lovely poem that my Uncle read out. It is sad that it seems you only see extended family members at weddings and funerals, and always large periods of time in between. It was lovely seeing all my cousins and their children, but I was in no state to socialise.
Even though we were celebrating the life of my Granddad, I knew at home that my baby Makita wasn’t going to last very long. My 13 year 5 month old Rottweiler was shrinking (hidden by bloating) and shaking all the time because of the pain she was in. Makita passed away on Friday 16th November, and this is the main reason why I haven’t posted to my blog. I have started writing a post about Makita because she was a huge part of my life and I loved her very much, but you will have to wait for me to gather (and scan) the photos I want to share before I publish that one.
During the past couple of weeks I have spent some time with family and also busied myself in making cakes for the Wanneroo Show – which I will write about in more detail in another post. I also may have done some investigation into a new family member – of the furry kind. So watch this space on news about that! Now as promised in my last post, this one was to be about cakes! But in this case, it is about why I made a pirate cake for the Gidgegannup Show
I am curious how many of you knew what gymkhana means when you saw the title of my blog post? According to http://dictionary.reference.com/ (one of my favourite websites as I know lots of words, just not how to spell them!) a gymkhana is a field day held for equestrians, consisting of exhibitions of horsemanship and much pageantry.
My Mum’s next door neighbour has ponies and Shetlands and is a Carriage (Harness) Driving enthusiast, who also competes. For the past few years she has held a “Fun Day”, a gymkhana, on her property around the end of October. This is the 3rd year, and my parents and myself have volunteered each year. I am now the official score keeper.
Each year there is a new theme and everyone dresses up to that theme (humans and ponies!) and this year’s theme was ‘Pirates’! This is why I made the pirates cake, since the gymkhana was held a week after the Gidgegannup Show. I also made a fruit cake so it would last and of course ensured there were ponies on the cake.
On the day they hold various events such as barrel racing, a precision course (where the pony has two minutes do a number of actions to earn points, such as a timed halt), a race (2 ponies race, but they also have to drop balls in buckets at certain points) and a timed obstacle course through cones with tennis balls on them (you get penalised if the tennis balls fall off the cone). So it isn’t necessarily the fastest or biggest pony/horse that wins. It is the most precise, well behaved pony. You’d laugh at how afraid they are to go over some carpet!
This year it was a stormy weekend. I thought it may be called off for safety reasons (yes the mining industry drilled that into me!), but everyone loves the day so much that most of them turned up. So Mum, Dad and I ended up getting soaked and hailed on! At one point we were timing a race, keeping our backs to the west because the rain was coming in so hard and we noticed all the other competitors under the verandah with cups of coffee! Cheeky bleeps I had my Lumix camera (as opposed to Canon SLR) so I risked capturing the weather coming in, and also a few of us stuck under a tree during a heavy shower!
But we got through the day and still had fun (including a pony that was being trained to wear a harness – see picture below!). We didn’t do one event and did them all before lunch (we usually do the obstacle course after lunch) because we knew no one would want to go back out into the wet once they were semi dried.
Everyone was super impressed with my pirate cake. Mum told most people that it came third at the Gidgegannup Show. I cut a good chunk off the cake for Dad to take home and most of the jetty part of the cake was demolished! So I was pretty happy with that.
Mum told me a story a few days after the gymkhana. Her next door neighbour’s husband threw a wobbly about the cake. She was going to take the ship part of the cake to a club meeting the next day and he said he didn’t want her to take the whole ship. He wanted some. He mentioned how my Dad got to keep some, so he wanted a portion! So she had to leave half the ship for her husband to eat! I will take that as a big compliment that my fruit cake was yummy!
Oh, before I forget… Captain Jack Sparrow made an appearance at the gymkhana! He was put to work, although I am unsure if he was used to it!