Saturday morning and beaters day

Finally my thermometer is back in place and is reading just one degree so it is only just above freezing.  The business end of it is just poked through the wall so it is measuring the temperature against the wall which is bound to be a bit warmer than the actual air temperature.  I think I am going to need absolutely every once of warm clothing for the shoot today.
Yesterday was a very successful and satisfying day.  All the bits and pieces were rearranged in the dining room and every item was cleaned and made to sparkle before it was allowed back in.  Odd bits of silver have been transformed from black to shiny bright and all the glass is washed and sparkling.  One of the things that made the biggest difference was the light fitting in the centre of the room which has sort of frosted glass shades which were not just frosted but completely opaque with dirt and filled with dead insects.  I am not really a cleaner but once I get going nothing is safe and I can quite easily see how it could become an obsession.  Once the room was all pristine it was on with preparing lunch for our friends which was very simple as I had already made the meat balls.  There was much heated debate over the meal as we had all watched the philosophy programme entitled "Justice and 21st century guide" which had sparked much thought from all of us with some very differing views expressed.  That done it was off to the cinema and the Kings Speech, it is a terrific film with the most amazing acting from all the actors not just Colin Firth.  I do hope it does well at the Oscars as it really is a lovely film.  We all left the theatre feeling warmed by the story which is so human.
Then it was home for much needed cups of tea and great discussions of the film.  Len and Margaret departed around 6pm and I was away to my bed not long after determined to stay awake until 9pm but sadly I was out for the count by about 8pm so hence I am up at stupid o'clock again.  Once I came to my anxiety for the day kicked in so going back to sleep was not possible.  OK what am I anxious about?  Well the first thing is that I am concerned that I will not be fit enough to keep up with the beating part of the day as I have been led to believe that we will be beating one drive and shooting the next so lots of walking over very rough ground.  My next concern is that with clay shooting you are inclined to shoot the target as soon as possible, safe in the knowledge that there is nothing in front of the gun.  Today there will be beaters in front of the gun so I must only shoot when the birds are high in the air or risk hitting the beaters.  This is a pretty terrifying thought so I am going to work on the principle that it is better to leave a bird than make an error and shoot too low.  And finally my guide and mentor Sandi will not be there, so I will be with lots of people I don't know who will be watching to see how I shoot but I am hoping that John, the game keeper, will keep an eye on me.  I am going to need every once of "bottle" I can muster.  I am hoping that, as is often the case, once I am under way I will enjoy the experience and things will turn out fine.
I am sure that Basso will be terribly disappointed when he sees the preparations as he will be sure that he is coming hunting and get very excited only to have his hopes dashed.  It's a pity I can't tell him that he has a super day coming on Tuesday when he will get to use all his skills and can hunt and point as well as retrieve which is what he is bred for.  Anyway wish me luck and lets hope all goes according to plan and that my fears are groundless.

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