The radish seeds I gave Jesse for Christmas are sprouting. To be precise, they have been sprouting enthusiastically for a few days now, since about twelve hours after they were planted. Lightning speed germination. Seriously encouraging gardening! We have them planted in a propagation tray, alongside habaneros, cayenne chiles, and capsicums, none of which have poked their little heads through the soil yet, but we are hopeful. I’m looking forward to getting them all transplanted into some of our Mexican pots, as we have the perfect sunny spot for them. And we can’t wait to make our first salsa from homegrown chiles…

We watched the Tournament of Roses today. It has become a family tradition and it’s a perfect way to spend the ‘Day after New Years Day’ holiday. The coverage of the parade is fantastic (KTLA’s live stream is the best) and the creativity of the floats is superb, as are the talented musicians of the various high school and college marching bands that take part in the parade. The horses are stunning too, and there were some amazing displays of horsemanship.

Inspired, I spent a few hours with Brandy today. She’s a beautiful chestnut American quarter horse and she is living with us over the summer. It has been years since I’ve had the opportunity to ride more than very occasionally (and years since I’ve ridden anything other than a trekking pony) so the learning curve has been quite steep, but very rewarding. She’s such a clever horse, and nimble too. Full of energy and enthusiasm and with a very sweet nature. This afternoon I rode her for the first time in a couple of weeks, and she behaved perfectly. When things are going right with a horse, things really go right; everything gels and it’s the best feeling. (Conversely, when things are going wrong, the world feels as if it has fallen off its axis). It’s important to enjoy the good times!