First, Some Pictures

Sorry I've been slacking here, but the time change has me all off my writing schedule-- and we are very busy and I don't want to miss anything. As I write it is 9 in the morning here and midnight at home, and we have been out late and been gone all day everyday so far, but have a little breather until noon today. We spent two days before the games began touring about London and the sort of nearby country side  by train and car. We traveled to Buckinghamshire and our hostesses country house, Badger's Cottage, a thatched roof place adjacent to the Rothschild estate, and then yesterday the games began with dressage in the big arena across the park from us. We walk both ways (Grandma Joanne gets a golf cart ride once we are in the park proper). Up on the nearby green there is a carnival and most of the locals gather there to watch the games on a big screen TV. Karen had a great dressage round yesterday, and is in ninth this morning and the top American, but today the great German and British dressage riders are expected to bump her down. Which is okay-- as eventing is like a triathlon, and dressage is the phase that Karen, and many of the eventers and especially the horses, struggle the most with. They are bred to gallop and jump, and the controlled steps and turns of dressage are a challenge, and all the excitement of the Olympics makes them even more wiggy.  She will run cross country jumping over 45 solid fences which are huge across a twisty, hilly, 5K course in the park on Monday, and the final phase, show jumping, is Tuesday in the arena. We are staying in a townhouse up in the village adjacent to the Olympic horse park, beautiful walled city park right on the Thames backing up to the Old Royal Naval College and the Queen's House. It is the oldest royal park and Henry VIII was born here and Elizabeth I played here as a child.  Greenwich Park also houses the naval observatory and is the location of the prime meridian line, so I am literally on time, for once in my life. (This is the actual spot on the map where Greenwich Mean Time begins.) Our housemates include Gill, a barrel of British energy and decorum who owns the place but doesn't live here, Nancy, a purser for United Airlines, and Suzanne, a Virginia horsewoman who owns part of Karen's horse, Mr. Medicott. Don't ask which part. He is syndicated, so there are several owners. We all share a bathroom and I share  a bed with Grandma Joanne. These photos begin in the neighborhood and take us to the city, out to Gill's house in the country and nearby environs, to the Olympic dressage event and "home" again--





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