❤ Another year draws to a close! ❤
The main things that happened in 2018:
- Marty had some man troubles in March.
- Ben spent a lot of time working on Xato’s steering and brakes. Having reread this post, I’m reminded how, eight months ago, I was often so scared I literally couldn’t ask my mule to take a step forwards!
- I celebrated four long … very long … years with Marty in April. This year’s Gotcha Day anniversary fell on Friday 13th which was very apt.
- In May, Xato ulcerated both his eyes pretty severely after an accident with his fly mask. It was so severe the vet predicted several weeks of work ahead of us, including a possible hospital stay where he would have the eyelids of his most damaged eye sewn shut … so it was to the surprise and endless relief of all involved when Xato healed after just ONE WEEK of treatment.
- With everyone back to full health, during the summer we entered a few fun online shows including a dressage test which Marty inexplicably won.
- In June, we had a proper photoshoot with Equine Photo Design!
- In August I went to Belgium and then Germany to ride at an annual mule gathering with my friends from Hepscheid Longear Trails! It was a totally nuts thing to do considering that I’d hardly ridden in the last eight months due to fear, but it actually turned out to be exactly what I needed to get my confidence back. I’m only sad that my phone broke irrevocably immediately upon my return, and I lost the vlog of my adventure that I’d been lovingly putting together. 🙁
- Buoyed by my European expedition, I rode six miles to celebrate my 32nd (or 33rd?) birthday weekend in September. This was the furthest I’d ridden on my own mule for nearly a year and I felt no fear! You can read about the reason I’d lost my confidence in this blog.
- And finally, eleven months after putting our flat on the market, Ben and I moved out of our first home together in December. We are still waiting on the paperwork to come through so we can complete our move. To be honest, I did think I would be writing this end of year post from Wales, but ah well – good things come to those who wait…!
Two posts that did well on social media are:
My tongue-in-cheek tribute to Wallace the Great.
And this stupid doodle, that went semi-viral about 14 months after I initially posted it. I guess people’s sense of humour got weirder? It was quickly picked up, saved to, and shared from, several other accounts so I have no idea how far it actually went – but I would stumble across it popping up on my feed for weeks afterwards.
Some mediocre but acceptable blog posts were:
- Marty’s Bad Advice Column – I was thrilled to see how many people sent in their terrible yet unspecified problems for the boy genius to solve
- The Mule Blogger’s Challenge – I teamed up with Muuli Projekti‘s (English) Kaisa for a Q&A vlog session
- Five Reasons To Get A Mule Instead Of A Horse (And Five Reasons Not To) – I made a foray into writing content that was maybe actually borderline useful for once
- Vlog: Treating Xato’s Eyes – a 22 minute long epic documenting a day in the life during the healing process of Xato’s ulcerated corneas. He was such a good boy about receiving his eye drops. Unfortunately I don’t have that video clip to hand as it’s on our back up drive which is currently in storage (we haven’t moved yet), but if you watch the vlog you can skip to 3:48 where you can see him being treated!
- The Prophet And His Mule, part two – someone all the way from Kurdistan read my blog and contacted me with a great folk story about the Prophet’s mule!
- Xato and the Joe Wolter Clinic, part three – I finally got round to finishing my 2017 clinic write-up
- Advice For New Mule Owners – another useful post! Inconceivable
- My Top Ten Quotes From Frontier Army Sketches – still the funniest thing about mules I’ve ever read
- Mules In The Assyrian Empire – the communications network that relied entirely on mules!
- Marty and the Baby Photos – nuff said! Everyone loves a baby photo or three!
- 10 Images of Mules In History – I loved putting this post together. Hard to say which one is my favourite…
- I Want A Mule! Now What? – potentially my most useful blog post to date. I don’t say that to be arrogant, I just mean that since writing it I’ve had cause to direct people towards it on several occasions. It’s such a time saver! I can just copy and paste a link now rather than type an answer out every time! Three cheers for idle lethargy!
- The Black Mule Of Aveluy – sharing Charles Roberts’ 1921 short story to commemorate the centenary of WWI
My 13 favourite photos of (my) mules in 2018 are:
This was really hard. I thought it would be a relatively easy job – I only went through the photos I’d put up on the Mulography Facebook page this year – and yet, 28 photos later…! I use PicsArt to make collages and the most squares it could give me were 13, so I was brutal and managed to whittle my picks down to just these. And then I cheated and put most of the rest in some lines for the blog title!
And then there’s this pair of photos, taken in March, that really deserve to stand alone. Marty could not look more like a cartoon if he tried. An “I’M KING OF THE – ohshiiiiiiiit” reaction, methinks!
We were also nominated in the UK Blog Awards!
Voting is open until the 31st of December, 2018; so if you haven’t already voted for us, please do – I would really, really appreciate it!