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The Dressage Husband and His Favorite Items
Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi Internal Audit Department
Introducing The Dressage Husband - Stephen J Parkin
Here is a non-autobiographical introduction to myself. First, and it should not be any surprise, I am married to a Dressage Rider and riding instructor (she is also a Physiotherapist). Our stable uses Classical Riding techniques that date back to Xenophon who was a Greek General around the time of Alexandra The Great.
I was also a St. Albans School boy (also attending schools in Newcastle and Harpenden) in the United Kingdom and a Graduate of The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England. I met my wife in the middle of the desert outside of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia whilst working for Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi (Saudi French Bank). My degree is in Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. I love Photography, Classical Guitar, Cats and Dogs and am also an Internet Marketer and a Hubber (I was formerly a Giant Squid, Squid Angel,and was also a Rocket Squid). We live in Nova Scotia Canada at Pine Grove Stables.
So as you can see I will have plenty of stuff to write about, and some of it is already here, I have 51 published Hubs. The photograph here is of the Internal Audit Department of the Saudi French Bank (I was third from the right on the back row). I worked in Saudi Arabia for 7 years!
All photographs are my own unless otherwise attributed.
The Abbey Gateway St Albans School
St Albans School
A Little Piece Of History
St Albans School is probably the second oldest school in England after Winchester. You can check it out here St Albans School The web site gives a pretty good overview of the Schools history and what it looks like today and how it has been a great part of British history. The photograph is of the Abbey Gateway, which when I was at School housed the library where I was a librarian and also lower sixth common room. British schools start with First year through to Sixth year and in the Seventh year it is called the upper sixth and the sixth the lower sixth.
When I was at School I played Field Hockey for the school team as a right wing (we were never beaten by another school), Rugby as the right wing (I started as a hooker!), Athletics (I was the first leg of the school relay team 4 X 100 all the time I was at School and was never dropped we only got beaten once at a demonstration race at St Albans City Football Club. This was because we had trained that morning being overconfident! We got our revenge at the scheduled meeting of the two schools a few weeks later. I also gained my Army Marksman rating shooting with the School Combined cadet force. In rugby we only ever lost to Haberdashers Aske and we exchanged victories throughout my time at school. The School is highly competitive in all sports and I was a very good all rounder.
If you click the link below the photograph it takes you to Been There Done That Guide's page on St Albans and you can see Fishpool Street and other sights that I saw on my way to school every day. I lived in nearby Harpenden. This is where I found the photograph.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
My University Town
Newcastle is most famous for being the place you do not take coal to! It was the foundation of the British Steel Industry and a major ship building port. The river Tyne being wide and deep, the coal was of the finest quality and the best for producing the fine steel from the famous mills in Sheffield. Both of these industries fell into decline as the coal became exhausted and ship building moved to ports where the supply of these materials had not been depleted.
However in its heyday Newcastle was one of the richest towns in Britain, but also one of the most affected by the last depression in the 1930s. The City however has a habit of bouncing back due to the great resilience and resourcefulness of its people and it now has one of the best shopping centres in the country and the old King's College which was part of the University of Durham expanded to become the University of Newcastle. The University is one of the top 20 in the UK and excels in several areas. The Medical School which is associated with the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Naval Architecture (no big surprise) and Computer Science being quite the standouts, but it is extremely strong altogether being one of the first Universities in Britain after Oxford and Cambridge and of course Durham (which was the first after Oxford and Cambridge).
The University is well reputed and Princess Eugenie (Prince Andrew's daughter) went there.
Things That Help Keep Me Sane While I Write
Here are some of the things that help to keep me writing. Where the model I use is no longer available I have chosen the current equivalent. I am a Classical Guitarist, not good, but it keeps me amused. I might have been better if one of my dogs had not broken the middle finger of my left hand, which is the anchor or pivot finger for all the others when playing. If you are interested in the guitar I own and play this is the nearest that is still made.
I chose this guitar as it is a real Classical Guitar that is affordable durable and has great tone for the price. My tutor who was a professional Grand Piano Tuner said it had better tone than his handmade German Guitar.
My Digital SLR Canon Camera
I have always had an interest in photography since being really young, when I had an old Kodak box Brownie. If anyone can remember them, yes I am that old!
This is my camera today. and I really love it as it takes the lenses that I had already bought for my old analogue version, of the same camera. Canon make some of the best auto focus lenses as well as great camera bodies. Their ability was developed in F1 racing, and going to the moon with the first astronauts to go there. Both F1 and space are among my other interests.
In fact my French Oral exam consisted of a conversation about Neil Armstrong and the lunar landing that had taken place just the day before the exam!
Canon Digital Rebel
Keeping Me Awake To Write Hubs
I have a weakness for a good cup of coffee and ever since I discovered the Keurig system, which makes consistently great coffee, each time, this has become my coffee machine.
Coffee requires water at just the right temperature in order to develop its best flavor and this system heats the water to the perfect temperature cup after cup. This model lets you set the cup size and has a fully functional timer so that you can wake up to a perfect cup.
The Printer I Use The Writers Friend
If you want to be a writer and photographer like me then you will need a great printer. The best photographic printers are made by Canon and Epson and I have used both. I now use this Epson WiFi printer for all of our computers, which are laptops so that I can work and print from wherever I want to.
I like this printer as it is fast, high quality, and I can change the settings from my computer. It automatically monitors ink levels, and I can order new ink directly on-line from a link that appears for the Epson Store, whenever ink is running low, the ink usually arrives just in time before the cartridge finally dries up. I love it!
My Most Wished For Item On eBay
I have always wanted a really exceptional Classical Guitar, and this is the one I would really like. Segovia played a Ramirez 1a guitar.