I was recently lucky enough to be able to pose some questions to Lexi Rees about her interests when she is not writing or sailing. Here is what she had to say:
What happens when you mix crafting and horses?
Hi Mai, Thanks so much for having me on your blog! Obviously, you know about my new Book, Eternal Seas, but I’m not always writing or sailing. We seem to share a lot of other interests, including crafting and horses.
What is your favourite craft activity to relax with?
Depends on the time of year. I love knitting and crochet in winter but it never seems right to knit when it’s sunny! I started an “extreme knitting” project last winter but didn’t quite finish it so I’m looking forward to digging it out in October. 16 balls of wool on the go at the same time is quite a handful to work with. I put a “normal” needle beside it in the photo so you can see the scale. It’s really heavy! It’ll be a rug when I finish.
In summer, I make jewellery. I do everything from silver work to bead weaving.
And I love making Christmas cards and decorations – that always makes me feel festive. I’m working on a book of Christmas crafts which I’ll hopefully have published late next year.
Is there a craft that you have always wanted to try, but haven’t got round to yet?
I would love to give micro macrame a go. I bought this book on it ages ago but have need to get some new tools.
A friend and I go to the knitting and stitching show at Olympia. There are always loads of new ideas and they have workshops where you can try crafts out. We made these felted bangles last year. I had help with mine as it wasn’t very bangle shaped.
Are there any crafts that you have tried, but just couldn’t get the hang of? For me it is most definitely crochet!
Oh I love crochet – it goes so fast! I made this blanket using undyed wools from rare breed sheep.
My crafting nemesis would be needle felting. It’s just a bit too organic for me. Which means the bird I attempted to make looked more like a potato. The other kit I bought is still unmade.
Where is your favourite place to go out for a ride?
You can’t beat an early morning gallop along West Wittering beach, and Glen Tanar in the Scottish highlands has spectacular views when you get up on the ridge. I recently went to do the El Cid trail in Spain.
But for me, it’s also about the friends I’ve made. I love loading a group of horses onto a lorry and heading to a competition together, even if I expect to come last. My yard is so supportive, whatever level you’re at. Everyone helps each other and the team spirit is fantastic. We just laugh all day. Don’t get any Jilly Cooper images though. For three whole minutes, I gleam in white jodhpurs and a smart jacket (bought from eBay). The rest of the time I’m in a tatty tracksuit with straw in my hair, and, in my son’s words, “stinky”.
Have you got any funny horse riding stories or mishaps that you could share with us?
Loads, but my husband’s eyes glaze over when I talk about the time I was supposed to just turn down the centre line and … So how about a confession? … If I get nervous, I sing “It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it” by Bananarama and Fun Boy Three. When my horse turns into a rodeo pony during a dressage test, someone usually yells, “Do your Banarama’s”! I may also have been spotted singing it whilst trotting around without a horse after a small glass of wine … Unfortunately videos exist.
Lexi Rees grew up in the north of Scotland but now splits her time between London and West Sussex. She still goes back to Scotland regularly though.
Usually seen clutching a mug of coffee, she spends as much time as possible sailing and horse riding, both of which she does enthusiastically but spectacularly badly.
Her first book, Eternal Seas was written on a boat; the storm described in it was frighteningly real.