Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Today, due to technical and logistical complications of the dullest sort, I did not ride the mare. Oh, the woe. I miss her little white face like an ache in my heart. Since the dammed up love needs an outlet, the Pigeon is getting double her normal dose. She looks slightly surprised, but most gratified.
It was rather a long and fraught day, in the end. Not only was there no horse therapy, but I have to deal with a very difficult human. I am not good at difficult humans. I shy from conflict like Red when confronted with the scary cottage. There are some people who just decide I am ghastly from the off, and this appears to be one of them. I am berated like a naughty child, and may do nothing right.
I attempted charm; nothing. I attempted polite distance; even worse. I may now have to employ froideur, which goes against all muscle memory. I am crap at froideur.
It is times like that that I wish I had the natural de haut en bas of a dowager duchess, or the rhino hide of a hedge fund supremo. (This is very naughty of me, since I am always banging on about not making assumptions; I am sure that there are many, many hedge fund managers who are absolute dears, and cry when they watch dog films, and worry about the women of the Congo. I just went for the cheap crack, which shows you how battered and cross I am.)
My disadvantage is that the assumption I do make is that most people are good and decent and vulnerable and kind. The Dear Readers do absolutely nothing to help, since you leave delightful and generous comments day after day, thus confirming my bias towards the kindness of strangers theory.
I approach people with the theory that if I am nice to them, they shall be nice to me. This sounds pathetically corny, but a lot of the time it does work. When it doesn’t, I am left entirely without defence. I can tell myself it’s their stuff, as the shrinks like to say, until I am blue in the face, but really I just feel sad and baffled.
Luckily, the kindness of family has been brought into sharp relief by the unfortunate set of incidents. Everyone rallies round, with excellent advice, diverting jokes, practical suggestions, and even a solution. The Landlord and the World Traveller swing into the breach, offering the dream answer to my complication. They are stalwarts, and I love them.
Just in case I was feeling too bashed up, one of the great-nieces and the great-nephew arrived and beamed at me for twenty minutes, which is tonic enough for the most melancholy spirit. I can’t tell you the beaming that went on. One of them has already drawn me a special picture of me and the horse. The sweetness knows no bounds.
The wind is up now, and the afternoon sun is sliding over the hill. The Pigeon dozes at my side. I am going to make some chicken soup and everything will be all right.
Pictures of the day. One of the most delightful, consoling thing about the garden at this time of year is that everything is suddenly, suddenly growing:
Possibly the sweetest picture of the Pigeon yet. Blinky eyes and absurd pink tongue:
Now she is ready for her close-up:
Dignity like that takes years.
Oh, and one more, to make up for the lack of horse:
I may not be with Red the Mare today (even writing that makes me feel a bit doleful; I miss her wobbly lower lip and her limpid eyes and her sheer authentic goodness) but there must be pictures, so here are a couple from earlier:
She, too, can do the blinky eyes.
And, the hill: