Thursday, 29 March 2012

No horse today; or, I MISS the damn horse

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:

29 March 1 29-03-2012 13-49-10 3024x4032

29 March 2 29-03-2012 16-31-10 4032x3024

29 March 3 29-03-2012 16-31-20 4032x3024

29 March 5 29-03-2012 16-31-36 4032x3024

29 March 6 29-03-2012 16-32-19 4032x3024

29 March 6 29-03-2012 16-35-13 4032x3024

29 March 7 29-03-2012 16-33-13 4032x3024

Possibly the sweetest picture of the Pigeon yet. Blinky eyes and absurd pink tongue:

29 March 9 29-03-2012 16-33-35 3024x4032

Now she is ready for her close-up:

29 March 9 29-03-2012 16-34-00 4032x3024

Dignity like that takes years.

Oh, and one more, to make up for the lack of horse:

29 March 10 29-03-2012 16-31-44 4032x3024

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:

29 March 10 01-01-2011 1627x2909

29 March 12 01-01-2011 2319x3900

She, too, can do the blinky eyes.

And, the hill:

29 March 14 29-03-2012 16-36-19 3398x2022


  1. But can she do the absurd pink tongue + blinky eyes?

  2. Oh, you know what? No one really knows how to deal with very difficult humans. We can walk round for hours rehearsing strategies and strong-minded assertions, but it's always fraught and just about everyone would like a little lie down after the experience, or a strong drink, or a beaming child or two to soothe the anxiety. Don't think for a moment it's you, or your fault in any way at all. It is not.

  3. Oh buggery arse. How awful for you. Yes; there are some people who just will not be liked or charmed into submission, and their very prickliness is exhausting and cross making in the extreme. RAAAAHHH to them, is what I say, and may you ride like the wind tomorrow. xxx

  4. Heavens. It is rather disheartening to learn that even the Pigeon, Red, the beech avenue and the delightful serenity of the land around you can't protect you from worthless idiocy. I'm with you; I believe that most people are decent and if I'm kind to them, they will respond with decency. Otherwise, a significant portion of the population, faced with that sort of dreariness, would not get out of bed every morning.

    The truth, you know, is probably that This Person envies the hell out of you (but what a sad way to live). Hang in, because the real truth is that you do have the Pigeon and Red and the beech avenue, not to mention your lovely family and friends. Why, that blinky photo of the Pigeon alone is enough to make one laugh and sing. It is absolute proof positive that despite everyone who tries to make life painful, life is essentially good.

    PS Thanks for 'froideur'; had not heard that, and can't wait to drop it on my unsuspecting friends.

  5. So sorry you have a difficult human to deal with. Easier said than done to 'let it go' and exhausting to deal with. Do hope it is dealt with swiftly.

    Absolutely beautiful pictures, thank you! And the blinky gorgeousness of The Pigeon is perfect. xx

  6. Lovely lovely LOVELY comments; thank you. Most cheering and reassuring. :)

  7. Pigeon giving obnoxious person a raspberry (first photo) seems fitting!
    What a magnificent dog!

  8. Hell (can be) Other People. I have mentioned on here before the parlous state of affairs between myself and the woman who used to be my oldest friend. Weet each other at grammar school in 1968, tight friends from second form until two years ago, she's my only child's godmother, etc etc. We had a dramatic and (I thought at first) quite unnecessary parting of the ways almost two years ago and for the remainder of that summer I was periodically haunted by it, had to write it all down, analyse the last spectacular argument, think it through and rehearse it all until I reassured myself that actually it had been on the cards a long, long time, and that the level of toxicity had gradually become utterly horrid.

    She can do haughty froideur, the ex-friend. Be very pleased that you cannot...

    Re absurbd pink tongue - laughed laughed LAUGHED out loud

  9. Difficult humans are always there and I am not sure I will ever learn how to deal with them, but I find kindness often works (though mostly for me, I can't bring myself to try anything else).


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