Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Slept ten hours last night and woke feeling more human. The sun was shining; I rode the lovely mare. The very act of riding always makes me feel stronger and better.
Did work; then got in the car and drove across country to have lunch with The Older Brother and his beloved. The Younger Brother called from Bali on the Skype, and we all yelled into the computer at each other. Lunch was very funny and sweet and delicious.
Took the Pigeon to collect the children from school. The other small pupils eyed the Pidge with interest and admiration.
‘Whose dog is that?’ asked one tiny, black-haired girl. She eyed me with very slight suspicion, as if she thought I might have been dog-napping.
‘Mine,’ I said, with absurd amounts of pride.
The small girl smiled. ‘Oh, good,’ she said. Having checked everything was as it should be, she wandered happily away.
Got back, made tomato soup for children's tea, settled down to the computer to type this.
In other words, it was a day like any ordinary day.
Except that I appear to have bought a horse.
I was saving up for a new car. The mileage is racking up; I was contemplating trading the motor in for a newer model. Bugger that for a game of soldiers, I suddenly thought. I’d rather have an old banger and a new horse.
It seems that some of the Dear Readers may have had their suspicions about the darling little chestnut mare. One of you made a joke about her and the Pigeon having to share a bed. It won’t quite be that intime, but I am going to take her home with me.
Or rather, I have put in an offer. She belongs to the husband of The Beloved Cousin, and I have just this moment whacked off an email to the other side of the world, where he is working, asking if he will accept my price. If he is happy, she shall be mine. Keep all your fingers crossed.
I grew up with horses. My father was a jockey and then a trainer; my early life was spent in a racing stable. I had ponies since I was two years old. Riding is one of the things I have no memory of not being able to do. Then I moved to London and, apart from an occasional guest ride, I have not really been involved with horses for thirty years.
Lately, I have been conscious that I spend all my days at a desk, typing away, staring at my computer. A few months ago, I read that leading a sedentary life is as bad for you as smoking, in terms of health and longevity. The Pigeon is so old that we only go out for a couple of very gentle rambles a day. I need to be active, to build up some muscles, to get my body strong. I hate and loathe exercise for its own sake. I must be realistic: I am never going to take up yoga, or pilates. I am never going to do squats, or lunges.
So, the horse.
It is very, very naughty and extravagant. I shall have to tighten my belt a bit, and write hard as hell, so I can sell lots of books. (My agent will be delighted.) It’s worth it though. I can’t tell you what a lovely person the mare is. She is gentle and steady, but she’s got a bit of quality about her, which I like. She is a thoroughbred, and once I get my hands on her passport, I can bore you all about her breeding. I am beside myself with excitement at the thought of us starting a whole new life together.
What with everything, no time for photographs today. Here is a quick shot of a very happy Pigeon:
(She is still a bit suspicious of what she patently regards as a huge red dog, but she'll come round.)
And the new member of the family:
Subject to offer, I should say. Deal not quite done yet.
Imagine how smart she shall look once her summer coat comes through and her hog grows out and I get her a nice new rug:
And, as a cherry on the cake, the Kauto Star news is good. He is not a certainty to run at Cheltenham yet, but he is working well, having lots of physiotherapy, showing some of his old swagger, and eating up. Even if they do decide the Gold Cup is not to be, I am intensely relieved that the auld fella is coming back to himself.
Adding this at 9.59pm. The vital email just came through. The glorious horseman accepted my bid. THE GIRL IS MINE.
Tiny part of my mind is thinking: what have I done? Huge, happy part of my mind is just grinning all over its face and going HURRAH, HURRAH.
Sorry for all those exuberant capitals. But oh, oh - I have a horse.
And, in honour of the Dear Readers, and your clever suggestions, her blog name shall be Red. She actually does have rather an enchanting real name, which I may yet reveal. But since the tradition here is strict pseudonyms at all times, I think I should continue that rule. And Red the Mare is really a most delightful stage name. It also feels rather appropriate that she should be christened by the Readership.
So, the thing is done.