Tuesday, 6 March 2012

An ordinary day, ending with some slightly surprising news

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:

6 March 4 01-03-2012 12-56-39

(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:

6 March 2 27-02-2012 12-23-57

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:

6 March 3 27-02-2012 13-50-00

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.

UPDATE:


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.


39 comments:

  1. What fabulous news, she is beautiful and such a noble and gentle head, she will be a wonderful addition to your family. Keeping everything crossed that the deal runs smoothly.
    X

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    1. Dash - how very kind you are. Now staring at email with gimlet eyes, waiting for response to offer. Am a bit premature to announce on blog, but could not keep it from the Dear Readers for one more moment. :)

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  2. Please let us know asap. Will her name be Red? (For blog purposes).

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    1. Lucille - you are clever. Her blog name was exactly what I have been pondering. I like Red. (I think that was what they called Phar Lap, in the stable, although I might just be making that up in my head.)

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    2. I am slightly overcome with the idea that I may have named a blog horse! For extra celebration I have a tiny book to give you, if you would like it. I have had it for many years, it was part of a series of books published by Methuen price 3s 6d,called the Little Library of Art and features Degas' Races.There is absolutely no obligation to accept it but otherwise contact freelucille@gmail.com.

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  3. I'll be so happy if this turns out well. I rode all through my childhood and adolescence and I miss horses a lot, even still, so Red will be a lovely distraction from the horse-shaped hole in my life!

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    1. Lillyanne - you are so right. It was the horse-shaped hole that I had been growing increasingly conscious of. I have been musing this for the last six months. Then, a collection of chance events made it a possible reality. The thought of the hole being filled is what makes me so happy.

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  4. So nice when a plan comes together...love it should you call her Red.

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    1. Jacqueline - how kind you are. In honour of the Dear Readers, her official blog name is now Red.

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  5. What an excellent, impulsive idea. You need to read/meet/contact Jane Shilling and/or Molly Watson about this horse thing, though. It can lead to all kinds of STUFF.

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    1. Susannah - so glad you approve. Shall check out Jane and Molly; intrigued by the STUFF. :)

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  6. This is so wonderful. I hope you do not mind, but I cannot help but share my own horse tale. My grandfather once owned over 25 horses on land my parents would later buy a portion of and build our house. I first got on a horse when I was three years old and refused to get off till I went away to college. I definitely have a horse-shaped hole (Lillyanne, this is too perfect a phrase) in my heart ever since we sold our quarter horse and shetland pony. My sister and I got them for Christmas when I was 12 years old. Can you imagine a better Christmas for two little girls? The shetland pony was a part of the "deal" because the two refused to be parted. So much so, we learned later, that when we built our barn their stall had to be extra large to accommodate both of them. They were quite in love, always doting on each other and frolicking about. They were also quite male, and our families and friends lovingly joked about our noble gay steeds. The fact that both their coats were a pristine white certainly did not help. Later when we had to sell them, we could only do so when we were promised they would not be separated and would live out the rest of their days together.

    I will keep my fingers crossed that you are soon able to call her your own. She is positively radiant. I fully support the decision to buy a horse instead of a new car!

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    1. Danielle - I love that story. Funnily enough, there is a horse in this yard who has just fallen in love with a tiny, new pony, and we too are making the gay horse jokes. :)

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  7. Here is a video I think you might enjoy - made me think of Pigeon and the mare's future friendship.

    http://aplacetolovedogs.tumblr.com/post/18801569732/baby-horse-and-dog-play-tag-video

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    1. Oh, and thank you for the lovely link.

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  8. I am so happy about this Tania - I think it's almost disproportionate happiness given that we have never met! However I think the horse is JUST THE THING! There, you see, I am resorting to your CAPITALS! Just the thing for you. I too worry about the sedentary lifestyle - hence why I have decided to do something different and startling. Much like your (nearly yours) horse's mane. She looks slightly startled! Love that. It's as if she is thinking - who is this woman? I want to know more about her and her beautiful dog! Haha I have lapsed into delirium now but this is the nicest thing I have read all day. And by the way - if you write the books, we will buy them. As my husband often says, quoted from a film: if you build it, they will come. Lou x

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    1. Lou - what an incredibly lovely comment. Esp the last part. I adored that film - was it called Field of Dreams? I often say to myself if you build it, they will come. It must surely be a rule for life. :)

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  9. Oh, congratulations! She is beautiful! I think all the signs have been right here in front of us that this was going to happen sooner or later.

    I have a book idea for you: a children's picture book, written from the Pigeon's point of view about the big, new red dog that you have brought home. Now, I do have to say that there is already a book called The Other Dog (by Madeleine L'Engle) from the dog's point of view when the new dog—I mean, baby—is brought home. You can either take a look at it, or stay far away from it so you can do completely your own thing. But I think you could write a wonderful story, and of course you're going to have all those new bills!

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    1. Razinah - LOVE the book idea. You are very kind and clever. :)

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  10. You so clearly adore horses, it seems only right that you should have one of your own. Congratulations and welcome Red!

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    1. Wrath of Dawn - what a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much.

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  11. This is just the best news! My sincerest congratulations to you and Red. This is what I always found a little odd - that you grew up with horses, you still are rather involved with the horse world - but you did not own one or nor did you ride too often...Good to see you are only human - how could you not have her!

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    1. Sabina - it is quite odd; I think you are right. There is a curious thing about growing up in a racing establishment; when one is then not surrounded by all the stables and infrastructure, it seems impossible actually to have a horse of one's own. The gorgeous Red is going to live down the road from me, in another stable, not my own, which seems almost to go against muscle memory, yet when I think about it, is perfectly practical and ordinary and what lots of people do. So, I think it took rather longer to make this decision because of all that than it otherwise might. Anyway, I am beside myself with delight, and thank you for your very kind comment.

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  12. Ooooh, what wonderful news! Welcome Red. I can't say I'm completely suprised... how could you not have a horse?
    And, yes, Phar Lap was called Red in the stable.
    I look forward to her inclusion in the daily photos. Is it wrong that I love her mane?
    Fingers crossed the Darling Pidge gets used to the 'big red dog'. xx

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  13. Ooooooh (squeal) I had a little funny feeling this might happen...!! (ye gads the exclamation marks) Brilliant Tania, BRILLIANT. Now I'm on the capitals. Red is just the thing....I can picture you trotting down the beech avenue already :)
    Anne.x

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  14. Congratulations, what excitement! We are lucky enough to have 2 lovely rides in a field at home and I SO understand your need to have Red nearby. Such a shame there are only 24 hours in a day since you'll want to spend all your time with her while reason says you should be writing non stop to feed her, but I'm sure that the wise Pigeon will help you sort that one! She looks great now so she'll be stunning in her summer coat.
    Champagne should definitely be popping!
    Sharon

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  15. What terrific news. Cannot wait to hear about her family, although frankly, she could be a 'mutt' and she'd still be very special.

    Red -- Phar Lap, and Man O'War and Secretariat too. Lucky name.

    Meant to be. Congratulations.

    Bird

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  16. Congratulations - I reiterate what the above says! she could be anything but you love her and thats whats important.

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  17. HURRAH for you Tania!

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  18. Oh hooray, and congratulations Tania!! This is such happy news, and I can't wait to be reading about Red (a perfect name) and her new life.

    She is completely beautiful. Which is just as well, with the Pigeon to stand alongside.

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  19. So happy for you (and a teensy bit jealous). She is a beauty and may you have many happy times together.

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  20. *beaming smile* So happy for you, she looks lovely :D

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  21. This is WONDERFUL news! Congratulations!
    (Looking forward to posts about your expanded "family".)

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  22. good for you, she's so LOVELY!! (there, capitals and exclamation marks...)
    and message for Pigeon "don't worry beauty you'll still be the star stick catcher"
    liz from Paris

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  23. Glad you are feeling better and hurrah for your horse!

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  24. Sooooooo happy for you. She is gorgeous. How will you get her to Scotland? You'll need one of those horse cart thingies. She will be a much loved addition to your family. Congratulations.

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  25. Fi Cotter Craig7 March 2012 at 14:26

    I love everything about this post which I have only belatedly read, so happily had a full night's sleep without worrying whether the offer would be accepted and the mare would be yours.

    What I love best are all the justifying reasons why you should have a horse. None were necessary. I think if we all had horses the world would be a much, much better place. Also love the idea that you will now spend all your time writing to pay for her. You won't you'll be out riding. Hurrah.

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  26. Now have fallen hopelessly behind on replying to all the lovely comments. Absurdly touched that you are so supportive and happy for my rather mad news. THANK YOU all so much. x

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  27. She's a beauty--such a lovely soft eye.

    My children were Pony Clubbers. When they weren't in school they were riding, jumping, vaulting or just mucking around with horses. Then they grew up and went away to college (the kids, not the horses!).

    Nothing fills that horse-shaped hole except a horse.

    So happy for you.

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