Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Bloody freezing

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

It is freezing and grey and the bitterest of the bitter winds is howling out of the west. When I come inside it takes about five minutes for my fingers to get warm enough to type. It is the middle of May, I think, this is absurd.

Between the horse and the book and the weather, I have no space for knowing what is going on in the world. Rebekah Thing did something bad and everyone is very cross and she is cross that they are all so cross and so it’s grumpiness a go-go. Greece is going to crash out of the Euro again, and all the stock markets are panicking again, just as if this hasn’t been going on for the last three years. I know that we ladies are supposed to be the hysterical ones, on account of our hormones and our mysterious lady parts and our small pink brains, but the markets are still run in the main by men, and I never saw more collective vapours in my life. They shriek and jump every time they see a shadow on the wall; oh, no, was that rustling a mouse? Kill it, Reginald, KILL IT.

Sorry, I appear to be temporarily channelling Alec Guinness cross-dressing in an Ealing comedy.

The Pigeon, meanwhile, much more importantly, is moving into seen-it-all grand dame mode. She sighs at the black skies and stretches herself out in awful dignity and sometimes does a sort of great lady rumble. It’s the exact same noise that teddy bears used to make when I was a child, when you pushed their stomachs.

Red the Mare, fired by the wind, has cast aside all thoughts of being a duchess, and was observed in the field today doing circus tricks. When I went up just now she gave me a dopey look, as if butter would not melt in her mouth, and vamped for apples, but I know exactly what she has been up to all day. Apparently, it made the farmers fall about laughing. The idea of my mare entertaining the tough farming gentlemen is giving me inordinate delight.

Meanwhile, to take my mind off impending deadlines (the book, the book) I dream of the Lockinge on Saturday, and watch endless reruns of Frankel demolishing a top class field at Goodwood last summer. The more I watch him, the more I think, in terms of pure speed and class, he may be the greatest horse I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. There is something about his acceleration, when he stretches out his great, raking, dancing stride and goes into turbo-boost, that makes me gasp, no matter how many times I see it. He is officially rated the best horse in the entire world at the moment, ahead of the majestic Black Caviar, and I hope he lives up to his billing on Saturday. Sometimes all I ever want is to see a great champion being a champion.


For about seven minutes just now, the sun came out, and the Pidge and I ran out with the camera to get some pictures of the light for you:

15 May 1

15 May 2

15 May 2-001

15 May 2-002

15 May 2-003

15 May 3

15 May 3-001

15 May 5

15 May 6

15 May 9

15 May 10

15 May 12

Red the Mare:

15 May 15

The Pigeon, on the hunt:

15 May 16

Gazing regally to the west:

15 May 17

Sniffing the wind:

15 May 18

Two different views of the hill, today:

15 May 1915 May 20


  1. Ahhhh . . . the Pigeon looking west and sniffing the wind is such a day-maker, as is the thought of Red entertaining the farmers. It may be dark and cold in your neck of the woods, but you are on your game. Thanks.

    PS Not relevant to this post, but you might want to check out a story in the NY Times for 5/14 about the loss of Arcadius, a winning chaser over here. It was written by a jump jockey turned journalist named Joe Clancy, and while he hasn't your eloquence, his love and understanding of the sport and its horses rings bells of your fraternity. (He and his brother, also an ex-jockey, have something here called the Steeplechase Times, and this edition contains background on the Times story as well.)

  2. Gosh, I do miss living in Scotland.

  3. We've had every sort of foulness down here too. Snow, hail, thunder, torrential rain and bitter winds. The sun was too quick for me. I didn't even make it to the door with my camera today.

  4. Reading your words is so comforting. Even when talking of grey days back in Blighty. These posts are like homemade tomato soup; good for the soul. Lx

  5. Oh the beech avenue....I adore that view.

  6. Hehehe, 'grumpiness a go-go'. :)

  7. It will be very interesting to see how 'our' Black Caviar goes at Ascot...she always wins virtually in a trot - but how good has the opposition been - whatever her trainer has opined (jokingly) about Britain's B grade sprinters. Very exciting anyway!

  8. what a FIND this is! love it. going to read LOADS when i get home after work...and as for Red...WOW....love from one horse lover/owner in tanzania to another...x j

  9. Tanzania! WOW!
    How does it feel to be GLOBAL, Tania?

    Sun out but still in closed shoes & a jumper, albeit cotton. (Grrrr...getting my wherethehellisspring grump on...)


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