Friday, 11 May 2012

In which horses take on politics, and horses win

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I do 1256 words today, and some interesting research. I am not getting huge satisfaction in my work at the moment, battling and struggling, but that is par for the course. I keep my head down, and continue to bugger on. By lunchtime, I am quite tired and fed up, so I decide to give myself a little present of a pot of coffee and an hour off. (I suddenly realise this sounds quite normal, but at the moment, I am so crazed that I consider taking ten minutes for a sandwich at lunchtime profligate. So a whole hour feels like infamy.)

I have a choice, between my two favourite subjects: politics, and racing. I had a swift look at Leveson. I’ve been vaguely aware that it has been going on all week, because it lights up the Twittersphere like almost nothing else. Normally, my political geekery would insist that I take the whole week off and watch, but now there is no room for that. In the spirit of a tremendous treat, I turned on the internet. I waited to be riveted by high legal and political theatre. An investigation, after all, into the relationship between politicians and the press could not be more fundamental to our democracy.

Oh my goodness it was dull. You think horse stories are boring, wait until you hear Rebekah Brooks explaining about how she went to Matthew Freud’s party and ‘popped in’ for mince pies somewhere in Gloucestershire for Christmas. I could feel the atoms of my body slowly moving towards the exit, as the life force was sucked out of me.

What is odd about this is that everyone who has ever met her in life describes Rebekah Brooks as astonishingly charismatic. So she has clearly made a strategic decision to be dull, which is interesting in itself. The QC, Robert Jay, who trended on Twitter all afternoon as Mr Jay, also appeared to believe that anodyne was the correct approach. His questions seemed disconnected and bland. I have the stereotypical view of barristers, all Shakespearian oratorical flourishes and the whiff of Dickens. This one, though apparently a star in his field, was more like an inspector of works. Again, I'm perfectly sure it was on purpose, I just can't quite work out what the purpose is.

I really did want my money back. So I turned over to Chester and watched an absolutely beautiful three-year-old colt called Astrology, a bonny son of Galileo, with a lovely, raking action, absolutely trot up, with my ten quid on him. I shouted, the dog barked, I felt the will to live return. People love Chester, although it’s a bit of a mixed meeting, and has been dogged by rain all week. But today, the sun shone on the glorious equine backs, and some really nice horses showed their class, and a brilliant eighteen-year-old jockey called Joseph O’Brien looked as if he shall go right to the top.

It was aesthetic, and exciting, and even though it’s flat racing, and so a lot about money, in a way that jumps isn’t, it had a purity to it which lifted my heart. It was a million miles away from the drab, badly lit room, with the flat answers about text messages and mince pies and ‘popping in’.

I don't know why the popping in thing bothered me so much: for some reason I don't think successful, accomplished women should 'pop' anywhere. I think they should go to places, and be done with it. But this is an unreasoning prejudice, and I think has come on because this bloody weather is driving me demented. The temperature hovered around five degrees for most of the day, the clouds lowered and shifted, there is snow on Red's mountain, and the wind blasted in from the west, hard and implacable. I know that I am supposed to be able to generate sunshine in my heart, which is the only sunshine that matters, but sometimes it does feel like an uphill scramble when the elements continue so unkind.

Tomorrow, I think, someone said somewhere that tomorrow there will be sun.


Too gloomy for pictures today, so here are a few from when there was some light:

11 May 1 03-05-2012 17-52-52 4032x3024

11 May 2 10-05-2012 10-22-17 3024x4032

11 May 3 08-05-2012 19-03-28 4032x3024

11 May 4 08-05-2012 19-06-16 4032x3024

11 May 6 27-04-2012 13-50-46 4032x3024

11 May 7 27-04-2012 13-53-31 4032x3024

11 May 8 27-04-2012 13-52-33 1936x1512

11 May 9 27-04-2012 13-17-15 1208x1700

11 May 10 09-05-2012 09-37-27 2138x2799

11 May 10 03-05-2012 17-49-55 3024x4032

11 May 15 07-05-2012 19-16-32 3978x1708


  1. Dear Tania,

    Degas could have painted a masterpiece out of this week at Chester, even in the rain. No-one ever painted a masterpiece out of a judicial enquiry or whatever the fuck it is. You are an artist. Please keep sketching the geegees in words. Most definitley prefer it. There ia enough of the rest elsewhere


    Who has a riding lesson on Tuesday...

  2. Also, today, in mid-Wales - on the south-facing banks - the cow parsley is flowering below the hedges. Don't give up hope. Early summer will arrive v v soon

  3. Myfawny gets her own picture! I wonder if she knows (or cares, LOL) that she has arrived.

    Horses or politics. Yes, horses every time, especially in the political climate of today. Love the image of your atoms heading for the door; that so perfectly describes today. But at least it is warm here. Five degrees of anything is not enough. So pour yourself a cocktail ~ the sun is over the yardarm somewhere, and you can imagine you are there . . . with Red and Myfawny and the Pigeon, of course.


  4. Apologies to Myfanwy ~ I spelled her name wrong. Can't figure out how to say it, and now can't spell it. ;-) Thank heavens Red is Red.


    1. Pronounce it either Mavanwy or Mivanwy, either will do. The most important thing is that in Welsh a single F is pronounced V. We need a double F for an F sound, eg the name Ffion is the Welsh for Fiona...

    2. Thanks, Goldenoldenlady ~ sounds much prettier than it reads.



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