The rain rained. Everything went a dull, sludge colour. I attempted not to become downhearted, and failed.
Red the Mare was at her dearest and best, which rallied my spirits somewhat. She showed off some of her fancy moves for The World Traveller, who had come out to give porridge to the chickens. I always get a stupid thrill when the work we do together is witnessed. Look at me! Look at me! With my fancy pants horse whispery nonsense! Actually, I love the fancy pants horse whispery stuff. I love that I can get my flighty thoroughbred to stop when I say stop and to move elegantly backwards at the merest signal from my index finger.
I did some work. I thought about some other work which I must do and am not yet doing. To take my mind off it, I made some yellow split pea soup with saffron and took it to my mother.
I watched the rain a bit more and wondered if it would ever be sunny again.
I took an hour off and watched the racing. A lovely, bonny horse called Lexi’s Boy was running and I put a proper bet on him and he galloped all the way round in front with his ears pricked, as if to say this is the most fun I had since the old queen died. To great shouts from me and woofs from the Pigeon, he won by four lengths, happy as a bug.
I contemplated tidying the house and decided against it.
I went back up to the ponies. Red rested her head on my shoulder and dozed off and I thought: I really can’t be grumpy when she does that.
Just as I was done for the day, my old friend The Expatriate rang up, her voice carrying faintly down six thousand miles of transatlantic line. There are many things I love about her. She is clever and funny and kind and other (by which I mean she sees the world from a slight angle). But perhaps what I love the most is that we have known each other for so long that we don’t even have to say something funny to fall into helpless laughter. There is twenty-eight years of subtext, so it can be a pause, a tone of voice, an inflection, and there we are, stuttering and hopping and heaving with hilarity.
I put down the telephone, feeling very lucky and filled with ineffable fondness.
I was a bit grouchy and blue today. I was sad about Nora Ephron and Campbell Gillies and the fragility of life. I was crashing to earth after the euphoria of Ascot, because every day can’t be Frankel day. But then there was a lot of equine and canine and human sweetness, so it was sort of all right. And the soup was absolutely delicious, even though I say so myself.
Pictures are from yesterday because of the rain:
No hill today; it is quite lost in the cloud.