Monday, 2 July 2012


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I have no good ideas in my head today. I was going to do a whole rant about the unkind people who oppose gay marriage but suddenly a rant felt a little too much.

So, it’s a random post. I haven’t done one of those for a while.

1. I start to think that the Rupert Murdoch on Twitter cannot be real and must be a spoof. Here is his latest tweet:

Romney people upset at me! Of course I want him to win, save us from socialism, etc but should listen to good advice and get stuck in!

I simply do not believe that a man capable of building up a billion dollar media empire could write two such sentences. Quite aside from the schoolboy use of exclamation marks, there is the ignorance of what socialism is. I have noticed this a lot on the American right, but it usually only comes from the nutty, foaming at the mouth types, or the very strange, like Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

If President Obama were a politician here, he would be on the left of the Tory party, or the most rightward fringes of Labour. He is the very model of a pragmatic centrist, with excellent instincts about social justice, a strategic rather than tactical view of politics, and a tendency to caution. He has shown absolutely no signs of wanting to nationalise the means of production, which is what socialism is. I really wish that people would not use words unless they know the meaning of them, especially in public. Everyone says Rupert Murdoch is a very clever man, whether they loathe or love him. That tweet was written by an idiot.

2. My swallows are definitely here. I had been unable to identify their nest. There are many old ones clinging to the rafters, but they all seemed unused, and I had not yet heard the distinctive chirping of the baby birds. Then, last night, I went in to get some wood, and there was the cheep cheep cheep. I looked up, and saw the perfect mud structure with three little tails sticking out. What do they do in there, I wonder? They have their heads right down in the next, and their bottoms sticking in the air. Anyway, I was passionately glad to see them, and relieved that they had not decided to move their nest somewhere else. I would have taken that very personally indeed.

Outside, as I was gazing up, entranced, their parents were putting on a huge show, swooping and crying and whirling about. I presume this is the swallow defence plan, to distract potential predators who might come near their young. It is oddly touching. I heard myself saying, out loud, as I walked back across the lawn: ‘It’s all right, it’s all right,’ in the same voice I use to soothe the horse or the dog, as if the birds might speak English and understand.

3. The weather forecast continues doleful. The seven day for my village says: light rain, light rain, cloud, light rain, heavy rain, light rain, cloud. I try really, really hard not to let this sink my heart, but it is a tough job. I would not mind so much if it were not for the mare. It’s quite demoralising going out to do her in the wet and the mud. The daily sound is a sad one of squelch, squelch, squelch. I also worry about her getting mud fever. I am not riding at the moment, because the ground is so boggy and slippery, and I miss it. I love the ground work, but I do sometimes long to leap on and gallop off across the fields.

This obsession with the weather is a part of the horse life. The little pony is pretty weather-proof, on account of being bred for the Welsh mountains. Her coat is so thick and filled with oil that it repels water. Red, on the other hand, with her pathetic thoroughbred excuse for a coat, gets drenched, and can be quite grumpy about it. I have found an excellent website which gives me two-hourly weather reports, so I can work out when to put on her rug. Yesterday, the report was slightly off, and the mare got wet and it was too late to put the rug on, because a rug on a damp coat is horrid for her. Some people feel very strongly that one should not rug a horse at all, because they are happier naked, but I don’t like to see a very wet animal, although this may be my own human prejudice.

So, last night, the poor old lady had to put up with hours of rain. My heart twisted in my chest as I gazed out on the steady downpour. This morning, I went up, and she was in a very merry mood, and her coat was dry and as soft as velvet after her midnight bath. I have to keep remembering that horses are much tougher than I think. She is a very precious cargo, but she can take a bit of wet. I must not become one of those hysterical types who wraps their animals in cotton wool.

4. I discover, four days after everyone else, that Katie Holmes is filing for divorce. I remember when she married Tom Cruise, and there was the joke about Run, Katie, Run. I find the whole Scientology thing incredibly creepy, but I once met someone who had worked with Tom Cruise on a film and reported that he was absolutely charming and not strange at all.

Fake Rupert Murdoch has waded into the fray on his fake Twitter account, saying that we should all ‘watch the Katie Holmes story’ and see how truly malign the Scientology movement is. I am certainly not going to watch the Katie Holmes story just because some bogus Twitter spoofster tells me to. I am going to watch the four o’clock at Pontefract, and hope that my bet of the day, Euxton Hall, trots up.


Too gloomy for the camera today, so here are a couple of quick pictures from the last days:

2 July 1

2 July 2

2 July 5

2 July 7

2 July 11

Oh, and PS: thank you so much for kind comments of the last few days. Please do not have hoover panic. The only reason it must be done so often in my house is that I wickedly clump in with my boots and so there is actual MUD on the floor. Which, even for me, is a bit much by the second day.


  1. Love that you talk to the swallows. I talk to squirrels outside the window by my desk, and am inordinately pleased that while they do not endanger themselves, they now are calm around me, as if I'm just part of the windowsill.

    Murdoch's comment is likely aimed at the American right, many of whom do not know or care what the word socialism means. It gets funniest (or saddest) when they accuse President Obama of being a socialist and a fascist at the same time. But really, willful ignorance is very tiresome.


  2. I could not have guessed a pony could be waterproof because of oil in the hair like sheep have oil in their fleece. Such an interesting piece of trivia. I have no need to know that, but am glad I do.

  3. My mare, Arab x Welsh Section D, is 28 years young now. She is fine about summer rain, but if I leave her out in winter, rugged up, when it is both wet and windy, she will very often limbo dance under the disconnected electric tape, and turn up outside the back door to find me. I have sometimes glanced out of the kitchen window to find her staring in at me. She loves her stable, especially in bad weather, and even more so as she is getting older. I love reading about Red and Pigeon, as my little horse is a very polite chestnut mare, and my dog is a 12 year old collie x lab. Can animals have doppelgangers?

  4. I just wanted to thank you for the story about Frankel. After reading it I watched the race on you-tube, and it was amazing!
    There are many horse barns near my house and I love to watch the horses being lunged or just playing in the fields. Your blog is a pleasure to read.

  5. Had a lovely catch-up of your last few posts. Feel extremely relieved that everybody else was as impressed (ashamed) as I was at your hoovering every two days!
    So, in short, your home is gorgeous, inside and out, and the faces of all your darlings are just beautiful.

    And I rather think Fake Rupert Murdoch is *real* which explains the moronic tweet. She says kindly...

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