I think: I would like to read more books. My house is stuffed with books; they lie on every surface. It is like living in a library. But I have got into a bad habit of only reading seriously for work.
I want to go back to reading, quite randomly, for sheer, unalloyed pleasure. I want to fall in love with words again for their own sake.
When I am out walking the dog, I have tremendous resolutions. I shall get up at six and read for an hour each morning, before the Today programme starts. The chances of this actually happening are so minuscule that they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
The problem is always time. Time is not my strong suit. By the time I have done the horses, seen the Mother and the Stepfather for breakfast, settled at my desk to work, done the small domestic tasks and run the errands of which all ordinary lives are made, gone back to do the horses in the evening, kept tabs on the intricacies of American politics which fascinate me so, read the paper, had a bet, cooked lunch, eaten lunch, made a half-hearted attempt to tidy the house, washed up, replied to emails, returned calls, and pondered what the next day shall bring, the hours are fled, and the moon is rising over the trees.
I don’t even have to commute, or look after children, or organise a social life, or do any of the other things which are the emperors of time-suckage. I lead a small life; I should have acres of time over which to roam. And yet, there it all goes, scrabbling past me like the Road-Runner at top speed, a blur of improbable legs and cartoon velocity.
Even if I am very strict and do not allow myself to gaze at horse pictures on Facebook (one of my favourite time-wasting activities), or get into spirited discussions with my Twitter racing massive about who is going to win the Champion Hurdle, there are still not enough minutes.
Is this just a classic part of middle-age? I suspect it may be. It drive me nuts in the head. I am always, always in a rush, and I never, ever catch up. It feels a bit like some kind of life parable. Still, no good complaining about temporal unchangeables. One must play the hand one is dealt. If I believed in New Year’s resolutions, I would make one which said: become better with time. I would like to grow into a Time Expert, shiny with brilliance at managing the hours. I suppose a girl may dream.
It was a lovely, mild day, with some sunshine, and soft air coming down from the west.
The herd, despite being very slightly out-of-focus, was happy and calm and moochy and good:
Mr Stanley the Dog was so excited about chasing his stick that BOTH his ears went straight up in the air, instead of the customary flying one:
There really is nobility in that fine face.
And the hill was still and stately: