An early start for the winding drive to Tebay. I take the long way round, since I can’t do motorways during the week. It takes hours, but I get to see enchanting, unexpected parts of England.
The budget zooms in and out of my consciousness. It’s good, it’s bad; it helps, it doesn’t. The economists argue as I drive past the folded, faded hills of Cumbria with their pretty dusting of white.
I think of my horse, patiently waiting for me, in her snowy field.
I miss, suddenly, violently, my two old ladies. They came with me so many times to Tebay, and were so beloved here, and as I walk down the calm corridor to my room, I see two black ghosts running ahead of me, with all their goodness and eagerness and sweetness. They were such generous, friendly, elegant dogs. I suppose they shall always leave a stinging gap in my heart.
I think of my dad too. He is with me a lot, at the moment.
I think that even though I yearn for home like a pain in my chest, I shall have to turn round almost at once and come back. I wish I were a better traveller. Someone got properly impatient with me about even speaking of such an insignificant journey, but I can’t help it, I find two legs of 260 miles on crowded roads really enervating.
So I suppose I’m a bit tired and doleful today, what with one thing and another. It will pass. I shall see the dear faces of home tomorrow morning; I shall see the glorious hills. I miss the hills almost as much as I miss the creatures, when I am away. The slings and arrows shall be forgotten. I shall take my iron tonic and butch up.