Work. Other work. Other work. One more piece of vital work.
The last of these has the potential to translate into actual game-changing cash and is being sent to some very important people indeed. It is not for me, so I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders as I type the words.
Sweet mare; funny dog. Stan has taken to burying his favourite sticks in little piles of leaves all about the woods. He tenderly covers the things by pushing the fallen leaves into place with his nose. It is all done with the utmost care and delicacy. I stand and watch, entranced.
I run around, chasing time.
At 3.35pm, I take five minutes to watch one of my favourite fillies, Estimate, run at Ascot. I was there when she won the Queen’s Vase last season, and it was one of the most touching moments I ever saw on a racecourse, as the Duke of Edinburgh presented the trophy to the Queen, who looked just as any octogenarian would after a beloved filly routed the big boys over two miles. (Estimate is one of those little tough ordinary-looking fillies of the kind I love the most. She has nothing physically flashy about her, but she contains heart of a lioness.)
She wins her first race back as a four-year-old, looking easily impressive, and I put her in my notebook, where she belongs.
Brain falters and crashes like an old computer.
And then, I write this, before I stop like a busted old clock.
Are entirely random:
I had many favourite moments of the day, but this was perhaps the most favourite. The HorseBack herd was reunited, after spending the winter in two separate places, and everyone was moved into different fields for the spring. Here Archie and Mikey greet each other with all the decorum of storied ambassadors at a diplomatic reception:
Stan the Man, laughing:
Red the Mare, duchessing:
You can see from the changing light in the pictures that we had four seasons in one day, as May blew in. Blinding sun, east winds, sudden squalls of rain, dramatic moments of sleetish hail, quiet grey cloud. Enough to blow all the cobwebs away.