Friday, 19 July 2013

A quiet Friday

Ha. After spending all week telling my students about how they may drive off the dark, destructive critical voices, defy The Fear, and believe in their own true selves, I spent all last night tossing and turning, convinced that every single word I wrote here about writing was utter buggery bollocks. The irony elves were busy in the small hours, the little tinkers.

It’s probably because bone-tiredness has set in. I have used up all my energy, so today I am going to sit very still, with a bottle of iron tonic and Test Match Special on at full volume. The voice of Blowers will restore me to sanity and calm.

The dear mare gave me a restorative morning too. Even though the sun started to beat hard from the moment I woke, the set-aside was still cool and shady. We have new neighbours; the sheep have been moved into the high east field, and are wandering and calling as they get used to their new home. I had a long, soothing chat with the farmer this morning. One of his girls was in distress on Wednesday, and I got a message to him so that he could come and get her, and before breakfast he roared up in his dark blue Landrover to thank me. ‘Is she all right, your ewe?’ I asked, concerned. I am very fond of these sheep. The good news is that it was a vitamin B thing, and she will be fine. I love talking to the farmer. I love people who do good things on the land, people who know livestock and weather patterns and are rooted in the earth.

After that lovely beginning, I went down to Red, who is finding the savage sun all a bit too much. She has a heat rash, so I cooled her off with buckets of water, and a little witch hazel, and spent fifteen minutes soothing her poor coat. She does a very touching thing when I do things like this for her. Whether I am anointing a scratch with wound cream, or applying citronella for the flies, or giving her this water treatment, she seems to know that I am doing something for her. She submits with a sort of gentle gratitude, standing very still, offering me her head, looking at me with soft eyes. I am almost certainly making this up in my addled brain, and she is not thinking anything at all. She is a horse, after all. But it does often feel as if she understands that I am here to help.

Then I let her out into the wide set-aside for a pick at the lush grass. I used to take her out on a rope, but now I let her wander freely. She is not going anywhere, and comes at once when I whistle. It was an enchanted thing, watching her find her way through the shady trees, searching out the most delicious patch of grass. She was her most peaceful, equine self, at one with her surroundings; just a horse, at home in a green world.

Neither of us is going to do any work today. We are going to have a lovely Friday holiday. We are just going to be.


Today’s pictures:

19 July 1 19-07-2013 10-06-59

19 July 2 19-07-2013 09-15-31

19 July 3 19-07-2013 07-59-10

The farmer, on the right, coming to have a morning chat:

19 July 4 19-07-2013 07-59-28

Red’s blissful morning:

19 July 10 19-07-2013 09-01-02

19 July 11 19-07-2013 08-58-30

Look at that happy face:

19 July 11 19-07-2013 08-59-11

Do you want me to come now?

19 July 14 19-07-2013 08-58-34

The hill:

19 July 20 19-07-2013 10-07-10

Housekeeping note:

It has been brought to my attention that there are Dear Readers who have broadband that is less than whizzy, and find the blog slow to download, on account of the pictures. I love putting up lots of photographs, so you can see the full Scottish beauty. On the other hand, I imagine it must drive you mad, waiting waiting waiting, for the damn thing to appear on your screen. I’m not quite sure how to resolve this. Too tired to work it out today, but those of you who are seasoned bloggers might have ideas.

In the meantime, have a lovely, sunny Friday. And if you are cricket fans, fingers crossed. Australia about to bat.


  1. Ha! I'm never too impatient to have the whole posting load in: I just go and play a quick game of Solitaire - I think you call it Patience. I never want to miss a word you write or a pictue you take - they're worth the wait.

  2. I agree with Laura - the pictures are part of the whole experience, however I suppose I am lucky that I never have to wait too long for downloads. I do think it is ironic that you had the midnight doubts about what you write. I have read these posts with interest and think that the list of things you know about writing is a work of genius (don't blush). Never a truer word said than in that list. Enjoy your quiet day. I think I will join you - in amongst kiddie drop offs and pick ups and such like. L x

  3. I had a reader who always updated my blog and went to make herself breakfast while it loaded. If you have slow Internet, it is what it is. There is nothing you could or should do about it. Tally forth! -- isn't that what they say on your side of the ocean?

  4. Yes, please don't cut the pictures, though the words are golden too. I loved your writing rules, thank you for sharing. Also adore those photos of Red with grass in her mouth, what a lucky horse she is. Rachel

  5. The photos are always lovely indeed, but I also wanted to thank you for taking the time and trouble to give us the potted versions of your writing workshop this week. I loved reading it all and found it all very helpful. No need for self doubts, not at all!

  6. Please note that your insomnia inducing self-doubts should be completely erased by your generous gesture in sharing the very interesting workshops with us. You need to give those pesky elves a right telling off and send them packing asap. Please keep the lovely pictures rolling, I guess I'm lucky as I have no problems downloading them.
    Have a lovely Sunday
    best regards from clammy Paris


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin