I went off the blog partly because I was fraught and tired and I needed a small rest. But it was also because I found I was getting a bit needy. This is one of the dangers of the kindness of the internet. If the obliging comments do not come, I feel absurdly sad and deprived. This is a perfectly tragic thing to admit, but frankness is the only thing that obtains here. (Perhaps that is why sometimes I have to take a break; too much truth is sometimes exhausting. It might be less tiring to put on a lovely, shiny, impervioius front for you and do a tap dance, but that is not the point of the thing at all.)
The work is still demanding, and there is never enough time, although I have recalibrated a little. So the blog is going to stay minimal for a while. I am going to train myself not to mind if nobody even notices it is there, let alone writes anything at the bottom. Really, one must learn to be a little more of an island, although I believe that everyone does have a causeway. (Strained metaphor klaxon goes off in the background.)
For some reason, it is important to me that the thing is here, chugging along. I shall not have any deep thoughts or wade into the controversies of the day. It shall be a mere digest of an ordinary life.
Red mare at her sweetest, funniest and most dopey. One glorious canter. Good family breakfast. The daffodil shoots are really motoring now, poking up through the thin turf as if they mean it. The snowdrops are going like gangbusters, and the crocuses look more robust than usual. There is the daily sound of birdsong, and the oystercatchers have come in from the coast for their spring visit. I feel a sense of hope in the air.
882 words of secret project written. No way yet of telling if they are good words or bad words. But at least they are words.
I take a moment to watch a couple of races at Southwell, where the sun is shining. Today is a very lowly day’s racing. Compared to the glorious champions of Cheltenham to come, these are what might be called moderate horses. No crowd of fifty thousand will ever rise to them. They will go into no hall of fame. But they are still lovely in their own right: handsome, willing creatures, galloping along with their ears pricked, doing their best. Some of them put in mighty leaps, sure and soaring. I think of all the pleasure they will give their owners and trainers, and the people who look after them so well.
Everyone is now thinking of the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup, but someone today will still get enormous joy out of the Class 5 Novice Handicap Hurdle. I feel there is some sort of profound life lesson in this, but I can’t quite dig it out. I think it is something to do with victories not having to be big, flashy, headline-grabbing ones. They can be small and potent, sweetly private, unwitnessed by whooping crowds. It does not mean they are any the less real.
Critical voice says: that was not a very well-written or inspiring blog. Do it again, says the critical voice, furiously. Ordinary, practical, everyday voice says: oh really, do bugger off. The Dear Readers will understand. A little ordinariness is not ever a bad thing.