Thursday, 19 February 2015

A day.

Sunshine. Cook breakfast eggs for The Mother. Groundwork. Riding. (I have lost my trot. It is tense and rushed where it should be smooth and collected. It takes me some time to find it, a process which cannot be hurried, so I am late to the rest of the day.) Members of the extended family are visiting; a lot of sweetness. HorseBack: photographs, notes, many discussions. Talk to my friend The Marine about the time he rounded up cattle in Colorado. Two hundred foot vertical drops up on the narrow mountain trails. I blanch. I am ashamed to say I make girlish shrieks.

Back to the desk, still at least an hour behind. Important emails and telephone calls. A wonderful plan is hatched. Errands.

Work, work, work, work, work.

Forget lunch. Abruptly remember that I have forgotten lunch. Feel suddenly very weak. Attempt to cram all the food groups into one very late tea-time snack. Still quite weak. Where is the iron tonic?

Back two winners at Huntingdon. The second, in particular, is a delightful gentleman of a horse, flowing neatly and enthusiastically over his fences with his ears pricked, occasionally throwing in a mighty, soaring leap just to show he is no mere workman. He is a Venetia Williams horse, and a lot of them are like this: honest and charming as the day is long.

Take huge amounts of stuff to the charity shop. The saintly glow of having a clear-out is slightly marred because the nice paper bags in which the things were neatly packed have been ripped apart by Stanley the Dog when he was in the back of the car this morning. I suppose he was looking for RATS.

Attempt to upload a HorseBack video to YouTube. Fail. ‘There was an error uploading your video.’ Have burst of First World rage. Swear at the computer, fruitlessly. Buggery YouTube will not have me.

Watch the sun change colour over the trees. Give Stanley the Dog a treat to tell him he is forgiven. (He had not even noticed he was in disgrace, and the ladies in the charity shop were very understanding. ‘I have spaniels,’ said one, darkly.)

Think about work done and work still undone. Find myself reading an article about To Do lists, and how they are never finished.

Feel rueful.

Wonder if I should check my emails again.

Think I’ll go and give the duchess her tea instead. There I can breathe and stand still and feel the air on my face and the love in my heart and see the snowdrops and think of spring.


Today’s pictures:

Happy girls in the lovely morning light:

19 Feb 1

19 Feb 2

Step-sister, step-niece, red mare and me, taken by the Lovely Stepfather. I appear to be having a very, very bad hair day. I try not to mind:

19 Feb 5

A chicken, for the Dear Reader who likes chickens:

19 Feb 11

The Marine, with Brook the ex-sprinter who now works with veterans at HorseBack UK. Who says that ex-racehorses have no useful purpose once their race is run? Quite a lot of idiotish people, is the answer. This fella does a very, very useful job indeed:

19 Feb 12

I know I bang on a little about the prejudices faced by ex-racehorses in particular and thoroughbreds in general. But really, you should read what the ignorant say on the internet. Don’t even get me started on the superstitions about chestnut mares….


  1. A day. Just a day? True, little (I think) has been achieved but much has been appreciated. And loved. And enjoyed.

    I will try to follow where you lead and stop to count the snowdrops.

  2. What a lovely day. I'm just coming to the end of a long day, a long week. I've read this and feel better about tomorrow already. Thank you. x

    And your hair looks perfectly tousled. :)

  3. I'm with Em. Your hair looks great. It makes me feel better, also, during a long week when people are frustrating me and my truck doors are frozen shut, to think that somewhere in Scotland is a flame-haired woman with a horse and a dog who is loving life.


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