Quite often, I wake up in the morning and write the blog in my head as I brush my teeth. I cannot tell you the dazzling nature of my thoughts at this point in the day. I grow excited, thinking: ah, at last, I have something really quite wonderful for the Dear Readers. There will be existential musings, and the human condition, and darting arrows flying out of the left field. How happy everyone will be.
Then, life happens. I cook breakfast for The Mother and the lovely Stepfather. I walk the dog. I feed the horse, work the horse, ride the horse, settle the horse back in her field with everything she needs for the day. Quite often, when I think I am finished, I go back and have a quick chat with the horse, usually about how much I love her.
Then I canter off to HorseBack and take some pictures and talk about all the things I need to know about. Today, there were two enchanting visitors there, so I talked to them. I come back, edit the pictures, try to keep the archive in some kind of order, decide what posts I need to write, write them, select appropriate photographs to go with them, and put them up on the Facebook. As I am doing this, I try hard to avoid getting distracted by the latest story about Stephen Fry, or a collage of baby pandas.
I have a quick look at the racing, in case I want to have a bet in the 2.45 at Ayr. Luckily, today I did not want to.
Then I write a book. Because, you know.
By this stage, I remember that I have forgotten to have lunch. On tragic days, I make a quick ham sandwich. Today, I am being a proper person and throwing together a little chicken stew with leeks and celery and potatoes. (It was half done last night, and now I’m just finishing it off. I do feel really quite domestic godessy as the homespun smell wafts through the house.)
Then, I decide that all the stupid admin which is waiting reproachfully for me will have to wait another day.
Then I gallop down to the field to give the mare her tea, put out the hay, make a rugging decision, tell her once more about the deep, deep love, give her a good rub, check her legs, and generally make sure she is happy for the night to come. My friend who shares the paddock will be there, and we may discuss weather, water troughs, herd behaviour, or life. Mostly life, these days.
At this stage, I wish I had taken more iron tonic. The brain is beginning to fizzle and crack as if its circuits are starting to short. I review my work, make a resolution to do more cutting tomorrow, sometimes make a plan for another chapter, which is very naughty since at this stage I am supposed to be slaying darlings, not writing more of the damn things.
The morning seems a long, long way away. The dazzling thoughts are quite, quite lost. Did they really dazzle? Were they even thoughts? I decide, dolefully, that I’ll just give you some nice pictures instead, and hope you will not notice the thought deficit. I wonder if I should tell you about the moment, under the glancing Scottish sunshine, when the red mare not only came to a perfect halt off my seat, with no rein at all, but then, from a very slight movement of my legs, took four delicate steps backwards. Backing without reins. Should I tell you that I burst into shouting laughter of joy, and whooped into the bright air, and then fell to laughing again, and flung myself on her neck and told her that she was the best and dearest and most clever and brilliant?
No, I think, don’t tell them that. Poor Dear Readers, they have enough to put up with. They have to hear about that horse every absurd day of the week. This is supposed to be for them, after all, a tiny divertissement in a hard week. Give them a nice photograph of a hill or something, because not everyone has a hill.
Then I read myself a small lecture on the perils of perfectionism, press publish, and give Stanley the Dog a biscuit. Because it is the least he deserves.
I went for a quick drive after HorseBack, a little loop to the north, and this is what I saw:
This one is called Queen’s View, because Queen Victoria loved it:
That is why I get a little hysterical about Scotland, and the blue hills, and the beauty. That is six miles from my front door. That is why I can never, ever get over my good fortune.
Posy Posington from yesterday morning:
And the amazing flying ear of Captain Handsome: