Tuesday, 21 July 2015

In which a thought is lost.

I had such a profound thought when I was riding the red mare this morning that I practically fell off with delight. Oh, I thought, there is something lovely for the Dear Readers. The poor things, they have to put up with such a lot of nonsense and finally I have something for them which is both beautiful and useful. I practically am William Morris.

I raced home, and dutifully did my professional work first. There is a lot to do and I’m bashing on at a rate of knots and a rather terrifying amount is riding on the thing.

The work was good. I did good work yesterday too. This is a vast relief, since I spent all last week doing perfectly rotten work, spinning my wheels and feeling like a feckless failure. But this week I am back in the zone and I have hope in my heart.

It also went fast. There are days when it is worth spending hours and there are days when you must know when to stop. Sometimes, with writing as with horsing, you should stop on a good note.

Ah, I thought. Now I can get to the blog. I can write the Profound Thought, and all manner of things will be well.

I pulled up the new screen and sat, eagerly, with my fingers poised joyfully over the keyboard.

I opened the cupboard of doom that is my brain.


I mean, seriously, not one thing.

I scrabbled about for a bit, in the exact same way that I scrabble in my literal cupboards of doom.

Nope. Not there.

A vague, flickering thought started to rise to the surface. It was something to do with happiness, and beauty, and the small things (you know by now that pretty much everything with me is about the small things). It was about noticing. I stretched out for it, and, with a blue kingfisher flash, it was gone.

Oh bugger, I thought. The poor Dear Readers. How will I break it to them?

I am a shocking loser of things. I lose my car keys, my wallet, my MOT certificate, my National Insurance Number, my raison d’être. I have a horrible suspicion that the wise old shrinks would say this is a grave reflection on the cracks in my psyche. Every day, I tell myself: now, here is the special place where you must always put your keys. That way, I say, in my stern, grown-up voice, you will always know where to find them. You will not have to waste fifteen minutes each morning, retracing your steps and scrubbling through pockets filled with wisps of hay and rolled up coils of binder twine and crumbly dog treats. You will not have to curse like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

Am I capable of putting those keys in their special place so they are always to hand? No, I am not.

It seems I am also a loser of Profound Thoughts. This is a slight pity, because thoughts are my business.

Someone I love once told me a ravishing story. He had the great good fortune to spend some time with the Dalai Lama. Apparently, the Dalai Lama is followed wherever he goes by two smiling scribes, who write down every word he says, so all the Lama wisdom and goodness may be preserved for posterity. According to my Best Beloved, the Dalai Lama made a slightly naughty joke. It was very funny, but it was not filled with wisdom and was not exactly a thought for the ages. The scribes looked up, a little nervous and doubtful, their pens hovering over the page. The Dalai Lama roared with laughter and waved his hand and said, in his lilting voice, ‘Write it down, write it down.’

I quite often hear this voice in my head. Write it down, write it down. I need scribes. I imagine two dutiful recorders, panting after the mare and me as we canter round the green Scottish fields. WRITE IT DOWN, WRITE IT DOWN, I shall yell, as the mare executes her perfect, dowager duchess self-carriage whilst I wave my arms in the air like a loon.

I wonder if there are any nice young people who might like a summer job?


Today’s pictures:

I have not been able to put up sunny pictures for such a long time, because there has been no sun. But today, at last, I could give you this, one of my favourite sights in the world:

21 July 1 4357x2517

And this, after she did her perfect canter:

21 July 7 3769x2902

I was so carried away with the horse that I forgot to take any actual pictures of actual Scotland, so here are a few from the last couple of weeks:

21 July 1 3881x2790

21 July 2 5184x3456

21 July 3 5184x3456

21 July 4 5184x3456

21 July 5 5184x3456

21 July 6 5184x3456

21 July 9 5184x3000

21 July 10 3388x3943


  1. Do I see your beloved in one of the photos? The man, not the horse.
    xx's for you have made me, once again, smile.

  2. Beautiful photos. I am sitting here trying very hard to recall the profound thoughts that popped into my head this morning. And they have gone… somewhere else. I'm so pleased (sorry) that even you find yourself facing a blank screen. Thank you!

  3. Ha! Such a perfect description of how things go poof!

    Love the image of the two panting recorders running after you while trying to scribe. If you'd remembered your profound thought, we would have missed out on all this.

    And, as Voltaire has said, life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats...or on the backs of horses, no doubt.


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