Thursday, 31 December 2015
Thursday, 24 December 2015
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
I miss my mother a lot. I'm finding the first Christmas without her hard. I know that many of you know exactly what this is like.
There was a very sweet moment on Tuesday when I took the presents up for my extended family - two grown-ups and four small children and one old friend who has been a part of our family for twenty years. The sun was shining and when I got there the oldest of the children was making gingerbread Christmas trees. For a moment, everything was better.
I even took a photograph of the package -
Link to the Facebook page is here:
Friday, 18 December 2015
Rode, made breakfast for the dear Stepfather, wrote 3,447 words, watched a couple of lovely races at Ascot, adored the dogs, adored the horses, made a few plans. Laughed and laughed, right from the belly, for the first time in a long time.
It wasn’t that kind of sad laughter that you do after a loss, where all humour has a tinge of melancholy to it. It was pure, proper guffawing.
I was sitting on the red mare at the time, and I found the thing so funny that I actually fell on her neck, unable to sit up straight. (She was practising for the Standing Still Olympics at the time and did not move a muscle, despite the rocking and rolling human on her back. She is such a shoo-in for Rio I would put your shirt on her.)
It was something that the friend who shares my paddock said. It does not bear translation, so I won’t try to explain it. It was an in-joke about my sweet, funny mare, and nothing really tickles me more. She makes me laugh just being her own, dear self; when the brilliant human observation was added the whole thing was irresistible.
The way always to make my father laugh the most was to tease him about some idiosyncrasy of his own. The more people told him stories about his own absurdities and catastrophes, the more he would laugh. His shoulders would hop up and down and he would gasp oh oh oh and he would start crying with mirth, so he had to take his specs off and mop his eyes. There was a story about a brown shoe in a shop in Wantage which his old friend Bill Payne used to recount, and, no matter how many times he told it, it made my father helpless with laughter.
I inherited this from him. If you want me to weep with laughter, tell me about my own idiocies. (I can sometimes make myself laugh by telling some of them to myself.) Now I discover that my second funniest thing is a little tease of my mare. Even funnier was that as we shrieked and whooped about her own ridiculous quirk, she stood blinking at us, maintaining her dignity with as much aplomb as if she were an empress on a royal progress.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Monday, 14 December 2015
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
So sorry there has been no blog for a few days. I have been seized with sadness and did not have the heart to burden you with it. It is a song that many of you have sung yourselves; you know the words.
These two very beautiful, very clever and very kind people have been keeping me going: