Friday, 25 March 2016

The quick and the dead.

I lost a couple of days down the back of the sofa. There has been so much going on that there was no time for the blog. So sorry about that.

The great news is that the little brown mare is home. The red mare and the sweet Paint were so pleased to see her that they put on their own rodeo show to welcome her back. She is a little sore and diminished, in that post-operative way that you see in humans. She has an open wound the size of a hand on her leg, but the vets have done a grand job and she is healing well. I am feeding her back up to fighting strength and, even in the space of thirty-six hours, she already looks like a different horse. There really is no place like home.

I’ve been writing thousands of words for my new secret project. The regular Dear Readers will know I always have a secret project. This one is entirely speculative, and is occupying my mind whilst my agent deals with the manuscript for the official book. If I do not have a secret project then I fret and worry and imagine that something terrible will happen and I shall never be published again. I try to be strict about not worrying about things beyond my control. As you can tell, I am not always successful in this ambition.

The dear Stepfather has gone away for a holiday. I drove him to the airport yesterday and said a fond goodbye. Every day when my mother was alive, I would go to their house and cook them breakfast. We still continue the tradition without her, and I talk to him about politics, which we both love, and make him eggs, and do a little metaphorical tap dance to try to keep his spirits up. He is a very brave man, and we don’t say it out loud, but we still miss her sorely.

This morning, I went to the house to check on it and have a cup of coffee and collect his paper. As I was sitting in the suddenly very silent room, I felt a great yawning gulf of regret. The Stepfather will come back from his holiday, but then he will move down to the south, to be near to his family and his old friends. This room, where he and I and my mother ate breakfast, and watched the Derby and the Grand National and the Gold Cup, and had Christmas and Easter, will be truly empty then. It will no longer be mine, with my ghosts in it. There will be another tenant, and I shall drive past the door and not go in.

It’s been a good week, really. I’ve had to deal with a bit of stuff, but everybody has to deal with a bit of stuff, every week. I’ve got a lot done and seen my beloved horse come back to us. But I am a little haunted by that empty room. Just a little. 


  1. Golly, Tania - the changes in our lives never end, do they? The thought of your stepfather moving away has made me sad... your driving by and not going in. I, on the other hand, am anticipating a change. The house next door to ours has just been refurbished and someone - who? - will be moving in and living cheek by jowl with us for who knows how many years to come. Will they be friendly? Obnoxious? Quiet? Reclusive? Will they have children and dogs, or be solitary cat people like ourselves? The anticipation is something that is simultaneously exciting and stressful. Like all change...

    Thinking of you.

  2. I am so glad the brown mare is home safely. It must be such a relief for you. I think you are very brave to be so stoical about your stepfather moving South. Hope you have a wonderful Easter, Rachel

  3. So glad to hear your sweet little brown mare is home safe. Mine is recovering from a nasty cough, & is feeling much better thanks to copious amounts of vitamin c & honey that thanks to Mr Schiller's marvellous damn plan she politely allows me to feed to her 3 syringes full at a time. Much to the amazement of the fellow grazers who all think it's impossible to give any horse any sort of drench without an assistant to do the hanging on & the keeping still & the head down. They are really quite astonished to watch Storm give me her nose, open her mouth, happily suck on her syringe then stand untied while I refill.
    Much love to your little mare for a full & quick recovery xx

  4. So pleased your little brown mare is home where she belongs.
    And I am sorry your darling stepfather is moving away. I felt quite teary reading it… Will be thinking of you and know you will make a new morning routine. xxx

  5. I have re-read this post quite often as it absolutely resonates with me. However I have not - yet - commented for fear of being what I call a "dumper. My definition of said person is somebody who professes to be sympathethic, then manages to turn the whole thing around to be about them. You have my absolute sympathy. My mother's house is for sale to pay her care home extortionate fees. While,for financial reasons, it will be a relief to sell it, I still enjoy going there. Memories are strong. However I keep telling myself that we keep them with us. Helen


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin