Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Up and down and round the houses.

The last couple of days have been rather fraught and horrid. My sweet brown mare is not well and I’ve been stumping down to the field to meet with the vet and putting my brave, game face on. No point in worrying about things you can’t control, I tell myself; no point in fretting about things which have not yet happened.
            Yesterday’s frets were compounded by mean, raw, bitter weather, so that the cold seeped into my bones and I never got warm. It did not help that I had started a new healthy eating jag. Green drink with turmeric is all very well, but not that comforting when the chill is biting into your very soul.
            I had one fine moment when I watched a lovely, strong, bright horse and his very collected amateur rider win a race at Plumpton which is run in honour of my late father. I still miss my dad, but I think of him now with more pleasure than pain, and like to be reminded of him and all the horses and jockeys he loved, all the races he won, all the courses he adored. (He was very fond of Plumpton.)
            In the evening, just as I was settling down and thinking tomorrow is another day, a vast flash of violent light lit up the sky and there was a great crack, as if a tropical thunderstorm was about to shatter over a West Indian island. That’s all we need, I thought. That was not forecast on the BBC weather, I thought. Then blackness descended again and there was nothing more.
            Nobody seems to know what it was, although there is speculation it might have been a meteor crashing into the earth’s atmosphere.
            This morning, I was still unable to shrug off the emotional stretch of the last few days. It was an ugly, dour, dull morning and I had shit to shovel and everyone was covered in mud. This day, I thought crossly, is going to have a great big line through it. I’ll just have to get through it and wait until tomorrow comes.
            But then the hard physical work got my body going, and the red mare was at her crest and peak of sweetness, and I spoke to the Beloved Cousin and bellowed HAPPY BIRTHDAY at her several times down the mobile telephone on account of it being her birthday and then we had a lovely time discussing the shenanigans of the Europe referendum and mining all the political gossip and making a quick detour into the perfectly puzzling developments on The Archers. By the time I got to my dear stepfather’s house and made him his eggs for breakfast, the day had somehow redeemed itself.
            I went to my desk and wrote 1391 words. Which is not nothing.
The dogs are sleeping beside me. The puppy is making little snuffling and sighing noises in his sleep. The sun, which was not expected, has come out, just to show it can.
            I’m going to go on with the green drink and the edamame beans, but I’m also planning to have a crumpet for my tea. I love a crumpet. I’m reading a really interesting book about the 1953 expedition to Everest, because, for no known reason, at the age of forty-nine I have suddenly developed an interest in mountain climbing, a subject about which I knew nothing and cared less until three weeks ago. Now I can tell you all about George Mallory and Sandy Irvine and Edmund Hillary and Bonnington and his boys. I know my South Col from my Khumbu icefall. I don’t know how this came about, but I like having something new to be fascinated by.

            I may lose that little horse. She’s got to have an operation which is pretty high risk. I stare beadily at that horrid fact. But in the meantime, the sun is shining and we are all buggering on. 


  1. If you'd like to borrow a stack of books to keep your mind on ice flows and Everest adventures then let me know. I have many of them here. Shall keep all fingers and toes crossed for the mare until notified otherwise.

  2. The best book I have read for longer than I can remember is Wade Davis' Into the Silence which deals with the post WWI attempts on Everest and ends with Mallory & Irvine. It is quite simply a masterpiece. When they started trying to climb it they didn't even know how to get on to it and it took two years to work it out. I couldn't recommend it more highly. As for the Brown Mare - Julian of Norwich is all I'm going to say.

  3. So, so sorry about your horse. Sending all luck and good thoughts, Rachel

  4. Oh what scary news. Please keep us posted about your sweet mare and her circumstances. You have lots of prayers coming your way for her. I hope she comes out well from all of this.


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