On the wireless, doomy voices predict a thundersnow apocalypse. In the quiet Scottish field there is a bit of wind and a flurry of blizzard and then the weather gives up, as if it can’t be bothered. The horses, stoical to the last, hunker down under their favourite weather tree and look slightly askance when we tell them it is time for breakfast. Eventually, they mosey on over, as if conferring a great favour.
I have a small helper with me. She thinks the horses are perfectly splendid. ‘Can I stroke her? Oh, she is soft. She is furry. She is dirty.’ (The little brown mare had been having a roll and the top part of her neck that was peeking out of the rug was covered in mud.) ‘She is hungry. She likes that food. Can I stroke her again?’
The mares are obviously highly trained, so I trust them around small people, but really it is more their good heartedness than my dedicated schooling that digs the trust deep. The red mare in particular is an absolute goof for children. She goes very still and blinks her eyes at them and exudes peace and pleasure.
So, despite the bitter wind, the day got off to a roaring start. I went back to my desk and got things done. I even tidied up the house a bit, which made me wonder whether I have been kidnapped by space aliens and replaced by a pod. I usually allow what I euphemistically call an artistic muddle to develop. (I am a creative; I have no time for bourgeois pursuits like dusting. This is my story and I am sticking to it.) Rather inspired by the order, I did serious productive work for the first time in three days. Lately, I’ve been spinning my wheels, staring at the screen and pretending to do something useful while my brain feels as if someone has thrown a sack over it. Today, I was able to see the words properly and do something with them.
Out in the world, Donald Trump grows more and more inexplicable. On grave news programmes, august security experts come on and talk about whether or not he went to bed with twenty prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. They speak of this with as much thoughtful gravity as if they were discussing The Four Last Things. I suspect he did not and that this story is throwing sand in the eyes. The real story is about the money, not the sex, and the money is much, much more shocking.