1. 5066 words today. This is why the Good Stuff is going to be very pithy indeed. I’ve used up all my words. I have no words left. You shouldn’t really do five thousand words in a day. I think it buggers up your neuronal pathways. My brain is fizzing and snapping as if all the electrical circuits are shorting. But I’ve got to get this bloody book done and I’m motoring now.
2. It took me an hour to get the mares all settled for the night with their hay and their feed. This sounds like a bad thing, but in fact I choose it as a good thing. Even though I was stomping through the melting snow, which is still a foot high and almost impossible to walk in, making my middle-aged oofing noises, I suddenly felt that I was doing a proper job. This was some clean, tough physical labour. I’ve always admired people who work the land or work with their hands. I could pretend I was one of those people. It felt much more serious than sitting at a poncy desk writing poncy words. I liked that it was hard. I did a good job, for creatures that I love more than life.
3. I got my windscreen wipers fixed. This is huge. It’s the kind of errand I loathe and I was convinced there would be sucking of teeth and talk of getting parts from Aberdeen. Instead the lovely garage man laughed at my jokes, summoned James the Mechanic, and got the thing fixed on the spot. James had many special implements, mostly wrenches. I watched him in keen admiration, as if he were playing Bach or speaking fluent Russian. He knew precisely what was wrong with those damn wipers and which wrench to use. I loved him for that. ‘James,’ I said, slightly breathless. ‘You are an amazing man.’ And then they wouldn’t let me give them any money. That’s about four good things in one.
PS. The photograph is from Sunday, when the red mare went for a special snow walk with her friend Ellie. That was Good Stuff, turned up to eleven.