Thursday, 31 December 2015

This year

I'm not sure about this year. There were highs and lows, as in every year, but the end of this year has clouded the first part for me. My goodbye to Fletch has been the hardest part emotionally. Well, if it's only a horse that has let you down, I hear you say - then count yourself very lucky indeed.

Yes he was only a horse. He was also my challenge, my reason to work (once the bills have been paid of course), he was my inspiration and a need. I feel very lost without him, bereft and lacking in purpose - but I couldn't take the risk any more, being thrown off a little too often than was safe.

We travelled a lot - discovered spring meadows in Greece, raved till sunrise in Ibiza, trekked with donkeys in Romania and visited good friends in Mallorca. Extremely lucky and proud to have shown our children foreign lands - apart from Ibiza of course, they can do that when they are 18, and I don't want to know. He and I worked hard and developed our careers, mine fulfilling me greatly - his not so.

My main memories of 2015 will be of fixing things. The house was repaired, damp penetrating every part, the cars were maintained, the cooker an ongoing 8-week nightmare, the boiler busting, the computers crashing and a royal blue carpet finally replaced. The house looks nice.

So what for 2016?

I really do not know. A new job for him could take us anywhere. A horse of my own? A writing career?

Certainly I hope to open up the world a little wider for the children. And drink more water.

Happy New Year all, may 2016 be a healthy and generous one.

Daffodils in December

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Fragile life

"I'll take the front end if you like, OK, one...two...three..."

We heaved the lifeless beauty to the side of the road, me and a man with a mohican. I looked at her eye, now gone, and touched her warm body - inwardly thanking her for making the world a more beautiful place.

In a moment, a second, a wrong decision - the young deer died crossing the road. In a moment, if life had been 3 seconds slower, the woman wouldn't have smashed her Mercedes. She stood in shock at the side of the road, shaking and near tears - her own life saved, a car and a deer gone. In a second.

I think all three of us took time to contemplate the fragilty of life this morning, waiting for the police on Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Nearly there

I'm holding it together, raising a smile now and then. We went for the complete Christmas-dinner-in-a-packet from Marks and Spencer and the experience was OK, not too hectic and just the right amount for the six of us.

The packet chocolate log is purchased, the packet mince pies abound, there are kindling and logs even though it is 14C outside and presents all wrapped. The tree is slightly mental, adorned with an increasing number of decorations. The kids are happy, even though the tooth fairy hasn't come for 2 nights in a row....I guess the fairies are busy helping Santa's elves?

I'm just not keen on the excess. The gross excess when the world around us is falling apart. And every year I say I won't fall into the trap of buying a huge amount of stuff, and every year I do - pressured into being perfect.

I feel it's like not being able to see straight for a month, it's the hugest hurdle to end the year, the last fence to be cleared and finally the finishing post is in view. Ready to start again as 2016 promises new beginnings.

Merry Christmas to you all, wishing you peace and light. And ponies.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dear Fletch

Dear Fletch,

Yesterday was the last day I will ride you, being unceremoniously dumped for the sixth time this year was that one fall too many. I feel we have to end it now before one of us gets hurt, that one-of-us is probably me.

This is such a difficult letter to write as we have had so many wonderful times together over the last three years. You have taught me so much, how to ride, how to face my fears, how to be disciplined and how to never give up -  although now I do have to give you up and its breaking my heart.

I don't know why you do those massive leaps and bucks. I don't know what monsters you see in the bushes everyday, I don't know why a small cross pole still excites you to the point of being uncontrollable. I do know that when you behave, you are amazing, taking me higher than I ever dreamed I could.

Maybe you just don't want to be ridden any more. Maybe you want to be free of a rider on your back, I understand that. Maybe you want to graze the fields in your later years. Maybe you are bored of working. You are trying to tell me something and this time I am listening.

I love you very much Fletch, my eyes are swollen and puffy having to end it this way. Your beautiful chestnut body leaps out of walls as photographs show how good we were together. Rosettes prove our prowess.  I hope you make somebody as happy as you made me.

You will always have a place in my heart, you very special horse.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Shall I?

"Getting ready for Christmas?" the nice hairdresser lady asked.

"Yup, nearly done," I replied "Just the food now." And moaned about all that cooking.

The hairdresser looked around to make sure no one was listening and almost whispered:

"We get ours from Marks and Spencer, the whole lot, roast potatoes, gravy and everything - you order it on line, pick it up and bung it in the oven - easy!"

"But I don't tell many people because it's embarrassing!" she continued.

We talked about how much easier it was for her mum, and how she wished her mum had got a Marks and Spencer dinner years ago so she could have spent the day with the children and not in the kitchen.

So yes, I am going to do it. A packet Christmas dinner for us this year.