When the Lights Went Out.

It was at 5.55pm on Friday, 26th November that the lights went out.  The lamps had been flickering for a while before that. Stanley the Manly, my rescue lurcher, had been restless, as if he could feel the crackle in the air. I was oddly sanguine. I thought perhaps a few branches were flying throughContinue reading “When the Lights Went Out.”

28th April, 2021. All the Emotions.

One of the things I have been working on over the last two or three years is understanding and managing and exploring emotions. I started off having to do this in order to be an acceptable human for my red mare. It was a fairly basic equation: if you don’t get your own head straight,Continue reading “28th April, 2021. All the Emotions.”

21st April, 2021. All the Deaths.

I remember, early on in the pandemic, as the fatal numbers climbed, thinking of all the deaths. There were times when my own daily life was pretty much all right: I could get out in the open air, I could see my mares, I could do my work. But I could never become one ofContinue reading “21st April, 2021. All the Deaths.”

15th January, 2021. Give it to the Page.

The sun is shining after days of dreich. A young friend rings up. She is twelve. She has been asked to write a critical essay on Little Red Riding Hood and she doesn’t understand it and she doesn’t know where to start and she would like me to help her. I’ve been offering any tutoringContinue reading “15th January, 2021. Give it to the Page.”

5th January, 2021. Birdsong.

It is just before eight in the morning and two little birds are singing outside my window. One has a high, light, staccato beat, a kind of tik-tik-tik. One is singing lower and longer, a bass note by comparison. They sing in harmonious unison for a while; sometimes together, sometimes as a call and response. Continue reading “5th January, 2021. Birdsong.”

4th January, 2021. Midnight and Bridget.

I got a little bamboozled over the weekend. The whole point of this new diary – and this new year and this new resolution – was that it would not be predicated on the lockdown. It would not be doom and gloom and pandemic and we are all going to die. It was going toContinue reading “4th January, 2021. Midnight and Bridget.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Seventy-Four.

I spent the weekend in tears. It was not because of Christmas being cancelled and poor old Blighty being cut off from mainland Europe and all the lorries in Kent. That had not started when the weeping began. It was because of a horse, some dancing humans, a very old captain and a very youngContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Seventy-Four.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Nine.

The sun comes out and shines down on Scotland as if it has never been away. My two morning clients cancel, so instead of staring into the Zoom I go down to the field. All the mares are in a trance of profound pleasure as they feel the warmth on their backs for the firstContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Nine.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven.

There’s a strange tension in the air as people don’t know whether to be more unsettled by the pandemic or by Brexit. Brexit got pushed to the back of the room for a while, because the coronavirus was a global threat and leaving Europe felt rather parochial by comparison. We would muddle through, because weContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven.”