Monday, September 26, 2011

Flogging A Dead horse

There's a rule at the stable I ride at - if you want to queue-jump the livery waiting list you've got to allow your horse to be used in lessons.
"How many lessons?" I asked.
"Two lessons, three times a week. He'll be used for beginners - he's such a good horse..."
6 lessons with 6 beginners - pulling his mouth and and kicking his sides and sitting like bags of potatoes...
"I'll think about it," I said.
I started to make out a list: Those who wish to ride my horse:
a. will not jump him
b. no whips or spurs
3. must weigh less than 60kg
Then I thought of Black Beauty - valiant and noble and good. And treated so harshy by insensitive jockeys towards the end of his life.
I went back to the stables. I said: 'I'm sorry. The answer is No. "

Saturday, September 24, 2011


When Nick's sister started at convent grammar school thirty five years ago her parents were given the most incredibly useful advice from the Mother Superior- START BUYING A BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER AND ENCOURAGE YOUR DAUGHTER TO READ IT.
Not just for the Home and World News. Or the reviews of theatre and books. Not just for Business and Travel, Science, Technology and Nature.
But for the extensive, fantastic vocabulary...
Today Maud and I read together a World News story about Israeli diplomats airlifted out of Cairo after protests outside their embassy escalated into violence:
We struggled with 'diplomatic abyss', 'speaking on condition of anonymity', 'besieged building' and 'international obligations'. Then Maud remarked: "It's going to take me at least a week to read one newspaper, Mummy."