I am such a crap blogger. Driving around, I will have all these ideas but then when it comes to setting finger to keyboard I can’t be bothered. In my defence, I have a lot on what with studying and teaching (exam next week, essay to hand in the week after, research project to wrestle with all summer). My grandad died and, the week before that, my horse which was absolutely heartbreaking.

Grandad’s death was sad but he was 91 and he’d had enough several years ago; he died in hospital with two of his children by his side and his funeral was as cool as funerals can be. The service was in the parish church with my father, uncle, brothers and cousin walking along the lane behind the hearse. I read the lesson, from Ecclesiastes, and my voice only broke twice. Outside, the churchyard was full of lush green grass, bluebells and cow parsley, and grandad’s grave is in a top corner under the trees and surrounded by other Wrigglesworth headstones. My baby nephew slept all through the service despite leaping about a foot above his pram every time the organist hit the chords for the next hymn, and it was a riot watching all the cars parked down the lane trying to disentangle themselves and work out how to turn round in a road which is about one and a half cars wide.

The death of my Dales pony, Waterside Duke, was far more upsetting, as it came out of the blue – from first symptoms to death in less than 12 hours. He had colic, and it turned out to be displacement colic with his small intestine being flipped through 360 degrees and beyond repair. The only consolation to my sister and I is that the vet has assured us that there is nothing else we could have done, it was a totally random occurence, and we stayed with our beautiful boy until he was taken in for (unsuccessful) surgery. Duke was the best horse I have ever ridden, he was so empathic and such a confidence giver, and also happy to go anywhere and do anything I asked him. What makes it even harder is that I hadn’t ridden him much at all for the last few months as I was trying to give more time to my studies. I kept promising myself that once I’d finished, Duke and I could go riding on beach, do some Le Trec, or even just ride out regularly, but now we can’t. There are other horses I can ride, one of which is Duke’s full brother, but they aren’t anything like the same.

Ah well.

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