7 November 2009
“Where does the time go?” I said to my friend Sue. “It’s now been 32 days since I last blogged. Given it only takes 21 days to break a habit I’m scared I won’t be able to write a single sentence again.”
“Of course you will” Sue laughed. “It’s like riding a horse isn’t it? You just need to jump back in the saddle. When you start writing again it will feel like you've never been away”.
“Mmmm, possibly’, I said.
I didn’t think the time was right to remind her that the last time I was on a horse was when I was 11. My grandfather and father were great horsemen. Naturally they had hoped that some of the next generation would follow suit. I was clearly standing in the shallow end of the pool when the horse whispering gene was handed out. It didn’t come naturally and even at that age I thought the jodhpurs did nothing for my thighs and I couldn’t understand why my boots didn't have stiletto heels.
My horse was called Blackie. She was special. I thought she was the fastest thing on four legs. Apparently the truth was she was very old, very slow, very patient and very polite. After three years riding, I never progressed up the horse ladder. I thought Blackie and I had ‘simpatico’ because she had a bit of a shoe fetish too. However, our relationship was unexpectedly cut short.
As it would happen, Blackie proved to be too polite and her patience wore thin. She was so polite that one day she came to a fence, stopped and let me go over first. She ditched me. I looked up at her with my mouth agape and was sure I saw a sly, toothy grin. Of course, no-one would believe me when I said she had done it deliberately.
I’ve been wary of quiet types with bigger noses than mine ever since.
Sue’s conversations are always peppered with 'horse talk'. I kid you not. She once looked at a picture of me from years gone by with long wavy hair and said I looked like Sarah Jessica Parker. Then without drawing breath she went on to ask if I thought SJP looked like a horse. I didn’t take offence because I know that she loves horses even if she doesn't have a soft spot for SJP.
And like many Australians, the love of horses is no more apparent than at this very moment. You see horse racing season is in full swing here.
The closest I come to horses or race tracks now is when I turn on the TV to watch the biggest horse race in Oz, the annual Melbourne Cup. The Cup has a central place in the Australian sporting tradition and the whole country stops to watch the race. Millions are bet, won and lost.
I turned on the TV last Tuesday, with the obligatory champagne in hand and heard the presenter say, “...in between races he has to see a psychiatrist because he’s a real head case.”
Poor jockey I thought....until .......it became clear he was talking about a horse!
Imagine - horses being treated by psychiatrists. How does that work I wonder? Do you hire a zen cowboy with an extra large couch?
Like every big sporting event there is always an underlying scandal. Horse racing is supposed to be the sport of Kings but apparently, as I learnt this week, it’s also the sport of Chechen dictators. The horse that came third in this week’s Cup is owned by billionaire Ramzan Kadyrov. He was described by a young Russian journalist who was later murdered as the ''deranged'' and ''virtually brain-dead, lunatic warlord Putin tapped to rule Chechnya.''
Kadyrov's militia, the so-called Kadyrovtsy, are still notoriously brutal, kidnapping, torturing and killing innocent civilians by the hundreds. I expect the third place prize money will only allow Kadyrov to buy a gold plated revolver because after paying fees, his trainer and jockey that’s as far as the prize money will stretch. Strangely, the horses that beat Kadyrov’s beautiful horse Mourilyan, are called Shocking and Crime Scene…………….....it’s almost as if the horses 'knew'.
Perhaps an 'animal' psychiatrist should spend some quality time with one particular horse owner. This filly is glad he was beaten. Imagine what Kadyrov could have done with millions in prize money. I truly hope he is made to stay off 'our turf' in future.
Well it seems that I’m now back in the saddle. Maybe I have old Blackie to thank for a few things after all (besides his lucky shoe collection that is).
I am closing comments until I can get around to visiting everyone and catching up with comments on your blogs.
In my next post I want to tell you about the wonderful book I received from the US written by a fantastic blogger, Linda Lou, from Las Vegas. I could not put it down and have read it twice so far. It made me laugh, cry and it filled me with inspiration. I will tell you all about it and its beautiful, talented author soon. For anyone who is stuck, looking for inspiration, wanting to start over, having a crisis, questioning their internal fortitude DO NOT MISS IT!
Take Care everyone and it’s nice to be back in the saddle. I’ve been totally preoccupied following all your advice from a few posts ago – no outcome to report yet but I will reply to your emails (sorry!) and let you know....