Eau de Dobbin and equine essences . . .

HorseSorry, been absent for a while.  Life's been giddy, just managed to keep the nostrils above water.  Spent most of last week travelling to and from Bath, delivering or collecting daughter from a famous Stud.  Now, to say her education (and mine) have been expanded is rather understating the situation.  I've learned that the pungent pong of horses (however blue-blooded they may be) is absorbed as though by osmosis.  You're not old enough to know what daughter was studying . . . thank heavens I didn't get further than the yard, the lab would have been a step too far!  I'd better tell you about Immortalised! 

Day One – Easter Monday – started with Reveille at 6.30am.  Perhaps this ritual should be renamed 'waking the dead'.  Teenagers and the Dawn don't mix unless returning from a night out.  We had to be on our way by 7am to arrive in time for daughter to accompany the vet on her (yes!) rounds.  We arrived dead on 8am, having thundered down the M5/M4.  Mentally lose the will to live as husband suggests he'll work out a cross country route!  Lordie, lordie last time he did this was, funnily enough, was on the way to Bath some years ago. 

With his expert 'local knowledge' he turned off the main A46 to avoid traffic and slice miles off our journey. This was before the arrival of children so I was unpracticed in the art of deep breathing 'as in labour' which skill I have often called upon in times of severe mental challenge.  However, I had the All England pennant for my excellent huffing and puffing (sad, I know!) and by the time the 'A road' had metamorphosed through 'B', unclassified and settled into 'dirt track' I was in severe danger of hyperventilation, stress levels increasing as I realised there was no paper bag in which to breathe to 'bring myself down', as seen on telly.  As we finally stopped as the road ran out, the intrepid explorer decided to consult the map whilst still not admitting we were on the short cut that wasn't.  Fact is, he'd turned off 10 MILES too early.  And we'd managed to become lodged between hedges without the aid of SatNav!  Enough, the memory is too painful!

I digress – obviously still carrying emotional baggage on that one – where was I?  Oh yes, Monday.  Truth is, it was good to be up and out early as so much was packed into the day.  Stopped off at Monster trucks Nailsworth on the way home.  Lovely quirky shops.  Nobody around.  Not surprising, place was  deserted.  Shops shut.  Hey, there's Sunday trading now you lot.  Moved on to the garden centre for brunch, then went to Cheltenham to look at cars.  Rushed home, collected son for monster truck fest at Cirencester.  That was TERRIFIC.  OK, I admit it was ME who wanted to go.  My excitement rocketed to a crescendo.  Son looked worried.  Seriously think he was considering telling folk I was on a day pass from The Institution.  He did say I was acting in an embarrassing manner as I sought a better and better view.  (Note to self:  Work needed on behaviour in crowded areas.  Must realise there are others watching and suppress urge to elbow all in my path.)  

Collected daughter.  Equine essence battered my nostrils as she sat in the car.  Just couldn't believe how badly she stunk – yes, stunk - of horses.  Manure Suddenly, the faithful Renault became a parody of Red Rum's box after a heavy night.  Glad we weren't stopping anywhere as we'd be viewed with extreme suspicion.  Wondered if the smell would migrate to moi.  I don't 'do' horses unless they're grazing leisurely in a sun drenched meadow.  I'm a bit scared of them but they're usually so gentle.  Except Immortalised, that is.  We return home and daughter goes straight into the bath.  I was all for hosing her down in the yard and setting up a fragrant sheep dig arrangement by the back door.  Was outvoted.  By her own admission, Eau de Dobbin hung in her hair even after vigorous washing of same.  Never again will I underestimate the importance of the washing machine.  

That's probably more than enough for today.  Will deal with Immortalised tomorrow.  Am beginning to wonder if I need regression therapy after the week I've had . . . 

PS - My extreme huffing and puffing ability developed at a young age.  Piano lessons with Miss Jones were the catalyst.  Everyone did it.  It's was a group activity carried out individually.  Miss Jones would request a scale and the 'breathing' began.  Looking back at this with an adult mind, my heart bleeds for the poor woman, a small spidery thing with a brown pudding basin haircut.  One day, after a particularly 'puffy' session, the longsuffering Miss Jones asked "Oh my dear, are you out of breath".  That stopped me in my 7-year old tracks.  And I've never forgotten it.  This took place at boarding school where poor Miss Jones nearly suffered serious injury.  Enacting something (I forget what), I was charging down the corridor with one of the old fashioned mops stretched in front of me, lance style.  Miss Jones unwittingly stepped into my path and was inches from being impaled.  Her sensible brown buttoned up jacket saved her.  Sad to say, she was the breathless one on that occasion.  No, I'm not proud of myself.  But it was every man for himself in that environment.  I feel a book coming on.   

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