christmas came early

Epic days these days usually have a substantial barn component; today was barnier than most. Erin was giving us a dressage lesson and Toni rode past to report that whoever was supposed to ride Bella hadn’t turned up, and that Bella would need to be ridden.

“I’ll ride her,” I said cheerfully. Toni and Erin looked at each other, and Toni said: “Okay. This can be your Christmas present.”

So I had an hour on Scottie, keeping my hands still and soft, trying to get him to work off my leg; achieving with satisfaction two good canter transitions where I squeezed him with my calves and felt his hind legs stepping forward – outside/inside – into the gait. Then I got off and saddled Bella and got back on and had an hour on her; a brief school in the indoor arena, and then a long walk around the Stanford Linear Accelerator with Erin, who was riding The Flying Dutchman. We walked above 280 for a bit and revelled in the knowledge that at least some of the people driving past us wished they could be us.

So I wanted Bella for Christmas, and I got her.

On the drive home I had a good idea for a YA novel.

As 280 swung down to San Jose I saw this fire starting – first the old cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, which could have been no more than shadowy slip of fog, but by the time I got to Randall Street a thick black mushroom of ill omen. I am glad all the people got out, and I am very sorry about the cat.

Then we picked up Rowan and drove to Heather’s house, where we decorated and ate approximately one million cookies, and the children were reasonably charming, and we met a man who had grown up in Ryde in Sydney and who is flying out on the same flight as us on Wednesday, and we started listing people we might know in common and his first one was Rachel Moerman. So I laughed and said: “Have you met her boyfriend?” “Who, Big?” “Yep. Notice the family resemblance?” “Oh!”

Now there are eggs baking for dinner.

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