I’ve slipped back into pure nostalgia today.
My brother visited last week and asked if I had any pictures of dad – he passed away in 2007, dad, not my brother, obviously. I scurried around a bit in the drawer under the bed, fighting cobwebs, as you do, and found an old tin that I’d brought away from the family home, when dad passed away, with a very random selection of old prints. No one has pictures printed any more, do they? Don’t we keep everything on hard drives, pen drives and such like? Anyway …
We sorted through them, ahhing, whooing and remembering the people and places that we, at the time, simply took for granted. They would always be there, wouldn’t they? These people. These places? A fault of the young, I fear, thinking that things will continue.
My brother started to laugh. ‘God, I remember this foal …it was a killer!’
I took the photograph from him and my eyes fell on a very different period of my life. The time when I was married to my vet, and the time shortly thereafter – when I wasn’t married to my vet!
At the time my son was eighteen months old and I decided it would be nice to buy him a pony. Long story short, I found this little two-year old filly at a horse auction and had to buy her. She was a skinny little thing, only held together by skin to be honest but that wasn’t a problem, I had the technology to ‘get her right.’ She needed me and what could be better than her going to a loving home with a qualified riding instructress (me) and a vet (he)? Perfect. And by the time she had filled out, and grown, my son would be old enough to ride her – albeit on the lead-rein.
Four weeks after her arrival and with her still looking like she was wearing a coat that was six sizes too big, unannounced and unexpected, she raised her tail and dropped a foal. – The ‘killer’ that my brother mentioned. How in God’s name had she managed to keep that a secret from me and from ‘a vet?’
The foal was alive but hopelessly weak. For twenty-four hours we struggled to get it on its feet. If it had been born on the moors it would have died. It took three days before it could stand and suckle, without help, but after that point it bloomed – and so did the filly, so much so that she was unrecognisable as the poor bag-of-bones that I’d brought home. The colt went from strength to strength growing in stature and self-importance. It would run at me, for fun, and bite me in the chest. It needed gelding but it only had one testicle descended and so the ‘op’ was put on hold. Eventually the offended testicle dropped and we castrated him with slight smiles and great relief.
He was still a stroppy little bugger and no son of mine was going anywhere near a creature like that, so a home (knowledgeable) was found for him and off he trotted, snapping and snarling. I think my son, although very small, was no idiot and preferred the ‘A Team’ figures to a real live pony and so the mare went to a loving new home too.
After the divorce I toddled off and bought and sold horses for a time. My brother had another little snigger and shoved several pictures of me astride a couple of the equine beasties.
As I say – we never realise at the time that these are the days of our lives and looking back now they were – days of my life – days that have led me here …and now.
I can’t ride these critters any more, too many disc-aches, all down to wear and tear, no doubt, but I still have the memories.
To be honest I’m not a great got-to-have-lots-of-photos-and-memorabilia, type of person, to remember things. I keep my memories in my heart. They are safe there. No one can destroy them and I’ll never lose them…
Also, I don’t have to physically see my thighs in an old photo, slim-ish and toned, squeezed into jodhpurs and realise that I’d need a sodding shoehorn and the wind in the right direction to get them on now!
Yep, some memories are best kept in the mind or in a tin under the bed.
Take care my lovelies x