The Magic Of Books

I have just finished reading a book.

It was a very good book. There was magic and intrigue, mystery and murder, romance, betrayal and wonder. It was an all round adventure and I loved it.

The only issue I have is that none of it is real. I get so caught up in the lives these books hold; I want nothing more than to fall through the pages and find myself in the midst of it. Finishing a book like that leaves me cold.

More than anything, I want an adventure like that. Minus the betrayal and murder perhaps!

I know that part of the charm of such books is that, because they are not real one can allow oneself to be utterly swept away by it all. In reality, it is likely we would all exercise more caution and less haste in embarking on such journeys.

But still my heart yearns for it.

God damn these authors and their ability to create a world of words so beguiling I long to be a part of it. And bless them for their gifts because I love the way they can paint these pictures in my head.

Even if it breaks my heart that they are pure fiction.

Love

I am in awe!

This evening I chose to sit and watch the One Love Manchester concert. The events of that night have reverberated around the country and broken hearts across the world. Along with people everywhere, I was shocked to read the news the following morning, to discover what tragedy and loss had hit the city of Manchester out of nowhere. It was harrowing and scary and soul destroying.

As the media continued to share details with us about the identities of those people who’s lives were cut short, I watched with growing anger at the senseless actions that caused such suffering. I was furious that one person could cause so much devastation in one short moment. I felt enraged that there are people in the world who wish to behave like that, who feel that they are justified in those actions. It incensed me.

My faith in humanity is not known for being very high, but in the days following the attack on Manchester, it was at an all time low. I was struggling to make sense of it, as so many people were and still are. Because it doesn’t make sense at all. And then this morning my phone pinged at me with more terror news from London. More mindless violence, killing innocent people. It can be hard to accept that this is the world we live in, to feel that the ugliness is taking over.

But tonight, I am amazed. Watching this concert, seeing the love and the solidarity and the passion for life that has brought people together to commemorate and honour those lost and injured, has blown me away. When we are cruel, we are a scourge on this earth. But when we are kind, when we have compassion, when we love, oh we are magnificent.

Every artist performing was sharing messages of love and unification. There were smiles coming through tears and choked words as some people struggled to contain their emotions. But every single one of them was fighting hate with love. How incredible are we, to be able to do that?! To take something tragically painful and turn it into an outpouring of pure sweet love for all.

The strength of it. It’s just amazing.

That is all. I simply wished to share my feeling of total and utter awe and admiration for the way the people of Manchester and indeed the rest of the country are somehow managing to create magic.

Beautiful.

It Can’t Just Be Me?!

In fact, I know it isn’t!

How do I know that it isn’t just me? Because I have had this conversation with people before, although I was on the other end of it. So I know that other people do understand what I’m about to say.

Ever feel like you just need to cry? You know, when you get a strange little bubble just sitting there, blocking you somehow and waiting to pop at an inappropriate moment. Sometimes it can last weeks, months, years. Other times it only sticks around for a couple of hours until “pop” everything comes spilling out. My current bubble has been sitting here for a while. Around the two week mark at the moment, give or take.

I don’t know why. I don’t know where it came from. There are so many little things that build up to create a bubble like that. And it only takes one of the tiniest things to pop it. I hate that. Because it means that I never know when it’s going to make a mess of my day! Fortunately, because I only work with one other person, if I were to burst into tears for seemingly no reason whatsoever, I wouldn’t be too mortified by it. Laura would most likely stick the kettle on and make me cuddle Frank for a bit.

Have you ever wanted the bubble to pop though? Like picking a scab or scratching a mosquito bite, you know you probably shouldn’t but at the same time, you really want to. Because sometimes it feels good to take a bit of control over your emotional state. “I’m crying because I want to okay?!” And it can be cathartic too can’t it? Sometimes, letting yourself have a good old boo is the only way to release a whole host of negative emotions that you didn’t even know you had built up. I remember having acupuncture from my grandmother and on several occasions, bursting into sudden tears without even knowing I was going to. When she asked me what was wrong, I didn’t have an answer, only that it felt good to let it out.

I feel like I kind of need that at the moment. Nothing bad is happening in my life so it might seem like I have no reason to cry. And that is very true, I don’t really. Which means actually letting go of stuff is made all the more difficult because I can’t even find something sad to dwell on to make myself cry and pop that wretched bubble with. I’m worried it’ll come out for a weird reason, seeing as I have no bad reasons. Something like, running out of milk or a horse giving me a well-timed snuggle or Daisy making a cute noise. Oh lordy.

What’s a girl to do?!

Funny Feeling

Those of you who know me, and/or have read my blog before, will know that I’m not averse to spending time alone. In fact, I rather like it. I’ll often choose alone time over a social environment. Alone time with my lovely dog that is. So perhaps you can tell me why tonight, I am feeling somewhat lonely and rather wish I wasn’t going back to an empty flat.

I’ve had a few days at home recently; two over my birthday and then another two at the start of this week, so I imagine that’s a contributing factor. I love coming home to see my parents and the dogs but I don’t often feel weird about leaving again these days. The past two days have been a bit odd though as Mum and Dad are on holiday so it was just me and Ben looking after the dogs. He went out this evening with his girlfriend and as they shut the door I suddenly felt a bit odd.

I have my Daisy and we have a nice little routine together. I enjoy my evenings curled up on the sofa with her, watching rubbish on tv or a Disney movie. She’s nice quiet company for my cranky old lady soul. It usually doesn’t occur to me to feel lonely or to even think about the fact I don’t have anyone waiting for me apart from the washing up I didn’t do before I left and possibly a spider or two that crept through the window while I was away. But tonight, it’s on my mind.

Tonight I am having those thoughts that make me wish I was better at making friends, that I had a social life of some description, that I could fire off a message and be having a drink with someone twenty minutes later. I know it’s my own fault, my cantankerous nature coupled with the lifestyle I maintain is not conducive to my becoming a social butterfly. I do not meet people for one, as I live and work in a secluded location with limited contact outside of the horsey bubble. And even if I did? I’m so tired and grumpy most of the time it’s little wonder I do not endear myself to others.

I find myself yearning for school and uni days sometimes. Those years of having friends around every corner. I could pop down the road to the pub whenever I wanted and there’d be someone to talk to.

It changes the way time passes I think. When you spend a lot of time alone, it can feel like you’re wasting it. And it can drag on and on, making you feel truly miserable!

Don’t worry, I’m not getting mushy and sentimental. I don’t intend to sit here and cry “woe is me” and desperately seek human interaction. I’m the kind of person that tends to sit and analyse their thought process (hence this post) rather than act on it.

And you needn’t worry that I’m allowing myself to wallow and fall into a pit of lonely despair. Nothing of the sort. Like I said, I have my Daisy and crappy tv.

I’m merely feeling the consequences of my life choices. I think it’s healthy to acknowledge that. I have made my bed. Time to lie in it. Although I might change the sheets first.

Who doesn’t love clean sheets, right?!?

Also, I apologise for the unimaginative format of this post. I’m writing it on my phone because everything else is in the flat.

To which I really should travel soon.

In Which Megan Does Not Get On With Monday

I’ve always wondered why everyone hates Mondays so much.

Honestly, I’ve never seen it as a problem. Monday has not offended me before. Sure it’s the first day after the weekend but in my line of work, weekends are never really much of an issue seeing as we don’t really get them! My weeks are a little weird and less than structured so, Monday gets blurred in with Tuesday and Saturday and all the other days.

Today has, however, provoked me to a level of grumbling I have not felt for a while. If having to get up when I was utterly not ready is not enough of a rubbish aspect to the day, I have managed to end it with many more hurts than normal.

Along with the usual aches and stiffness, I have added extra injuries to my list today. While rescuing a lamb which had its head stuck in our fence, I managed to rip three nails. Oh, I hear you cry, what calamity. Broken nails, oh my god that is so totally like the worst thing ever. Don’t worry, I appreciate the humour in it. I am not usually the sort of girl who worries about a broken nail. But these hurt like little buggars because I didn’t just “break a nail“, I have split three nails so low down they’ve actually caught the skin underneath. So they sting and sting and ouch! Put something of a downer on my good deed, I must say.

Later on in the day, having recovered from the sore fingers, I found myself being head-butted quite ferociously by one of the boys as we brought them in. He decided to be somewhat obnoxious as we came through a gate and chucked his head straight at my face, leaving me with tears streaming down my face and blood trickling from my lip. So I am now sporting a very attractive purple fat lip. Never have I felt more feminine than I do at this moment, with my swollen lip and mangled fingers. I am, in short, a mess at present.

It’s a shame to feel quite so battered and bruised this evening as Daisy and I had a rather nice weekend. After mucking out the stables on Saturday, we were invited to go along to Badminton Horse Trials for the afternoon. One of Laura’s lovely clients very kindly offered me a place to park at her house as she lives a two minute walk from where everything was taking place. I was delighted by this, as parking cost something like £12, so saving money was a win. If that wasn’t nice enough, she then told me that there was a pass I could use. It was so unexpected and I couldn’t have been more grateful for her generosity! Once we were in, we took to wandering the expanse of stalls and shops and crowds. As it was cross-country day, it was extremely busy but I didn’t mind too much. Daisy was quite excited but only managed to trip up a few people and did get admiring looks and comments everywhere we went. We met up with Laura and Frosty after a bit and I tried some different gins at Frosty’s stand, Gundog Gin (go look it up, buy some, it’s truly delicious. I recommend the Rhubarb!) We then met up with a few others at one of the fences and took to walking along the course, watching the different jumps as riders came through. Some of them were real heart-in-mouth moments, and we were only spectating! I’m sticking with dressage. Much safer!!

I also ended up meeting a girl that I feel I’ve known for ages but had actually never met before. We know each other through Eclipse, in Ireland, and our mutual friends there. Our timing has always been off, however, and we’ve missed each other by a few days each time our paths could have crossed. So to have her face appear in front of me asking “Hello, are you Megan?” was both weird and normal at the same time. I knew who she was straight away and it didn’t occur to me that she wouldn’t have some to say hello, and it was only when I went to introduce her to the people I was with that I realised how weird it sounded to say “This is Iris, I know her through Ireland but I’ve never met her before!” It was really cool to actually meet her in person though.

Sunday was my day off, as going to Badminton was instead of my usual half day on a Friday. After a leisurely morning of not having to hear my alarm (although a stallion shouting his head off and dog decided to whine were unwelcome substitutes), I went to Crickley Hill Country Park with the Dot. We met up with Tillie and Ségolène for a lovely sunshiney walk and then lunch at The Air Balloon pub. Yes, that Air Balloon, the one everyone hates by proxy because of the roundabout it represents! I had managed to book a dog friendly table thanks to a very helpful member of staff, so Daisy was able to come with us and charm staff and customers alike. She had bar staff bringing her bowls of water and people coming in to get a drink and ending up getting a cuddle instead!

Daisy excelled herself this weekend. I’m very proud. I hope that when we go to our training class this week, she continues to show herself (and me) in a positive light and that I can tell Linda that our hard work and perseverance is paying off.

I do so love her.

So much!