Aren’t they peculiar, those strange things that wriggle in to one’s consciousness to press the worry button, just as sleep starts to come?
And with the worry button fully engaged, sleep vanishes quicker than a pair of your girlfriend’s knickers being pulled up, dangerously close to cutting off more than your wrist circulation, with the sound of her mother walking in through the front door an hour sooner than expected.
The heartbeat quickens and consciousness zaps right back in there at a hundred miles an hour with a massive bang!
And so it was just a few short moments ago.
I was dozing off, drifting gently in to the state of total unconsciousness that, in my world, passes for sleep.
When the worry worm wriggled in and did the button pushing trick.
And what was the thing of global importance that had been slumbering beneath the worry button before that tendril of consciousness pushed The Big Red Worry Switch?
Yeah, I should explain.
Vin and I are out competing on Sunday, it’s not Eventing, just a low-level bit of Riding Club stuff.
We’re in a Mercian Teams Combined Training competition.
Combined Training is eventing but with all of the stress and none of the fun.
Sorry, I mean: you get to participate in a dressage test and a round of show jumping and then go home.
It’s still serious stuff and – being me – I’ll still be out there to perform the best we can.
But there’s none of the cross country thrills.
Nevertheless, Combined Training is a very good preparatory exercise for The Real Thing.
Did I mention that Vin and I are out eventing – doing The Real Thing – at Eland Lodge Horse Trials on 28th June 2008?
Anyway, back to the Combined Training thing that’s coming up this Sunday.
As I mentioned, Combined Training comprises dressage and show jumping, right?
And there’s a gazillion different dressage tests, right?
I have a horrible thought in my head that I may have learned the wrong one for Sunday.
Yeah I know.
What a twat.
Oh sure, I could learn the right one.
That’s really easy for you to say.
But, knowing me, I’d be halfway through the right one when I’d suddenly, and for no reason at all, slip in to one of the other dressage tests floating about in my head.
And then Vin would get confused, and I’d get confused and the judge would get confused and beep her horn at me and tell me where I’d gone wrong and how I should pick up the right test again but in my head I’d be floating from Prelim 14 to Prelim 18 to BE 102 then BE 100 to Prelim 10 and I wouldn’t be able to remember where I’m supposed to be or in which direction we’re supposed to be going or at what pace or speed or anything and I would become catatonic with nerves and stage fright and be unable to carry on and everyone would point their fingers and laugh at me and I’d slouch out of the arena and burst in to tears and…
As Sam – in the 1980s television series Quantum Leap – would say (in that ‘boy am I in deep doo-doo’ kind of way).