It’s lunchtime, it’s so quiet that a veil of complete and utter silence hangs over the valley.
Except for the twittering of the birds in the wood over there.
The view on three sides of me is green and arable; open fields stretch down and away from the hill I’m standing on.
Behind me is the American Barn (stable block) and the lorry park.
I’ve taken a half-hour lunchbreak (even though it’s 15.00) to check on the health and wellbeing of my boys – Beech and Vin.
The fly that’s been stalking me since I climbed out of the car is in for a shock if it gets too close.
Beech is fed up.
He doesn’t understand why he’s shut in his stable as though he’s a naughty schoolboy, grounded for overstepping one too many marks, when he hasn’t done anything naughty and it’s wonderful weather outside.
So I tried to explain that having a fractured leg meant no running, jumping or larking-about outside with Cousin Vin, but it does mean he has to stay in and try to not move too much… but he doesn’t get it.
He’s adopted an expression of puzzlement crossed with frustration; it suits his mood very well.
But he’s wearing a couple of sliced apples.
On the inside.
My fruit-based gesture of goodwill seems a little pathetic, particularly when I see him stumping around his stable with his floor-length Robert Jones Dressing on his near foreleg.
Vin was also pleased to see me.
As I walked down to his field he lifted his head, pricked his ears and made little whickering noises as he strode purposely towards me.
He looks good; keen, fit, healthy, raring to go and he shows no ill-effects from Saturday’s workout at Hilltop Cross Country.
I’ve trotted him up in the field, just to check he’s not lame after suffering the cut to his coronet band on Saturday.
Thrilled to see him move with his customary athleticism and no sign of tenderness.
Vin too is internally wearing a couple of sliced applies.
There’s a dressage competition over at Swallowfield on Saturday that I’m taking him to; Prelim 10 and Prelim 18.
Two more dressage tests to learn.
It’s very hot this afternoon.
Vin now has a sheen of fly repellent but my stalking bluebottle doesn’t seem to be particularly repelled.
I think I hate flies.
I need to go now.
I’ve been super-productive, got lots of work done today that I would still be struggling with, had I been in the office.
But I’ve got lots more to do.
The temptation to tack Vin up and school him in the arena for 20 minutes pops in to my head but I look down at my running-short-clad legs and dismiss the idea instantly.
I get in the car, start up, put the air-con on full blast and pull slowly out of the yard.
That bloody fly’s in here!
Be afraid, be very afraid…