Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Born Carers

Naomi, my grand-daughter, has had little option but to become a horsey child. With a mother and grandmother who think equine before speaking human, the odds were always strong that she'd be fluent in Horse before she could read.

Luckily, Ruby the Fell pony seems to have had much the same thought. She carries Naomi around with patient circumspection, something notably lacking when we go out carriage driving, and is careful not to make any untoward moves that might damage the small child. Naomi is not quite three.

Ruby's recent visit to the vet for eye treatment coincided with Jen and Naomi's appearance at the Surgery with Ribena (a necessary additive to Ruby's dinner to get her to eat her medication) Jen met me there to hand over the Ribena and Naomi, having accepted that she wasn't to worry the mare and foal in the paddock by the surgery, wanted to see what the vet did with Ruby, so we all stood in a darkened box while the vet peered at Ruby's eyes with the ophthalmoscope. Next thing we knew Naomi was hugging Ruby's leg really tightly, and kissing her elbow, which was all she could reach, "to make her feel better".

That child can be really spooky - she isn't three till the end of next month and has already decided which friends and relatives she will ask for which presents (I'm down for sticker books, apparently, and her Great Granny's got to buy Iggle Piggle pyjamas - rather her than me!).

As for the rosette which she accepted for being the only Fancy Dress entry at our village show, riding Ruby as The Tooth Fairy: "Please will you put the rosette up really high on my bedroom wall?" When asked why, she explained: "So I can't reach it till I'm a big girl and I can't spoil it." Three going on ninety-three, I'd say.

Nurse! the Screens!

Haven't been posting here for some time, I realise, seeing that the last post was back in April. Blame it on going back to work, and getting various book manuscripts up to scratch. I've also started a writers' group in the village, so have to think of things to do once a month - though that hardly counts as arduous.

At present, I would normally be getting my Fell pony fit and clean for the local shows, but she is taking up a lot of my time for quite another reason - she has an eye problem, and has to live in her stable to stay out of sunshine because it causes her some pain. I imagine it's like cramp in your iris, so it can't be pleasant. I seem to do a lot of application of eye drops (she dislikes them but huffles for the subsequent Polo mint) and am getting fanatical about cleansing my hands with that alcoholic gel stuff. It's amazing how much I rub my OWN eyes too. Probably that's got more to do with being hyper-aware of it than actually doing it more. Mind you the stable has seldom been so well kept, so I suppose there are advantages.

I have to go back to work for a few days next week, and a whole week the week after, so anyone who's not squeamish about a horse with a permanently tearful expression would be welcome to do the midday application of eye drops. Just remember you also need a roll of Polo mints.