Friday, October 22, 2010

Drawing horses

It is amazing that I managed to get my O and A levels, really. I spent a good portion of my schooldays sketching ponies. They galloped, trotted and cantered across my essays, my homework diary. All my compositions had an equine theme. I even recall working a horse into an essay about bridges, and carefully putting a couple in the garden of the buildings I had to plan in architectural drawing class.

I was lucky enough to have access to ponies of my own. My sister and I befriended an old gentlemen in our village. His own living grandchildren were in Australia, and the daughter who had remained close by lost her only child to Cystic fibrosis when he was just five Pictures of this smiling golden curled child graced every surface in Harold's bungalow.

My sister and I were his surrogate grandchildren. Our own grandfathers died before we were born, too, so this was a mutually benificial relationship. We fetched his groceries, picked his apples and turned them into pies (well my mum helped with that). Rather on sufferance every night on the way home from school we sat and looked through his old photo albums and listened to his stories,watching the clock so that we'd be home in time for neighbours, and in return he gave us his ponies to ride. We probably should have spent more time listening to him. Born in 1901 and of the generation too young to fight the first world war but too old for the second, he lived through so much change in his lifetime, embracing it all.

i haven't ridden for years now, but amazingly the horse bug seems to have arisen in my daughter. She gallops and whinnies around the house on her imaginary pony, "princess rainbow." She gravitates toward horsey toys. We took her for her first a pony ride, and she didn't want to dismount.

Then I found this. Her first horse drawing.

In quiet moments I imagine a different kind of life. Maybe we should move to the country so we can get her a pony. And perhaps, just maybe, i would brush off my johdpurs and find a nice gentle old horse for myself.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone because my daughter has commandeered my laptop