Hello horse people.
Well, we’re nearly at the end of January, so how’s the year panning out so far, chez Skint Towers?
CC2 didn’t set any resolutions as such, but she did have a couple of ‘projects’ to undertake for her self-improvement. She’s got a list of nag-related stuff to work on from her seemingly-endless cabal of trainers but I don’t understand what any of them are. They’re all to do with ‘hands’ and ‘seat’ and stuff. Presumably just how to do riding better.
Frankly, I don’t understand why she hasn’t finished learning how to ride yet. It can’t be that hard and she’s been doing it for years. You just get on, say ‘giddy up’ and then hang on, don’t you? What’s taking her so long?
I think about all the time (and money, obvs) she’s spent on learning how to make a horse walk in a circle and I just think of all the useful things she could’ve done instead. It takes less time and money to become a doctor quite frankly, and that way she’d not only have a lucrative career ahead of her but she’d be useful around the house in an emergency.
I appreciate she’s probably a bit young to train to be a doctor (not that it stopped Doogie Howser) but she could definitely have got the hang of plumbing, or be fluent in Japanese or something. Even being competent at putting her plate in the dishwasher or her dirty clothes in the wash basket would be a start.
I bring these ideas up over dinner quite a lot and, you’ll not be surprised to learn, CC2 doesn’t share my point of view. Not at all. In fact I just get The Look. It’s a mixture of pity, anger and withering contempt, with a dash of potential impending violence thrown in. It’s a lot to fit in to one look, I grant you, but she has quite expressive eyes.
Another new year project she had was to go vegetarian for January. Originally she planned to go the full vegan but we managed to talk her down from that on the basis that we had very little faith that she’d manage even a day. We also pointed out that her pony is like a showroom for dead cow bits and so she agreed to downgrade her aim to standard veggie instead.
She’s been planning it all since about September and I can’t remember exactly why. I think it stemmed from things they were learning in school, possibly about the environment, possibly animal welfare, so CC1 and I have been very supportive. We’ve even joined in with her, partly in the name of moral support but also for the practical efficiency of not having to cook two different meals. So along with my dry January I’ve been quite the puritan so far this year.
For CC2 it’s been a challenge though. To understand how hard it is for her, you have to know how much she likes her meat. It’s bordering on the weird to be honest, but she’s a proper little carnivore through and through. To watch her eat a plate of spare ribs is like looking through a lens back in time to the Stone Age. She’s a little cave girl at heart and doesn’t have time for decorum, cutlery or even breathing when there’s a good plate of dead animal in front of her. She’s just a whir of gnashing teeth and greasy fingers, punctuated by grunting noises.
I admit that CC1 and I didn’t have an awful lot of faith in her ability to last a month. But, well, you probably have an idea of how dedicated she is by now. You horsey types are used to strict routine and hardship, getting up early to clear up horse shit and sweep things and stuff, and she’s definitely in that mold. She’s an obstinate little cow when she wants to be and she can be pretty headstrong so she surprised us both with how she fared with giving up meat.
She lasted an hour and a half.
In fairness, she failed initially by ‘accidentally’ eating a sausage roll. The accident in this case was not that it fell from a passing seagull and into her mouth or anything, just that she was offered one, forgot she was supposed to be veggie and scoffed it down. CC1 was also there and also failed for the same reason. Apparently.
So not a good start, but having realised their mistake they both vowed to start again and to just write off the morning of January 1st.
She then lasted until dinner. CC1 served us up a ‘delicious’ plate of steaming fungal mould and CC2 took one bite, screwed up her face, made a sort of spitting noise and declared it inedible. And that was that really; back to the flesh. Turns out she’s not so headstrong after all.
Having already filled the cupboards with a whole load of veggie products in advance of our meat-free month, CC1 and I decided to carry on without her and have managed to do so successfully. So, ironically, we’ve been cooking two different meals most nights after all, just completely the reverse of what we’d originally feared.
In essence, CC1 and I have successfully given up meat for reasons we’re not even sure about. And they weren’t even our reasons, whatever they were. We’re sort of proxy vegetarians, having given up for somebody else’s principles despite nobody being able to remember what they are. We should probably contact CC2’s teacher and ask what it is we’re doing it for.
If anyone notices I’m on a strict falafel and chocolate diet and asks why I’m currently vegetarian, I have to mysteriously reply that I’ve no idea. Something CC2 learnt at school, you’ll need to check with her.
I can’t really moan at CC2 though. My dry January didn’t necessarily go fully to plan either. I lasted until the 3rd, but I swear to god, that first Tuesday and Wednesday were dry as a bone, honest.
I didn’t fail ‘by accident’ though. CC1 actually made me start drinking again just to stop the miserable scowl that I’d apparently adopted for three days. She said it was better for all of us, poured me a glass of wine and placed it in front of me, motioning towards it with her eyes. What could I do? I’m not a wasteful person and I’d never have been able to get the cork back in again. Well, the screw top.
So you’ll have to excuse me now as I need to get lunch ready. Chicken sandwich for CC2, houmous and beer for me. Cheers!