What a wonderful day I've had! I got up at my normal 'silly oclock' to water the garden, to find that a gentle rain was doing it for me. The lawn looked totally shocked at the moisture landing on it and briefly put up a fight against absorbing any. Finally though, the rain did sink in as the grass gave a grateful glurp and accepted nourishment. I made a pot of tea and then wandered around the silent and cool house opening windows to let the in the damp breeze.
An hour later found me frantically packing lunch boxes and sending young ones off to buildings of education. And so I arrived at the field in time to see the rain clouds disperse and with them my mornings plans. A quick change about and I decided to seize the moment and take Toffee for a ride before the day either became too hot or too wet!
It was wonderfully cool under the trees as we set off and it seemed that many of our neighbours were out on foot, taking advantage of the break in the heat. As we plodded down the Beech Hill, which we call the Magic Road, I could hear something big and noisy coming towards us. It was a little alarming that we couldn't yet see it, as this meant that it must be very, very big! It came around the bend and was one of the biggest tractors I could ever hope to meet. All red and shiney with yellow swirly, spikey things for turning the hay. So here I am, halfway up a steep hill, with a steep bank on one side and a massive drop on the other. Did I mention that I ride bareback? Thankfully the driver must be aware of the fear his monster tractor inspires in horses and riders, as he stopped at a wide-ish part of the road. We approached and I urged Toffee forwards, not thinking for a second that he would scramble UP the steep bank! I managed to stop him and turn around but as he scrambled back down the bank, my legs were now around his neck and I was sitting almost in his mane! I hope the driver saw the funny side, I did afterwards. Once back on the road I dismounted and led Toffee past with no trouble at all, despite surprisingly wobbly legs, mine not his! I'd be lying if I said that getting back on was easy!
Finally we continued and our path took us up a steeply wooded incline, parallel to the road we'd come down. It was dreamily quiet, with just the birds rustling and twittering above us. Perfect, until Toffee decided that speed was the only way to proceed and as he took off I slid back and came to rest on his rump. Thank goodness he's a little fatty at the moment, otherwise I'd have shot off the end and probably rolled all the way back down the hill! We came to rest at a gap in the hedge overlooking a meadow and beyond that, Middle Earth. Every time I look at the view, my breath catches and I can see Hobbits and Elves and their homes. Today I saw Rivendell glittering in the far off sun.
Back home and Toffee gladly fell to munching his haynet as i took Merlin for a surprisingly uneventful walk! We simply mooched and hung out together, which was lovely :)
Then it was back home for a coffee and a roll stuffed to overflowing with salad, yum!