Thursday, September 19, 2013

Horses for courses

Last night at Nine’s school sports awards, I sat in the front row with her sister Eleven. We had books with us to while away the 20-minute wait – you have to be early at Goodwood to get a decent seat.  These country schools are competitive.

Eleven was reading Chestnut Hill by Lauren Brooke, an author unknown to me but the subject was familiar: horses. Eleven was reading this because she had finished the collected works of Stacy Gregg and needed more horse-related reading material. (The only time I have impressed Eleven was when I introduced her to “my friend Stacy Gregg”.) 

I was reading Bill Manhire’s Selected Poems, the 2012 hardback edition, just because it was close to hand as we left the house and it fitted nicely into the inside pocket of my Swanndri. Spookily, what a lot of horse-related reading material it contains: “Declining the Naked Horse”, “Red Horse”, “Phar Lap”  the second leg at Trentham in “Magasin” and other horsiness in “Out West” and “Isabella Notes”.

There is possibly more horse-related reading material in it but we had to stop reading to watch Nine receive her award for sportsmanship. Eleven and I clapped hard. These country schools are competitive. And this one has horses in the paddock next door.

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