horsey horsey don’t you stop ever grow up

I’m horse-sitting this weekend, as mum and dad are away. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any hands on work or care with the horses. Also, these two horses (Palha and Tchã – half-sister and brother) have been in Wales for the past few years and I haven’t seen them at all during that time. Grey horses (the correct term for “white” – but not albino – horses is ‘grey’) are born with black hair, and as they age their hair goes through various stages of charcoal and dappled grey, eventually turning white. The last time I saw Tchã he was still pretty grey; but now he’s 13 and very white.

One might think that this outward sign of ageing would be accompanied by a degree of mental maturation.

One would basically be wrong.

Tchã looks so SO like their mum, Ruça. When you looked into Ruça’s eyes though, you saw a brood mare’s years of experience; trust in familiar people tempered with caution; all her instincts and actions geared towards the safety and protection of her foals. You saw wisdom in those eyes.

One would need a degree of optimism more correctly known as delusion to find wisdom in Tchã’s eyes. Instead you see friendliness; incorrigible curiosity; a recklessness borne of having lived in happy security all his life, never having shouldered responsibilities of parenthood or leading a herd. In Tchã’s presence one his left with a distinct impression that this is a horse no less likely to fall down a hole or walk into a tree while staring at the moon than he was as a yearling.

Princess Palha has been angelic this weekend: standing quietly without trying to run off anywhere; manoeuvring efficiently around gates; not farting on me while I clean out her back feet. Tchã has thus far attempted to devour a headcollar; tried to walk through a fence instead of the massive space created by the opened gate; and seemingly decided that his enjoyment of eating hay will be enhanced if he stands with one hoof planted in his food bucket at the same time.

The path between the stables and the field is very overgrown, so they both like to have a munch en-route. Having turned round to usher Palha along – who lifted her head up with a mouthful of grass and followed; I turned back to Tchã and was met with his face inches from mine, a sizable plantation’s worth of foliage protruding from either side of his mouth. Naturally, he choked on it and coughed for a while before looking at me quizzically to see what we were doing next. I’ve missed Tchã.

New Job Highlights

As initially predicted, the likelihood of me maintaining regular posts was slim. Operation? Interviews? Starting a new job? Moving house? Not having internet in the new house? Would such trifling matters interfere with regular weekly blog-posts??? In my case, yes. Yes they would.

I started my new job – Library Assistant with the Content Management Team at University of Stirling. It’s great – good people; learning lots. We do a 3 week rotation: acquisitions, serials and e-journals. I’m still getting my head around different processes and routines, but here are my favourite things about the job so far:

Stamping:
I get to date stamp and RECEIVED stamp things. A lot. I love it. It has been suggested that this may be due to the fact that I didn’t have a Post Office set as a child, and therefore never used up my enthusiasm for stamping age 5. It has also been suggested – after confessing an overwhelming urge to ask if I could stamp my own loyalty card when getting coffee the other day – that I may have a problem. (In my defence, the coffee people have adorably tiny stamps for this task.)

Buying Books: On Acquisitions week I’m basically getting paid to find and buy books. Not that I get to keep them, but I do get to unwrap them which is one of the best parts. E-books involve a lot less unwrapping….none in fact. (And less stamping.) Pfft, technology.

Entertaining titles and author names: The two best so far have been Carl Death… “Haha, Mr Death – that’s brilliant! Wouldn’t it be great if he had a PhD and was Dr Death…[cue internet stalking- I mean, research]….OH MY GOODNESS, HE DOES!!!!” and Avoiding Errors in Adult Medicine written by a Dr Ian Reckless.

Stirling Uni campus: It’s so green, and you can (just) see the loch from our room. The ducks, swans and coots don’t have a regular route past our window but there’s a bunny that makes a regular appearance, and also Ninja Squirrel. He was actually called Killer Squirrel (apparently after serials librarian commented that squirrels eat meat) but a few Thursdays ago when we didn’t have our team meeting (manager on leave and serials librarian off sick) I called an impromptu meeting to vote that Killer Squirrel be renamed, as it seemed a bit libellous when noone had any evidence of his having killed anything.

Book Trolley Zoo: I have my own book trolley. I asked if I was allowed to decorate it. I was told, “yes”. (Although it is distinctly possible that this may have been an ‘anything to shut her up’ response). After much deliberation, Panda Book Trolley was born:

pandatrolley face

pandatrolley rear

Next on the cards are Tiger Trolley and Welsh Dragon Trolley.