Saturday was spent in preparation for Sunday – not in a quasi-religious way, but in a 'long trip with a horse so it and it’s owner can spend an inordinate amount of time buggering about in the great outdoors with other like minded twits' kind of way. For Sunday has been The Great Endurance Ride* where about forty people who are WAY old enough to know better, go trotting about the landscape outside Huntly on their assorted equines, or ‘hairy rats’ as we’ll be referring to them for the remainder of this post.
The whole weekend has been scorching hot, the kind of heat that makes people who wear nylon slither inside their clothes, so the prospect of sitting in the car from hell for an hour there, three hours whilst She Who Must Be Stood Upwind Of After A Fifteen Mile Ride sods about over field and dale and another hour back, has little in the way of immediate appeal. Still, it keeps her happy and I am a good husband. Plus I look really good in a hat, sexy, but mysterious. Apropos of nothing, I know, but it’s these little details that lend verisimilitude to an otherwise boring tale. If nothing else it was a good opportunity to get stuck into Stephen Booth’s ‘One Last Breath’. A whole three hours with nothing to do except perspire, read a book and wonder if anyone would notice if I took a pee on their horse trailer. Not going to pee on our own one, after all…
Anyway, the highlight was probably meeting the woman who pulled up next to us, a Mz Ruth Randal. Oh, how I laughed – quietly and on the inside where no one could see – a little crime fiction punary, right there in the heart of hairy-rat-land. Of course, it would have been funnier if she’d known who I was, but she didn’t. Fortunately I kept my secret to myself, just in case she started wondering where the smell of wee round the back of her trailer came from**.
On the way back, tootling along at 45 miles per hour, I realised that there was an unforeseen bonus to dragging a dirty big rat halfway round the north east of Scotland in a trailer: I no longer had to worry about getting stuck behind some bastard in a caravan, or a tractor… now I was the bastard everyone else got stuck behind.
And somehow, that brings a smile to my face.
*In a non-smutty manner, so you can stop your giggling – Quertermous, I’m talking to you.
** Actually no, it wasn’t me, but discretion means I can talk no further on this topic.