Today is my last day at Arrowfield Stud and in Scone. It's not a tough day, with just tidying up of loose ends and trying to nail that final photograph, and I'll do some family photos at the end of the day too. I slept terribly last night, and so am now wondering whether my planned very early assault tomorrow morning, involving a 4.30am start, is indeed wise, given I have the 8 hour return drive home to negotiate as well tomorrow. I don't know what to do about that now, I want to do it, but given that I bolted awake in a panic at least 3 times last night, I'm not sure.. My neck is twinging again, and that pinched nerve is there nagging at me, saying "look, I'm nearly trapped, can you feel it??". The answer is yes, I absolutely can, and it is making me move cautiously and carefully.
It's all over the news and on my friends' Facebook posts that this weekend is AFL Grand Final weekend. I'm trying not to think about. It's ironic that I should have returned to Scone on almost the exact same days this year to my trip last year. I'll see my Melbourne friends this weekend, when I arrive in Melbourne, and am pleased that my friend Gatty managed to get his iPad fixed after being told it was ruined. Gatty is the funniest, gentlest and nicest of people, and a lovely friend. But Facebook shows another side to my friend (and continues to make me wince from time to time), because he is also an AFL devotee. I'd never realised this fully! He smashed said iPad in a fit of frustration over a football match! It wasn't even his team playing! Amazing.....
We will stop overnight on our drive to Melbourne at Murchison to catch up with my friends the Clarkes. I adore Marg and I am so pleased that we will see her and her family, and we may well do the same thing on the return trip. It will feel odd not wandering out to the front paddock and saying a gentle and quiet hello to the horse I love so much.
Did I feel a quiet happiness at the defeat of Atlantic Jewel on Saturday? I hang my head, and guiltily whisper "yes, I did....." I didn't see the race live, or of course photograph it, because I was here shooting at Arrowfield Stud. Don't get me wrong. I like Atlantic Jewel, I think she's a very good racehorse, potentially a champion. But my heart belongs to the Famous Pony, Black Caviar, and the comparisons at such an early stage were irritating me. And essentially, I suppose because at heart I am a pretty loyal person, I felt indignant on her behalf. I'll call Atlantic Jewel as good as Black Caviar IF she achieves what the Famous Pony does by the time she retires. That's a really big IF though... Because I truly believe that what the Great One did is unique. So my quiet happiness was caused entirely out of loyalty. I was also quietly very pleased for Arrowfield Stud, because I'd known about the stud deal before it was announced, but of course was sworn to secrecy.
I realise we are all probably looking for a "rebound relationship", to fill the void, but I'm not ready to do this yet.... My heart still belong to The Famous Pony. My heart has always worked like that... I guess it would be good to be able to change it at times, but in this case, I think it is the right way to be.
|Animal Kingdom at Arrowfield Stud|