Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘Did I mention that I don’t like tractors?’

  • Dear diary

    I am so in trouble. As in, the “I might need you to offer me sanctuary from the hell fury that is my mother” sort of trouble. As in, I might end my days tethered to the side of the road with a sign reading “would make a lot of value burgers” tied around my neck sort of trouble. As in, BIG trouble.

    Allow me to explain. On Saturday I went out with Aunty Sam and Aunty Sarah, plus my about-as-useful-as-a-chocolate-teapot sidekick Hot Stepper. Despite my permanent concern that one day his knees will flick up high enough to render him unconscious, Hot Stepper had obviously taken his happy pills and the ride passed without event. In fact, I heard Aunty Sarah later tell Mum that we were both chilled out to the point of not being bothered. A statement I fear that led to the events of the following day…

    On Sunday I had a lovely day chilling naked in the field, perving at, sorry watching, Dolly’s back while she rolled and frolicked on the grass. Around late afternoon I heard the subtle boy racer tones of Mother’s car. Sure enough Mother appeared and lured me to her promising an afternoon of fun. When am I going to learn that her idea of fun and mine are totally different?

    Her idea of fun was poncing about in the heat for 30min practising rein back, turn on the forehand and leg yield. Whoopdidoo. I was un-amused to say the least. So, when she announced I’d done enough and we’d go out for a little hack around the block I was most chuffed. I looked excitedly about for the imminent arrival of one of my wing men but could see no one ready and waiting — which was confusing. Until it dawned on me Mum meant we were going alone. Just Mum and I. Alone. With no back up. Did I mention we were going alone?

    Now let me point a few things out here to start to prepare my defence for what happened next.  Firstly, mum hasn’t being doing a lot of riding of late, so my faith in her abilities is not at it strongest. Secondly, mum is as scared of the tractors of terror as I am —I know this because her breathing goes into “dirty phone caller having an asthmatic episode” mode.  Thirdly, I haven’t been going out on my own of late because Aunty Sam likes hacking at insane o’clock in the morning with the river dance reject (I suspect so no one is around to witness his “smurf at a rave concert” type antics every time the wind blows the wrong way). Fourthly, did I mention that I don’t like tractors?

    Anyway, off we went and all was going well. Mum was blathering away in my ear about how we had to be brave and be a team and I was eyeing up the mares over the fence.  We had a lovely powerhouse trot and were just about to turn across the corner and into the field when I heard them. I knew mother had too because she suddenly went very still, used a few choice adjectives and then tried to put her brave pants on and act like it wasn’t a problem. But it was a problem people. A BIG problem. Across the field, on the road running around the outside, they were advancing. Not one tractor, oh no, not two tractors, not even three, but 15 of them. Oh yes, on the one day my mother decides to be brave we’d run into the vintage tractor rally. FIFTEEN tractors of terror with no wing man, a silently panicking mother and very few options.

    For a moment I stood still, 16.2hh trying to grow to the size of an 18hh wall of muscle. I quivered slightly at the thought of taking them on, then thought “bugger this”, spun round and went home at speed. Across the middle of the crop field. Oooops. In fairness to Mother, instead of assuming her usual foetal position and praying, she got all bossy and turned me into a circle that I just couldn’t manage at warp speed and I was forced to pull up.

    From here on in Mother’s version of events and mine differ wildly. I was not snorting and shaking like an elephant in a mouse nest, I was making manly dragon noises to repel the tractors. I did not leap about the field like an electrified lizard on a hot plate, I was trying to avoid killing any more plants. I was not foaming like a jacuzzi filled with bubble bath, I was producing tractor repelling pheromones. And furthermore, I did categorically NOT wee myself. I am a man after all.

    Whatever version of events you believe, the end result was Mother, after 10min of trying to convince me her idea of continuing on the way we were going was the better one (towards the tractors — was she totally insane?), decided to dismount and drag me in-hand the way she wanted to go. I was not best pleased about this and did try to show her we’d be better off going the other way. Several times. In fairness, for one so short she is impressive in both the fluency of her insults and the strength of her arms. To say she was mad is an understatement — if she’d breathed any more fire she’d have been accused of arson. I was nearly Kentucky Fried Hovis.

    Needless to say, I was frog marched home, forced back into the school and worked for another 15min to repent. I have been repenting ever since, mostly in vain. That Pope bloke could not have repented more than me. Call me Hovis repentant Thompson. Seriously, what with my browny orange coat, the dodgy haircut and the level of repenting I’m doing, I’m a dead ringer for an equine monk. If I’m not here next week come and rescue me from the monastery. I can’t be a monk. I can’t, I couldn’t cope with being halibut for the rest of my life.

    My life sucks.

    Yours repentantly,


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