Hovis’ Friday Diary: ‘Herman the German needle man’

  • Dear diary

    This week has been one of ups and downs, or more accurately trips to the dog house and back again…

    Last week, I reported I’d had some time out — chilling, working on growing back the coat that mother had so cruelly taken off and generally hanging out. Which was great. Then Aunty Becky returned — which was lovely — but demanded I do stressage moves, which was not so lovely. To say I refused to perform is a tad harsh, to say I didn’t exactly channel my dressage alter ego (Boglands Quaver) is possibly accurate.

    Aunty Becky’s version to mum was a little more flowery and expressionate. I do believe, her throwing my reins at Aunt H and storming off to “have five minutes before she killed me”, might have possibly given a small indication she wasn’t best chuffed with me…

    Mum was thus furious and spent the weekend berating me for upsetting Aunty Becky, breathing fire and brimstone about how hard good sharers are to find and what an ungrateful banker with unmarried parents I was. Oooops.

    Aunt Sam took me out with Foxy on Saturday morning and although the ungrateful wench has still not thanked me for the swede, we did have a nice time. Apparently though, I wasn’t “really up for it” according to Aunt Sam and despite me jogging sideways all the way home, I started to hear murmurings that I might “have a virus”.

    Now last time I had a virus, Herman the German needle man did things to my anatomy I still can’t discuss, even after two years of therapy, so this worried me. A LOT. Even more so when I overheard mum discussing how Herman was coming to see Foxy this week, and her musing if he could take some bloods from me at the same time. Hearing her mention that she’d “see how I was on the hack with Billy” and that “she’d make up her mind then” I hatched a plan…

    So Monday morning dawned nice and sunny and mum arrived with my tack. I greeted her with a cheerful “hello” and a loving cuddle, which she accepted with a degree of suspicion. Why when I’m nice to her, she thinks I’m up to something I have no idea, cynical she is, just cynical…

    Soon my wingman Billy and I were tacked up and off we went. I strode out, power walking down the road. Upon being asked for trot, I powered off so exuberantly, I left Billy in my wake. Mother (sounding rather surprised) had to ask me to slow down and remind me that, as Billy is a much more mature gentleman (gentleman — my ergots), he took longer to warm up. She did comment to Aunty C however, how good I felt. I looked smug.

    We rounded the corner in the village and nearly sat on the bonnet of a car, which contained none other than Evil Army Man! He was on his way to inflict pain on some other poor unsuspecting soul but commented how well I seemed. I looked smug. Workmen stopped their drills as we walked past and commented how big and manly we both were. I looked smug. A dog jumped out of the ditch at the side of the road, I spooked, slipped on the concrete and nearly fell down a hole. I looked a total pillock.

    This small “incident” was swiftly forgotten though, as we trotted all the way down the bridleway and along the busy road. Mum was by now, openly telling Aunty Charlotte there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and perhaps Herman the German wasn’t needed. I breathed a sigh of relief and died of exhaustion quietly. Mum sensed my drop in revs and started to recant her previous statement (“recant” — note who’s been studying his dictionary this week eh people?), so I hurriedly moved back up the gears and power marched on.

    I heard Aunty C ask mum if she fancied a good blast before we went home and to my surprise mum said yes. Where all this confidence is coming from, I know not but when it means a hooley in a stubble field I’m happy it’s here. Mum and Aunt C agreed the meeting point on the other side of the field and we were off!

    I did a few strides of canter, when suddenly mum was up in half seat, and squeezing for more. Not wishing to wait to find out if she was merely sneezing, I went! Flat out gallop in the winter sunshine, I only wished those people from the race at the weekend could have seen me. Which reminds me — if any of you are going to watch the Clydesdale race, if you could point out that my invite seemed to have got lost in the mail? Mum says I wasn’t invited because I’m not a pure bred, but I think it’s deeply unfair that I am being punished because my mother had questionably low morals. Needless to say following Monday’s performance maybe I’m not invited, in case I won too easily? Just call me Tea Biscuit I tell you…

    Anyway, we pulled up and waited for half-an-hour for Billy to catch up before heading home. It was a good day.

    Herman the German is coming tonight but he’s not coming to see me, so I am happy. I turned on my inner dressage fairy last night so Aunty Becky is happy. Mum is happy that Aunty Becky is happy. 

    Harmony reigns.

    For now at least.



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