The manuscripts are read umpteen times while editing and proof-reading and agonising over each and every word. But once finished, I’ve not read my books unless holding a reading, then, of course, it is a prerequisite!
This morning, seeking information, I read excerpts from A Standard Journey.
I laughed; tears trickled.
I ache for that journey.
The adrenaline hits throughout that extraordinary trip systematically peaked. One reviewer, upon finishing the story, stated, “I’m exhausted!”
Here’s an amusing scene that turned me into a panic-hopping lunatic for a few brief, terrifying moments!
‘Untie him, quick!’ I didn’t know what was happening, but I wanted him away from the fence.
Noel held onto Dom as he continued the wheeze and then stopped. We all stood still for a moment waiting to see what would happen next.
Then Dom stuck his front leg out, stiffened his entire body, and hissed out another agonising wheeze.
‘It’s okay, boy, steady, steady,’ Noel soothed as I checked Dom over.
A few moments later ‐ another gasp.
‘Stay here, keep him calm, yell if it gets worse – really yell. I’m calling a vet.’
I bolted into the cottage, banging the doors, and frantically flicked through the phonebook. The second vet practice I rang answered. I explained Dom’s symptoms in a frantic breathless monologue.
‘He’s choking,’ the vet said. ‘It is a minor choke; he’ll be okay.’ He explained calmly, ‘Get a hose, turn on the water, not too fast, but a good run, put the hose in his mouth – a fair way back, but not so he’ll swallow it, but so you make him drink.’
‘Right, right,’ I said, hopping from one foot to another. ‘Can you come if I need you?’
‘No, I can’t. I’m sorry. This is a minor choke; this should work.’
In one movement I replaced the receiver, spun around, and ran for the door. Outside I grabbed the hose and turned the tap on.
‘He’s still the same,’ said Noel, who was noticeably paler.
‘He’s choking: we need to clear it. Hold him as still as you can,’ I yelled as I unravelled the hose, trying not to scare the other horses.
I closed my hand around Dom’s chin, below his bottom lip, and lifted his head as high as I could. Without giving him or me time to think, I shoved the hose in his mouth. Noel and I fought to keep him still and steady the hose. Dom’s such a trusting, kind lad; he fidgeted but didn’t fight.
The water cascaded down my front, down Noel’s back, but half flowed into Dom’s throat, and I heard a painful swallow.
I pulled out the hose.
The three of us stood together, puffing, dripping, looking at each other. Dom shook his head, then lowered it and started eating the grass, as if nothing had happened.
‘Good grief,’ Noel said, and that about summed it all up.
I collected a few more grey hairs that day.