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One of the things I’ve always loved about writing is that it brings me into contact with some really wonderful people. I met a woman today who has written a novel based on her life story.
In 2003, her sister, a long-term addict to alcohol and prescription drugs, died of liver failure. Two years later her father committed suicide, leaving her without any immediate family.
The novel is based on her own journey of self-discovery, prompted by the grief and anger of this double bereavement. It charts her real-life meeting with an Indian street dog whom she rescued and who became the first of his breed to be registered in America as an authorised therapy dog. From his humble beginnings, the dog now travels the world alongside his owner and he is through to the finals of this year’s Scrufts, the prestigious offshoot of Crufts that celebrates crossbreed family dogs.
It was obvious, from talking to her, that while she may have rescued the dog from starvation on the streets of Goa he rescued her right back as she fought to get her life back on an even keel after her losses.
It is amazing how animals can do that for us. If you have ever experienced the extraordinary bond between humans and animals you will know exactly what I mean. There is something powerfully grounding about being around animals.
Another person I have written for recently is a horse-whisperer. Horses are prey animals and will naturally follow a leader that they feel safe and comfortable with. The art of horse whispering is all about showing the kind of leadership that will convince the horse to come to you willingly. It is not about instructing with words or applying force, but rather it is about being grounded and confident and trustworthy so that the horse is naturally drawn to you.
Horses pick up on who we are through our body language, our gestures and our beingness. It was interesting to observe that my 12-year old daughter was far better at connecting with the horses and getting them to follow her than I was. I was too hung up on thoughts like “I can’t do this” and “I feel silly” to fully trust my ability to connect, whereas my daughter’s ease and innocence was far more appealing to the horses. The horse whisperer, whose name is Sue Blagburn, told me to stop worrying about trying to make the horse follow me and to think, instead, about something I love. I thought about writing, the horse followed me.
Today’s outfit was probably not the best choice for a cold Winter’s day but I bought the dress off a friend recently and decided I couldn’t wait for the summer to wear it. It is a sleeveless pink, blue and yellow dress in a stretchy cotton material. It is by French designer Zone Bleu and I love the fact that it has a frilled hem that is shorter at the front than the back. I wore it over a pair of tights given to me by my friend Lesley that are a great match for the dress and a pale pink Bohemia petticoat.
The felted red coat came from Totnes market and it is one of the few garments that I bought brand new. It is Italian made and very similar to the designs produced by Italian designer, Sarah Santos. I love the colour and asymmetrical design, and it is also beautifully warm and soft to wear.
Belt: Gods Gift Emporium
Boots: Handmade by Conker
Coat: Made in Italy (similar to Sarah Santos)