Slightly off topic, but if you know me then you know I have a small addiction to mince pies. The last few shows have required an unopened box for us to devour.
A friend only had her first mince pie of 2015 last week … I began my mince pie season in October! It’s the only Christmassy thing that I’ll accept before Fireworks Night.
Funnily enough though, I’ve not always liked mince pies. It all started in my gap year.
The kids had gone back to school, I’d finished my summer job at a hotel and was working two days a week in an office (did you know that there are people who abseil down the sides of cliffs, castles, bridges, high rise flats etc, to carry out inspections and repairs? I was always quite envious of them whilst stuck in the office doing admin) and spending the rest of my time working at the yard where my horses were kept.
Thursday’s were the important day in this story. I’d arrive at 7am and we’d turn out the school ponies and some liveries, muck out all the stables, sweep the vast yard, tidy the huge muck heap; and then, leaving the school ponies in the mud patch at 9am, we’d go up to the house to have breakfast (porridge and tea) whilst watching Jeremy Kyle. Don’t judge me, daytime TV is limited.
We’d vegetate and recover from the mornings workout until Loose Women had finished, and then we’d venture back down to the yard just before the client drew up.
This wasn’t an ordinary client, more of a good friend who brought her own horse for lessons, with another good friend/mentor and her baby.
The school ponies were run into the yard and put themselves into their stables, whilst I tacked up whoever I was riding. Either Matt, Otis, or a cute bay section C mare who had just been broken in called Charm.
Then we’d go and have the lesson, before returning to the yard. My instructor went to put the kettle on, we untacked, brushed off, loaded, stabled, the horses before rendezvousing in the tea room, where four cups of tea were steaming away, waiting for us.
We’d settle down. The grown ups in the dilapidated arm chairs, the client on a tin box (which was like Aladdin’s cave it had so many things in, wrapped in history), while I sat on the kitchen side, in charge of entertaining the baby, who was wrapped in so many layers she resembled a ball.
Then the box of mince pies would be produced and we’d all munch away in silence before putting the world to rights.
And so began my relationship with mince pies.