Sunday, 11 April 2010


mixed cloud and sun, cool, temps 5

Bit of a mixed day. Some lovely sun, and some sleet. Thank you again for all the lovely birthday wishes for Michael. We all went out for dinner last night to L'entrecote st-Jean...Michael, his two sons and me. We all had steak frites (that's all they serve - and do it brilliantly) and shared a couple orders of profiteroles. The Mike and Vic went to see Alice in Wonderland and Michael and I walked back to the hotel. Went into a bookstore on the way to browse. Hard to pass by a bookstore. And fun to go into one at night.

Had a lovely breakfast in the hotel. Cafe au lait and I had the cold buffet while the brithday boy had eggs benedict.

Then home. Stopped for groceries.

We then hopped right over to see Markus. Speaking of whom, I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that I did not 'win' the male masseur. Not perhaps surprisingly one of the gorgeous blonde young women got him. I got a very nice woman, who concentrated on my head, so that when the massage was over I looked like Bozo. But a very relaxed Bozo.

We met a woman named Niki at Jana's. She's a magnificent horse woman - owned thoroughbreds and works with a trainer....she'd just lost her last horse a year or two ago. So she came to see Markus.

I realized after riding him, and speaking with the very wise Jana, that I was a bridge for Markus, not a destination. And we needed to find him a permanent home with someone who knew and loved horses and would give him the training and stimulation he deserves.

But I have to say, I'm strangely upset at the idea of seeing him go. He's way too much horse for the likes of me. It would never work. I know that. But wow, it hurts. The thought of letting him go. Still, it needs to be done. thankfully, Niki seems wonderful. Rode him, cantered him, put him through his paces. And he needs that.

Because he's a rescue horse I won't sell him, but give him away. And whoever takes him will be inspected by the horse rescue people. And they won't be allowed to sell him either. The point, obviously, is to find him a loving home - as much of a permanent home as possible in an uncertain world.

We're watching the masters. Phil is doing VERY well. Not sure Tiger has changed much in terms of his outlook and approach.

When we arrived home there'd been some damage to the property...and Tony and Pat explained it was a bear! Ripped the bird feeders up. Bended a bunch of metal bars. Did not, however, this year leave a soft and smelly conversation piece on the front lawn. Which is a bit of a shame, really. The only thing that made its visit fun last year. Now we have nothing but hungry birds and what looks like abstract sculptures to show for it.

But it sure feels good to be home. Blessedly quiet day tomorrow. A newspaper interview in the afternoon, but beyond that, just writing. Phew.

Hope you're well - and thank you again for the birthday greetings for Michael!


Marjorie said...

I hope that now you will all remember the bear stick or the bear bells or even the bear spray every time you go out! There are bears in Connecticut, but thankfully they have remained far north of me. far!
I am sad to hear about the Markus' situation, but isn't there some way to co-own him with a more expert rider? I don't know a thing about horses, so I don't know how that would work, but couldn't he still live where he is so that you could visit? I guess you have already thought about all the possibilities. I know you will do whatever is best.

--Marjorie from CT

Christine said...

Ooh, I'm with Michael. Eggs benedict is my all-time favorite breakfast treat!

I'm sorry that you need to find a different placement for Markus; but that, in itself, tells me how much you all care for him. You are doing what's in his best interest. Hopefully, Niki will send you reports or, even better, photos, of Markus in his new home. But now that you've taken in one horse, and know a little more of what to expect, do you think you'll adopt or buy another horse?

If I can find the email, I'll try to get photos to you that someone had sent me of a bear hanging on ropes or clothes lines to get to the birdfeeder hanging in the middle, where they thought it would be safe. HA! I'm guessing bears like a little challenge to keep from getting bored, yes? ;-)

Nathalie said...

Looking forward to our interview!
Best Wishes, Nathalie

Diane said...

What a wonderful full life you live in the Eastern township - skunks, bears, horses, dogs - never a dull moment. I can hear your sadness over Markus moving on but it has to be a comfort knowing he will be so well placed.

And besides all the busyness and joys of daily life, you add your responsiblities as a writer to the mix -- what energy it must take. You need to ensure there are more luxurious hotel breaks on your journey.

Anonymous said...

You're doing the perfect thing by providing a place for Markus between the track and his forever home. (Niki will know about apples and sugar cubes already.) You'll somehow be blessed by your actions. :-)

hilary said...

I think the "k" in Markus's name indicates he's a lot of horse. Just look at "Marcus" -- much softer.

On the subject of the power of single letters, have you ever regretted giving a character a name that ends in "s" -- or have you managed to avoid that?

I, needless to say, have not.


Darlene said...

Knowing instinctively that Markus would live a better life elsewhere and finding that place for him is perhaps your part in his life's journey, and yours. I sense the sadness in your writing and, being an animal lover, feel sad, too. Good for you for accepting this and facilitating a good future for him.

I know so many people who have had "bear experiences". I live in hope of one of my own! (A safe one, of course.)

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Actually, Marjorie, you'd think we would remember the bear bells, and sticks etc...especially after finding a paw print right on our house...but no. Got halfway around the pond before I remembered, Hey, maybe I should have the stick.

Perhaps the bear will think I'm too stupid to eat. Or maybe it'll figure it's a form of cannibalism, given how many gummy bears I've eaten.

Thanks for everyone's supportive comments about Niki and Markus. I really do know she's the best person for him. I just hope we can find a way to make this work.

Interesting question about names ending in 's' - not sure I have any characters with names ending in 's' - but I can see the problem! Now I'll be careful.