Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls, they give us hope. Toni Robinson
I think it would be safe to say that the past week could be put down in the annals of history as 'One of The Most Craptacular Weeks On Record. Ever. Full Stop. No Mucking Around Here, People, I'm Talking Crud In A Calendar'. It would also be fairly accurate to predict that the next seven days aren't going to contain a hell of a lot of unicorns and lollipops either, because the universe has a nasty habit of doing horrible things to good people; and whilst I am not a good person, I have incredibly good people in my life, and they are hurting.
I call all this general awfulness the Blergh. You know when you have just woken up, and five seconds after the feeling of blank 'who the hell am I?' passes you remember how spectacularly horrible things are? That's the Blergh. And boy, does the Big B seem to be on the rise at the moment, and making a run for the winner's podium. The Blergh is happiest when we are miserable; it thrives on tears and sadness and pain.
So when something silly happens amongst the sadness and fury, it seems to me we need to clutch onto absurdity with both hands and make the most of it. There's nothing the Blergh hates more than laughter; it is anathema to its very being. And if you want absurd, then taking a My Little Pony called - wait for it - Sunset Shimmer out and about for a drink pretty much hits the spot.
The background of receiving said Sunset Shimmer is impossible to explain; suffice to say I uttered the magic words beloved of 9 to 12 year old girls everywhere, and before you could repeat 'please include at least one accessory and a comb for her magnificent mane', young Shimmery was on my doorstep.
I wanna pony!
Admittedly I had envisaged an actual pony, but that's beside the point.
I don't think she would have survived the trip in the mail. The bag didn't have any air holes.
When I saw said eminent equine, I laughed until I cried. Then I think I cried until I laughed, because as I said, the Blergh has been in the ascendant all week. And I realised that even the dark dingy days have big fat sunshiny spots in them if you let the absurd in. Slowly that bloody Blergh seemed to recede just a little bit to a more manageable size - even if it was with a bad grace and muttering to itself as it did so.
The end of the week has seen Sunset Shimmer join the clan, although not without sideways looks from Osky the Spycat, who isn't sure whether he wants to eat her or throw her around the room. I'm sure both options will be attempted in the near future.
It has seen me get weirded out by all the bizarre things grown men do with My Little Ponies (thanks colleague of The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant for that line of information - no, really. DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW. EVER.)
But mainly it has seen, despite the continuing presence of sadness - which truly, truly does have a taste and texture all of its own - a receding of the Blergh's pervasive undertow, which can pull our legs from under us with unmatchable swiftness.
Beat the Blergh any way you can. Whether it's by hugging your cat, your kids, your Dr Whovian-ish whoever...
Or with a little plastic horse.
Hi, ho Shimmer. Away!