Going back to my horsey past now. Not that I was ever horsey, except in my mind, but that’s as good a place for a horse as any. At least as long as they are imaginary. The real kind would be really mind-stretching.

I’ve been on a horse a few times, but it’s not something I care to repeat. Whereas reading about girls – and even boys – and horses is fine. Lovely, in fact.

K M Peyton, Fly-by-Night

This has been a K M Peyton sort of week, hasn’t it? Known to me as a horse book author it was wrong to start off with a whodunnit, apart from the handy fact that it was one I had already. Suspecting it wouldn’t be enough for a face to face meeting with Kathleen herself, I hurriedly asked Fidra books in Edinburgh if they could send me Fly-by-Night to read before the big day. They could. They re-publish old favourites, and K M Peyton books fall into that category. This one even has illustrations by the author, which feels just right. Also quite 1960s.

I am so glad I didn’t read this book as a child. It would have made me want to come to England a lot more than I already did. And it’s funny, because coming from where I am now, I see this book in two lights. One is the romanticised view of everything English from back then, and the other is simply an older version of what the country is like today, if that makes sense?

Ruth Hollis badly wants a pony, and now that her family have moved to the country, she goes out to buy one. Only, they cost more than she had expected. So does the saddle and all the bits and pieces, not to mention the food. But determination is a wonderful thing. After which ‘all’ Ruth needs to do is learn to ride…

This is a horse book. Naturally she gets there in the end, but before that she has to be one plucky girl.

There are more books about Ruth, so maybe I don’t need to say this, but one character I would have liked to see more of is Ron, friend of her brother’s. And I gather there will be a connection to Jonathan from my book last week, so that’s nice. I like it when things tie up.

Here’s to more horse books!


7 responses to “Fly-by-Night

  1. Funny–I was just watching the second part of Martin Clunes documentary on horses, and it was bringing up all my horseloving childhood as well. I rode a few with my friends when I was in grade school, but like you, the horses of my imagination were more my kind of thing. Well, real horses are great too, but it’s better if Doc Martin has to get up on their backs rather than me at this point in my life.

    Not that I couldn’t!

  2. It’s such a long way down again. If you fall. And at this stage things would definitely break. There’s the vertigo.
    (When Daughter was a baby, I mistakenly got on a merry-go-round horse with her, thinking that would be suitably sedate. It was awful!)

  3. Bookwitch, you’ve just described (in your last comment above) why I used to ride but now don’t. It *is* a long way down and things *would* break and if they did it would be awful. If they had when I was a child I could have been tucked up in bed and cared for while I missed a few days of school. Now, it would be different. Very.

  4. Aren’t we sensible?

  5. I’ve make a habit of bouncing off some very big horses. Only, last year I did a bit too much bouncing on my head. Or off my head. Which I am, most of the time, now.

    And more to the point, I LOVE Fly By Night, but now you have to read The Team.

  6. Nicola is at least giving some consideration to the continued supply of books by her. What’s your safeguard, Meg? Dog writes book?
    OK, where is The Team?

  7. It’s the same distance to fall. I’m not that worried about that. I think I am past the stage, though, where I might become one with the horse. I mean, I was never that good at that sort of thing anyway.

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