Thursday, 17 May 2007

UN PEU LOUFOQUE TAKES THE REINS


You find me in an exuberantly buoyant mood this morning fully exonerated in my choice of locomotion apropos the governess cart and quite the amateur equestrian already!

I have fallen absolutely in love with our new horse. The creature is a delight and looks quite unbearably noble between the shafts. He is a splendid burnished nut colour with flashes of red in his shiny coat and a cream mane and tail which the children have plaited and decked with red ribbons. On his forehead he has a very distinctive white mark so that he appears, at close quarters, to have been splashed with whitewash and his ears stand to attention like a palace guard. We are all quite besotted with the thing.

The children have christened him “Marron” which is a far less ostentatious name than “L’esprit deTempete”, their original choice and it suits his chestnut colouring well.. Le Cravacher has advised that we would be wise to maintain a low profile with our new acquisition, at least for a few weeks, presumably in case our fine friend arouses jealousy amongst others less well equipped in the equestrian stakes and therefore one really does not wish to draw too much attention to ourselves with too flamboyant a name.

After a few false starts and a potentially lethal incident involving youngest a snaffle and the horse whip we seem to have mastered the business of harnessing and un-harnessing Marron to the governess cart and spent yesterday trotting about the grounds in and out of the stable yard taking turns at driving. It was tremendous fun and we were all quite exhausted by evening! He is a very even tempered animal and stopped and moved on as directed. He did not even flinch the few times we accidentally turned the trap over nor when Madame Grognonne over balanced and fell backwards into the raspberry canes, which I think shows a great deal of self control on his part, and am sure many a lesser horse would have bolted.

I have written to Chief Patissier care of the Moulin Rouge and informed him of all our exciting news concerning the governess cart and Marron, and given him detailed instructions as to which extra items we shall need as a result of our latest acquisition. I am sure he will be as thrilled as we all are when he sees how splendid our horse and rig look together. I have also taken the bold step of retaining Henri Jacque Le Cravacher as a groom on a temporary basis as it appears that he is somewhat reluctant to return to the stables at St Juste for some reason. Madame Grognonne is quite happy to make over a corner of the hayloft for his sole use and he volunteered kindly to stay without salary at least until Chief Patissier’s return providing we feed and water him.

I am off now to take the governess cart out for our first journey on the public highway. I intend to trot down to the post office to post my letter to Chief Patissier and plan to surprise the children by stopping at the boulongerie to indulge them with gateaux for dessert.

Au revoir my friends! A toute a l’heure !

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The painting is of a horse not unlike our own Marron being held by his groom , and it is entitled “ Lord Rivers's Groom Leading a Chestnut Hunter towards a Coursing Party in Hampshire 1807” the painter being Jacques Laurent Agasse. I did suggest to Henri Jacque Le Cravacher that, should he stay with us for any length of time he might like to be fitted for a similar grooms outfit but he seemed rather reluctant. He feels apparently it might make him a trifle conspicuous. I think he is at heart a rather shy person despite his apparent bravado.


15 comments:

Pondside said...

I can't go to bed without my bedtime story! Oh my, Un Peu - you do get yourself into some pickles! What if Le Chef is less enthusiastic than you about the new horse? What if you new equipage arouses jelousy in your neighbours? Are you prepared? I worry. Can't wait for tomorrow night.

Inthemud said...

Greetings UPL!

So glad the new acquisition is proving successful. Marron sounds a stunning looking hirse and glad to see you're getting him in training with the trap.

Wonderful story as ever!
Hope you've managed to clear up the mess in the kitchen, poor you, darn cats!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Ere Lady where do you want to put this orse shhh . . .sorry Ma'am orse Manure!

toady said...

. Are there no ends to your talents? You appear to be able to turn your elegant hand to anything. I regret that the bar has been set too high and us mere mortals will never attain such giddy heights.

The Country Craft Angel said...

Wow-Marron sounds stunning. You are very clever UPL.

warm wishes
x

Tattie Weasle said...

Such a shame Henri Jacque is so shy. He sounds just the thing a veritable Tiger to go with your equipage and it would have been so seemly! One cannot go about the country visiting without one's groom to hold the esteemed Marron's head while you chat. And think how useful he would have been - Une Peu I weep for you but I am sure with your powers of persuation....Henri Jacque will succumb or perhaps that should be left to Mme G!

Fennie said...

Glad I'm now up to speed. Ha! In what age is this all happening? Still it reminds me of a similiar horse (well, the Tempete bit) and a similiar cart in Ireland when having struggled for an hour to get high spirited horse into trap it took off but trap stayed put, harness having simply sheered in two. Oh dear. It looked as though harness, trap nor horse hadn't been used for a very long time.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

My daily dose of the chronicles now partaken means that i shall have to attempt mundane tasks around the hovel like hoovering and cooking before the mulitude arrive to be fed... but the picture will remain in my mind and keep me chortling away for the rest of the day...what will Chief P and A say when they reappear from Gay Paree......?

sally's chateau said...

I think it is wise to excercise discretion my dear and keep flamboyant names strictly to the Boudoir !

Suffolkmum said...

Bonne chance, ma chere, on your 'voyage' to the village ...

ChrisH said...

Please surprise me with a gateaux aussi, our cupboard is devoid of goodies and I have no Marron at hand to harness... come to think of it I don't have a cart either so I'm stuffed.

muddyboots said...

Gosh you are coming along fast! perhaps you ought to try you hand & marron's hooves at a spot of carrage driving competion, you know the ones? Prince Philllip does the carrage driving trials spalshing about in streams & rivers, charging around trees whips waving, horses snorting, crowds cheering.

bodran... said...

He looks a handsome steadfast beast! and i think the outfit should be ordered,,xx

countrymousie said...

Im more muck cart or tumbril than governess I am afraid. Will never reach these dizzy heights. Horse sounds wonderful.

Grouse said...

I dont know if I should tell you what happened to Brenda and I on our first journey out in my new cart..........just make sure you have a brake on yours, UPL!