The hardest thing about leaving Warwickshire and moving back to Wales was leaving behind the friends I made in the hunting field, and saying goodbye to the excellent pack that we hunted with. I’ve written before about how lucky I was to find them, but now they are hound exercising and I have a serious case of FOMO.
Cubbing in Wales starts in a few weeks, and if everything goes as planned I should have a licence to tow a trailer relatively soon. This means that my fix will be sorted soon, and also that I should be able to make monthly trips to the westernmost part of the C&WW country for hunting proper. Hound exercise will probably not work because so many of the rides are scheduled for weekday evenings, and much as I love cubbing I’m unlikely to leave at midnight to get to the Midlands for an early start.
The e-mails of meets and the subsequent photograph albums uploaded by the Croome Paparazzi are making me very envious though.
After a long summer off its the time when everyone gets back together. There are new horses and horses that are back from injury. Last year’s sloe gin is bottled and ready for consumption. The new entry of hounds are learning their trade.
I adore cubbing. Without the pomp and ceremony of opening meet its a time for the real die hards. Getting up that early is a commitment. The year is still long enough for the mornings to be filled with the golden light of the summer as well as the chill of encroaching winter. It is a season of soft mists and ripe fruit and leaves fast turning yellow. The horses are keen and fresh and fighting off the spoils of summer.
Bluey dislikes summer- being a red head he burns his nose (even with Factor 50) and the flies drive him crazy. Riding him is a matter of sitting endless bucks and head tosses. With the transition to autumn the flies leave and we get ready for the excitement of winter. The change in season still reminds me of returning to Cirencester and the start of a new academic year and its accompanying parties and celebrations.
Opening meet in Wales will be at the end of October, C&WW a week or so later. Now is the time to work off the summer fat (circuits and ballet for me, hill work for Bluey) and look past the FOMO for the great season ahead.