I’m not as resilient as I used to be… Was out socialising until 2 a.m this morning, on a school night! And I not only had to go in to work, but I also have to do a freelance gig this evening. Blaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I’m blaming the lack of sleep for my foulness of demeanor [four hours, oh I want to cry], because I don’t think I drank that much. Uh. Which probably means I did. Definitely more than was good for me.

I’ll never forget my first hangover on horseback.

It was April, and I’d been riding eight months at that stage. I’d been very strict with myself, not going out on Friday nights, a policy aided and abetted by the fact that I was in a protective, cocooning period. It wasn’t hard to stay out of the pubs— I wasn’t feeling much like hanging.

And then I was. It’s terribly significant as it marked, for me, a personal emotional process at an end, an end I wasn’t positively convinced was ever going to be in my sights [ever the optimist…] Well, there I was, and there were a bunch of people who, despite my previously cautious sociability, wanted to hang with me, so long story short, I was wrecked by the time I got home, and in no better shape the next day.

The bus ride was hell. The thing of it was, I couldn’t rehydrate, as the last thing I wanted was to fight the urge to pee, first on the hour-long bus journey, and second, and worse, in the lesson. I’ve never risked liquids from 90 minutes beforehand, and still don’t, so basically, I was dying. Dry, knackered, and oy, the heartburn.

I wasn’t too bothered by the physicality of the hangover, but more worried about my mental capacity. Do zombies ride horses, or do they just eat them?

The first good sign was the fact that I wasn’t at all put off by the usual aromatic nature of the yard. Second, I felt the usual lift to my spirit from simply being there, and I felt a layer of cotton wool peel itself off my cerebellum. Third— there wasn’t a third. I was grateful enough for the first two. I was reviving, and I felt like less of a hazard by the minute. Then of course, once mounted, every cobweb blew away, and in fact, it’s the speediest recovery I’ve ever made from a night of assault on the grain: I sweat every horrendous drop of poison out of my system, and even though I was wrecked after, I was less wrecked than I had been when I began the day, cotton-mouthed and dyspeptic.

It set a bad precedent— I survived— but I’m still very precious about my well-being, so it’s still a rare Friday that you’ll find me out on the tiles.

But… I am appalled to report that… I can’t remember precisely who I had that day… If it was April, it was most likely Delilah… I can check my agenda… how can I not remember this— oh, yeah. Forgot. I’ve got a hangover.

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