The last few days have passed in a blur of Christmas cheer-ing and anticipation. As things wound down, I now realise that I was busily— quietly— winding myself up. Not in the Irish sense [teasing] but rather in the American sense [obsessing].

I do believe I’m nervous.

I begged Emma for Rebel [!] today; I had been down for Tango, but I was just that bit too hungover to fathom an hour on his tempermental back. I distributed, to the instructors, my paper Christmas stockings filled with already-reviewed beauty products: as a columnist for the Evening Herald‘s Friday supplement, I get more than I can conceivably use. And as one who has been the beneficiary of the largesse of others, in this realm, I know how fun it is to receive. Emma’s gobsmaked delight was delightful to me. All of the teachers were arm-filled with tributes, a clear indication of how we all appreciate what they do for us, hour after hour.

Rebel and I got on; I’ve discovered that when in balk, he responds to a raised voice belting commands, and I have learned, finally, not to give up. So that was good. Good cantering, good jumps— my goal for 2008 is to stop jumping before the horse does! My goal for 2007 was to jump a metre, and it looks as though that will have to be deferred… unless I achieve it in Seville.

Even though Rebel got a healthy holiday scratch, my mind was already wandering away from him. What will the horses be like? What will the riders be like? I am sincerely hoping that they will be better than I— I could use the push. I’m in no doubt about what the instruction will be like, but do wonder if the shouting will be in Spanish. Which I doubt, but it would make a change.

I’ve got my train ticket, finally, the Spanish culturo de ciberespacio rejecting input from a Mac; I sorted it all out on a PC. I know how to get from the airport to the train station. I’ll check my bag at the bagaje, and go for a wander in Malaga.

I’m bringing my hat in my carry on.

I don’t know why.

Whether or not I hump it around downtown Malaga with me is still up for grabs.

I am insured up to my nostrils.

I have my passport, I have my Laser card, I have cash, I have change, I have enough underwear to outfit a platoon…

I just have to get into my pre-booked, 5 a.m. taxi, and show up.

I do this kind of weird thing, when I get nervously excited: I, er, kind of dry heave? Well, gag. I gag. So on the bus out to my collection point this afternoon, I was gagging, a little, and I seriously thought it was due to the previous evening’s festivities.

But it’s not. I’m excited! I’m nervous!

I’m alive!

Here’s hoping to be blogging from the hacienda in beautiful Sevilla…

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