I LOST THE AMAZING AND MAGICAL STICK OF WONDER I lost it. It’s gone. Gone.

I know exactly why I lost it. I was all over the place, mentally, and I mean all. over. the. place. Anxious about a business trip [which I am now on, dateline: Toulouse], anxious about how I was going to get from point A to point B to point C… to point D. Edgy. Irascible. Not keeping the focus on myself. People getting in my way, music turned up too loud in my ears, not seeing beyond the end of my nose- not staying in the present moment.

So in the middle of barrelling up Grafton Street, reacting to people [who were certainly minding their own business], fretting about whether or not to get money at an ATM right there or wait until Dundrum, being annoyed by the slipshod way in which the other people were queuing at the bank machine [see? Craaaaazy], getting the feckin’ money and storming through the LUAS to the front of the tram… I realised that it was gone.

The Amazing and Magical Stick of Wonder had slipped out of my arms and into ignominy.

It was too awkward, walking around with it sticking out of my bag, so I had settled on hand-carriage, with it tucked, as I described here, against my body— the way a member of whatchamacallit, a flag team? The folks who march with bands? Anyway, the way that crowd would carry a thing, a long thin thing.

I do believe I gasped aloud. I know I became short of breath. I steamed off the LUAS, ran back to the bank machine, ran back to the LUAS, which had filled up appreciably, ran back out, looked in the tracks themselves [from a distance- I didn’t start crawling around on the ground… surprisingly…] and finally had to give up.

I lost it. I lost the feckin’ thing. I am still gobsmacked. If you never knew what feeling accompanied the description of gobsmacked-ness, this was it. Reliving it now, my mouth is agape.

So I beat myself up all the way to the taxi rank [hard to do without the whip, ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa. Blah.] Got to the yard, and started prowling around, looking for, even, a short stick, as I hadn’t packed my former crop in my bag. Why should I? I had the Amazing and Magical Stick of Wonder.

Bugggggggerrrrrrrrrrrr.

I got a loan of a whip— insignificant and short, to my newly opened eyes. Couldn’t imagine how I was going to get on with Reb.

But, of course, I did get on. And I learned that it’s not so much the application of the stick, but the reminder of its presence that Rebel responds to. We were about to canter— oh, how I was dreading it!— and just for the craic, I waved the stick around so that he could see it out of the corner of his eye.

And off we went.

Well, that was interesting. I’m sure I’ll need to resort, in future, to the auld whack on the bum, but it appears that a visual aid works a treat as well.

All went well. Lesson: don’t get so hung up on things, don’t invest inanimate objects with power [one of my top five favourite things to do in life], stay in the present moment as best as possible, minimise the self-castigation when things go wrong, and stay flexible.

I’ve got a perfectly good crop still. I’ve got two 100cm dressage whips coming through the post. All is well.

But I take my hat off to the AMSW, whose short appearance in my life was rather groundbreaking. And previous to the disaster, I had decided that that acronym was less than euphonic, and I was about to christen it Ted. Geddit?

Walk softly…

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