It’s one of the more interesting phrases I’ve picked up in my time here. Now, the F word is used as carelessly as one would use a definite article — it’s simply a part of speech, like a noun or a verb or an adjective, and with creativity, can be used as any and all of these.

It’s not like I didn’t swear before I moved here, I did live in New York, after all, but the… casualness with which one effs and blinds over here is something that you only notice when you go to, say, California, where it seems like nobody curses. It may be that I simply haven’t spent that much time in LA; I reckon the air turns blue inside SUVs on the freeway.

Anyway, as I walked away from Festina Lente today, the first thing I thought, and maybe even muttered allowed, was the heading on this post.

I knew that I’d have two weeks off for the Christmas holidays, and that was fine. I had programmed my body and mind to accept this. I had socialising to do, and work on a new novel to get stuck into [it’s going really well, thanks for asking!] But when the snow started falling from the sky, I started to worry…

With good reason. Unprepared, and unequipped to contend with what many in the States would consider a dusting, and with freezing temperatures turning every form of precipitation to black ice, I knew in my heart that the way up to the yard would be impassable, and that I may not be able to ride for an additional week.

Nightmare! [Pun intended!] My body and mind had wound down from its reluctant but willingly imposed break and was fully expecting to get back in the saddle. My mind was a little less fixed on the matter, and realised that the horses would be rather edgy at this stage. Mightn’t be a bad thing, to let things thaw out and even let some other f*cker [see?] take the first go after they’d had a two week holiday and been suffering from the effects of the crazy cold weather.

So I lost a week in riding, and gained seven days of grumpiness and growling. As the forecast called for worse this past Sunday, with Monday coming in a close second, I fretted that I wouldn’t even be able to get to Festina, which is on lower land, and easily walked from the Dublin road…

But there I was this morning, in some pissy rain which people were complaining about, but thank f**k it wasn’t the white stuff! Even though I didn’t get to ride, it was such a relief to be in that world again, to be around the horses, and even though I had a lungeing lesson — at which I did much better this time around, it’s only my third one — I felt everything relax: mind, body and spirit.

How lucky I am to have this! To feel so at home in this world, of which I knew nothing three short years ago. As crass as it is, I do thank f**k that I got out there today, dressed for the Baltic, hauling my bag over my shoulder, and breathing again. As crass as it is, I suppose profanity trumps blasphemy today.