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When I have to go into London to meet with my editor or otherwise tout my writing wares, I have a few places that I like to visit if I have time between trains. I’d probably use the word ‘pilgrimage’ for these little jaunts.

One of the places is Coventry Street and Rudy Weller’s Horses of Helios statue. I have a passion for horses, have had ever since the 1970s tv series ‘Black Beauty’. The passion doesn’t include riding on them.  I am firmly in the Terry Pratchett camp there – a horse, however beautiful,  is a creature on the edge and everything from a paper bag to a bazooka can spook them. That admitted, I can’t help gawking at them and the Horses of Helios is a big draw.

Firstly I’m a sucker for the Greek Myths and the idea of Helios and his chariot drawing the sun across the sky in the morning. Tick. Secondly these horses are incredibly beautiful and dynamic; powerful beasts captured in bronze and, another big tick for a Pagan like me, they have a fountain. This is a noisy pilgrimage place. There is the noise of the traffic and the people but there is a strange effect once the fountain gets going, you just hear the water, cascading, silvered and the horses rear above you and you are just transported.

Well. I mean. I am.

My other horse is Whistlejacket at the National Gallery. Stark. Power. Horseness. There is no fancy background, just intense colour and intense……horse. Then there is the name; who wouldn’t call their horse ‘Whistlejacket’? Answers on a postcard…..

I love the word, ‘horse’. Some words just, well, speak to you. Spook the horses. Dark horse. If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. I could go on but I won’t.  I’ve got a bit of book to write this morning, plus a horse has just wandered out of the forest in my head and he is riderless…..where did I put that notebook?

 

 
 

‘a highly original talent’ – Beryl Bainbridge

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