Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I have a silly way of predicting my impending day during my commute to London. Just before Welwyn Garden City, the train goes through a tunnel and when it pops out the other side, the land falls gently away from the sides of the tracks, leaving them suspended some 30 ft above the level of the surrounding countryside. In urban areas, this doesn't often provide the most inspiring vista. But in this particular spot, the dreamy pastoral effect is rather like being dropped into one of the sweeping aerial views in a Miyazaki film, such as Spirited Away.
On one side of the train tracks lies a country mantion with beautifully manicured ponds and lawns. Stately trees dot its borders, perfectly placed for aesthetic pleasure. On the other side stretches a pasture for a sleek and glossy herd of horses bred for racing. It is there that I apply the measure of the approaching day. If I can see no horses grazing, it doesn't bode well. (It is usually a cold and wet day in that case anyway.) The maximum seems to be ten horses. Today began foggy, but the bright sunshine was already piercing the clouds when we zoomed past. So it is a seven-horse day. The morning has flown past and it's almost lunchtime, so I'm fairly pleased with the accuracy of my equine horoscope.