She has hired riding school horses for them but has made a pavlova that can’t be transported on horseback. She says, “You can drive a horse. I’ve arranged to borrow a horse and jinker for the day.”
The retired, ancient, white horse, Snowy hasn’t been in harness for ten years. Old Mrs Pickersgill harnesses him up for us, looking worried. I pick up the reins and he bolts around the small paddock. When he settles down, we meet up with the girls. Margot riding shotgun beside me; we hit the open road through the gum trees for the sleepy hamlet of Rhyll.
Grey skies and a strong cold westerly wind are the flavour of the day. We huddle together behind the monument to the early explorers for our picnic. Anticipation runs high when the pavlova is produced. Unfortunately, the whipped cream is sour, but we eat it just the same. By this time the company is looking miserable. It’s wet and cold and they are not used to riding horses!
All the way home the driving rain stings our faces. There is no escape from the rain in a jinker and our horse is as unhappy as the silent Melbourne girls, who look as if they will be eating their tea off the mantelpiece tonight.
As Margot and I drive home like drowned rats we cannot help laughing. We say, “This is a day we will never forget!”