Picture this: Tralee, Ireland Sept 2010. Traffic lights at a major crossroads. A busy railway station on one junction. Cars, lorries, buses coming from four directions.
Our line is waiting for the green light, two rows of purring vehicles anxious to be moving. And at the front of our line – a piebald pony!
There’s no saddle on the pony, no bridle, and no reins. Not even a blanket! All that’s on the pony is a young lad in jeans and a grey hoodie, his legs dangling like bendy matchsticks with outsized trainers on the end of them.
He’s gripping the pony’s mane with one hand, and in his other hand he’s holding a mobile phone to his ear and his head is bopping animatedly as he talks loudly into it.
And unbelievably, I seem to be the only one who is surprised by this. Everyone else in the vehicles around me have looks of total indifference on their faces.
The lights change to green and the lad prods the pony into a canter with his knees and they casually negotiate the intersection, the lad still engaged in a conversation on his phone.
They turn right while I have to go straight on and suddenly they’re lost in the fuzz of activity and I curse silently. Why don’t you ever have a camera when you need one!