Boxing Day dawns once again and Oliver and Hattie Mackintosh prepare for another one full of sad memories. Their fifteenth in a row.
Oliver explains: ‘Used to be the best day of the year. We’d get dressed up and then it was out to the yard where the horses had been immaculately groomed by the stable staff.’
‘A quick snifter or two outside The Bell and Dragon,’ adds Hattie with tears in her eyes, ‘then The Master would sound the horn and we’d be off, galloping over fields and meadows with expectation in our hearts, hounds yelping and the chase on.’
‘The fun would really start if we encountered saboteurs,’ Oliver smiles, ‘a few good blows with our riding crops and that soon sent them back to their squats, bowls of muesli and nut cutlets.’
‘Then the best bit, cornering the fox then the dogs going crazy as the little fellow was ripped to shreds followed by another massive horn, if you get what I’m saying.’
‘I can tell you it made a chap feel alive and you know I’d often… oh dear… I say do you happen to have a tissue, Hattie?’