Magic accoutrements

When I was a kid, I would stand in the saddlery shop and just breathe in the intoxicating smells.

Leather, hoof oil, saddle soap, tubs of sugar-beet, new plastic.

I was consumed with a love of horses, and visiting the saddlery was like visiting a cave of wonders.

I'd pick up the likes of dandy brushes, hoof picks, French snaffles, running martingales, stirrup treads or lunge ropes and examine them with endless and inexhaustible fascination.

I've seen musicians exhibit similar behaviour in instrument shops. Fitness fanatics in sports shops. Fishing enthusiasts with flies, fashion designers with fabric, makeup artists with lipstick, chefs with seafood... you get the picture.

And now I have the same feelings when I go into art shops. That delicious sense of wonder...