Monday, 16 November 2009


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Today there were sudden gales, squalls of rain, moments of glittering sunshine. My cousin and I went for a ride along fields of incongruously high corn (in November?) and through a hidden green valley. We saw four deer loping solemnly along in single file as if they had an appointment to keep, and a high buzzard looking for its prey. The dogs swam in a thin brook and dug for moles and made havoc in the hedgerows.

For dinner, I made sausages with onion gravy, olive oil mash, and a little mixture of carrots, celery and mange tout. My godson felt ill, so I made him some tomato soup, for its curative value. The baby made jokes about the dogs. (She is only twenty months old, but she already has a keen sense of humour.)

Oh, and I did a piece of work. My friend C called, for love and business. 'I'm up against a HARD deadline,' I shouted. 'Yes, yes, yes,' he shouted back. Then we talked for twenty minutes, because five is never enough, and sod the hard deadline.

And now the house is asleep, and there is only the sound of the wind sucking and blowing against the window panes, and the low yip of one of the dogs chasing rabbits in her sleep, and the slight ship-at-sea creak that comes with old houses and wooden floorboards. I adore this family life. It is entirely exotic to me. I choose to live alone, and soon I shall crave solitude again, and go back north. But for now, I would not be anywhere else in the world.


  1. Such lovely description. I, too, enjoy the solitude although the sounds of home are nice sometimes also.

  2. Like Maud when she's introduced to all Dent's friends when they get snowed in and it's all warm family feeling and then there's the creeping need for just the two of them again. Except you have the dogs which are probably slightly easier to live with. Esp as I don't remember Dent mole-hunting.

    (Sorry - it's coming up winter and I am going freelance (the two are not related) and the idea of writing alone filled me with so much intimation and trepidation I had to go re-read to put it all into writerly perspective.)

  3. Solitude, solitude, I crave the stuff. I would bath in its warm embrace. Is the fact I want some alone time coming across? Great post.

  4. Hi,
    Have just discovered your blog via Libertylondon girl and what a find! Thanks for being so generous with your workshop on writing, even I, or especially I am so good at finding top flight excuses not to write that sitting down to do your first five- minute exercise completely baffled astounded and thrilled me. You are i n s p i r i n g.

  5. I love the way you write, just reading about what you're doing has made me a) want sausages and mash and b) feel calm and look forward to summers sitting on the lawn doing nothing with no one!

  6. How lovely and kind you all are, and so reassuring when I am rather going off-piste with the blog. Thank you.

    And Jo - reading Nothing to Lose really is above and beyond the call. Good luck with going freelance; I am certain it will be a wild success.

  7. Thank you for your kind comment. The brave new world of freelancing is a tiny bit daunting - part food writing (hack for hire here...), part cookery classes, part back to my roots pootling around in a bookshop... I shall embrace solitude and hold up an image of Maud writing of her explorer as my role model.


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin