Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Oh, it was all going to be so perfect. On Monday morning, I was going to be like a finely tuned racehorse breaking out of the gate. It was a new year, a new start, and, the most creakingly hoary of clichés, a new me. I was going to start writing the new book, and entirely reinvent the blog. It would be all shining and excellent and novel. It would blind you with its brilliance. I pictured myself as one of those great prima ballerinas of old, the proper divas, bending gracefully to pick up bouquets as they were thrown to the stage by a roaring crowd.
Instead of which, I got hit by the Fear. It came roaring down the track like an out of control truck, ran me over, and disappeared ruthlessly over the horizon. For two days my fingers have been paralysed. I could not, as my most charming friend Stephen likes to say, write fuck on a dusty blind. I pretended to do 'research', while all the time feeling as if I were crouching under the desk waiting for the terror to pass.
Sarah called this morning. 'I think I have the Fear,' I said.
'Yes, yes,' she said. There was a pause. 'Fear of what?'
'Well,' I said, talking quickly so as to cover over my utter idiocy. 'That we shall write a very bad book.'
'Yes,' she said, sounding distracted. 'That's not really very likely is it?'
'Isn't it?' I said.
'We are both professional writers,' she said, calmly. 'We have done this before. We have a good idea. Unless we are both struck by accidental lobotomy at the exact same time, I think we shall be all right.'
'I see,' I said. 'You are saying that statistics are on our side?'
'Yes,' she said.
'Oh well,' I said. 'That's all right then.'
Sarah has occasional fleeting visits to the irrational. Her default mode is, however, bracingly practical. I have never done practical in my life. I get all twisted up inside because in my secret heart I think if I try hard enough, and think hard enough, and work hard enough, I might just, one day, write something that comes close to Mrs Dalloway. Sarah does not care a whit about Mrs Woolf. She is an absolute pro. I am, from now on, going to attempt to emulate her. THAT is my new year's resolution.
PS I read somewhere once that someone did a lovely project where they just took a photograph a day for a whole year, so that they had a visual record of their daily life. The pictures were not an aesthetic festival, just plain snapshots of an ordinary life. I love that idea. One of the things I do want to try and do this year is have a picture a day. It might get dull or repetitive, I may get bored and give up on the whole thing. But, for what it is worth, here is what I saw today -
Snow on the trees:
The sheep, just visible through the starting blizzard:
One of the dogs, running down the beech avenue:
And the other one, hock deep in snow:
That snow, by the way, is not a drift. There has been no wind for two weeks. That is just how deep it is. For your reference, here is my flower pot, now entirely submerged, with its ever-growing cap: