Friday, 2 April 2010

Good Friday

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Today is the goodest of Good Fridays. Practically my entire family is here, all the babies looking particularly sweet and fetching, and everybody wreathed in special Easter smiles. (I should point out that we are not The Waltons, and this smiling business does not always obtain.) It is a perfect Bobby Dazzler of a day, the sun shining gaudily out of an azure sky.

I went to the village to run errands, ostensibly to get pork, hot cross buns, and a newspaper. Those were my three things. I have been on an anti-stuff jag lately, partly because of the recession, partly because I fret mildly about landfill, partly because I already have too much stuff, partly as a responsible economy drive. I don't know if it was the sun, or seeing all the happy family faces, or just weeks of not shopping, but I suddenly had a Nicole Diver moment.

I came back with: a white hydrangea in a pot as a present for my mother, gaily coloured rubber ducks for the children, bunches of tulips and roses, two little blue plants whose name I now cannot remember, sirloin steaks for lunch (from happy Aberdeen Angus cows who live about three fields away, thus pleasing my need to buy local), great bunches of basil and watercress, eight hot cross buns, a lovely white heather, and a glorious plaid blanket from Johnston's of Elgin. All of this was very, very naughty. There was no call for any of it. I suppose I could say I am doing my bit to keep the creaking economy going, and supporting my village shops, but really it was just about pure, naked pleasure.

I wonder too if it carried a slight edge of defiance. I was told yesterday that there are people I know who think my life is a waste. Apparently, it is so peculiar for a women to choose to live without a husband that she must be pitied. I sometimes think I can bear almost anything except pity. I know that there are people who crave it, blowing every tiny set-back into a three act drama, so they may receive a chorus of poor yous. For whatever reason, I do not. If anyone says 'poor you' to me, I go very gruff and reply that I am not living in the Congo. The irony of all this is that I spend half my time feeling slightly guilty that I am so blatantly, unfairly lucky. I have all my arms and legs, I have utter freedom, I have time and solitude, both of which I crave, I do a job I love, I am surrounded with the love of family and friends, I have beautiful black dogs who make me laugh, I can type, and I live in the middle of one of the most glorious landscapes on earth. But apparently, because I neglected to marry, it is all a WASTE.

So, in true philosophical fashion, I went shopping. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. I have roses. Sometimes, as the tremendous Miss Gertrude Stein once said a rose is a rose is a rose. Sometimes it is the floral equivalent of the red banner of everyone can just bugger off and mind their own business.

And really, no stupid chatter means a damn, because it has been such a glorious day.

I woke up and I saw this:

Good Friday 008

And a sky the colour of this:

Good Friday 001

And my dear little garden looked like this:

Good Friday 017

(How could anyone pity someone who has such a fine dry stone wall? Really?)

And I bought this:

Good Friday 071

And this:

Good Friday 083

And this:

Good Friday 102

And these:

Good Friday 069

And then I arranged them so they looked like this:

Good Friday 238

And this:

Good Friday 200

And, meanwhile, the dogs were doing this:

Good Friday 120

(Notice slightly cross 'when are you going to stop faffing around with boring flowers and find me a nice stick to catch?' face.)

And this:

Good Friday 141

(Notice contrasting oblivion to floral matters, and instead utter concentration on finding most comfortable position on the sofa.)

And my dear old mum gave me these:

Good Friday 056

And soon the children will be playing with these:

Good Friday 169

(All profits from which will go to the RNLI, because one must never forget the lifeboats.)

And somehow, all of that made me remember that people will say what they will, and I must let them, and none of it matters very much, not when there are days of dogs and roses.


  1. Ah, Tania, as someone who married late (7 years ago, on the cusp of turning 50, I'd venture a guess that some of those who consider your life choices to be a "waste" may be a titch envious.

    I love my husband dearly and am very happy that we've found each other, but I also treasured my single life and occasionally miss it. In fact, like you, I sometimes felt a bit guilty about the wonderful selfishness of living on my own. There's something quite exhilarating about being solely responsible for oneself, one's environment, one's schedule, etc.

    Isn't it fascinating how, as wonderful as get-togethers with family can be, you always find out something that you probably didn't need to know?



  2. Do not let anyone fool you into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the marital fence, Tania!

    And, to be brutally honest, neither is it more lush on the side of 'motherhood'.

    Your friends/family who say that it is a waste never to have married sound a little envious of your fabulous life.

    I know I am - and I'm just looking at the photographs! :-)

    Ali x

  3. Ha! I was taking photos of a partic beautous cut & laid hedge yesterday.


  4. You go girl! Isn't it weird how people think you might be interested in their opinions?

    I'm particulalry envying you the lovely plaid blanket, I have a great weakness for grannyishly tucking myself up in cosy layers on the sofa.

  5. How lovely you all are. It never ceases to amaze me how curative the blogosphere is. Happy Good Friday. x

  6. Well said that girl!! You take not the slightest notice - grab your life with both hands and give it a good shake! Dogs and roses thats the Spirit!!

    Vicky x

  7. I've been meaning to leave a comment for ages after finding your gorgeous blog but worried I would sound too gushy and stalky. But too bad!

    I adore your writing (which I only recently realised I have sitting on my bookshelf) and find myself nodding along in agreement and so enjoying your beautiful black dogs framed by your beautiful Scotland.

    The only reason anyone could possibly make such a horrid comment is surely pure envy. And probably a hideous husband!

  8. oooh am loving the the pretty eggs and beautiful flowers and I could certainly do with a duck myself....

  9. People can be so ridiculous. Gorgeous blanket and flowers! I treat myself all the time. And why not? xx

  10. I can't believe the comment about 'waste' just because you aren't married! As a currently unmarried woman myself, I'm staggered by the sentiment. Is it my 'duty' to be looking after some man? Am I taking up too much space in a house all by myself?

    Of course your life is none of their business, but where did they get the idea that the only meaninful life is having a husband? That Life is nothing unless it revolves around a man. Good grief, I've haven't heard anything so ridiculous and old fashioned in a long time.

  11. people always think they know better than you how your life should be...if only they would take a peek at their own lives sometimes!
    Johnstons of Elgin is a fabulous shop, and I can never decide which one of their lovely blankets to get, so have not succumbed yet!

  12. Vicky, Jane, Young at H, Christina, Northmoon, and Jill - thank you so much. I was feeling rather grumpy about the whole thing. My mother read this post and rang up today and said Oh DARLING, are you all right? I was able to tell her that since all my lovely blog readers were so kind and supportive I was absolutely peachy. You see what miracles the blogosphere can perform?


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


Blog Widget by LinkWithin