Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I am back. I took three days off in an attempt to calm my raging brain. This is how I described it to my sister yesterday:
'I don't wake up and think hello sky, hello birds,' I said. 'I wake up and think OH MY GOD OH MY GOD I have to write a thousand words NOW because the deadline is looming and I did not do enough last week and I need to read twenty-seven more books on ten different subjects and what happened to that good idea I had last night but now cannot remember and oh oh oh OH.'
She looked slightly surprised.
'So you are a bit stressed?' she said.
'Yes,' I said. 'But it's excitement as well, if I think of something that really interests me and I think will work in the book. Although then I get a panic that I shan't be able to write it well enough.'
'I see,' she said. She is very serene at the moment. She is doing a lot of gardening, which appears to be therapeutic.
'So basically my adrenals are buggered,' I said.
Then I made her and my niece some homemade lemonade and we talked about apple trees.
My brain is, of course, absolutely no calmer than it was three days ago, but I have managed to get rid of almost all the ground elder and plant two delightful varieties of salvia and three different lavenders. I think I have to accept that I shall never be a calm, happy go lucky, mildly slapdash kind of writer. It's always screeching full blast go go go, all the time. This is why I stock up on Floradix iron tonic. It is also why I especially bless the dogs, who are scientifically proven to lower my blood pressure.
It is also why I never take this place for granted, because I can go for a morning walk and hear swallows singing and feel the clean northern air on my face and look at things like this:
This was the sky this morning. It was heavy with dark blue clouds when I went out, and by the time I walked back the clouds had lifted and a clear light was shining through. Not sunshine, exactly, we can't hope for miracles, but light.
Foxglove, fern and an unidentified wildflower which I saw on my walk.
The beech avenue, in different lights.
I sometimes think they are wasted in real life. They should surely be in the movies?
Although I do love them posing for their close-ups, sometimes I just like candid snaps of them doing their own dog stuff, which this morning was mostly composed of loping, sniffing, staring at distance specks which might turn out to be rabbits, rustling about in the long grass, and digging for moles.
PS. Thank you so much for all your lovely and thoughtful comments of the last three days, especially the ones on the Armed Forces Day post.