Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Keep thinking it is Tuesday. Somewhere this week, I lost a day. It might be an occupational hazard.
2882 words today. It is too much. I generally think after 2,000 everything degenerates into nonsense. I had too many cups of black coffee and could not stop. I am intensely aware of deadlines and how much I still have to say; I must bash on, on, on as fast as my fingers can carry me, even if sometimes it results in too many words.
After all that, I send Sarah such a manic email that she writes back: 'Are you alright?'.
I am tempted to say: define 'alright'. Although of course I am. It's just my brain gets a little fried at this stage in a book. It's all book, all the time, and that can leave one feeling swamped under a raging tide of thought. Also, my practical sense, which is atrophied at the finest of times, becomes even more vestigial. Usual things like tidying up the kitchen take on a looming, impossible aspect.
I did manage, however, to make my dear mum a nice pot of minestrone. I feel it imperative that she have soup. She seemed very pleased, and gave me goat's cheese on oatcakes in an attempt to relieve my enervation. On the way back from her house, I looked at all the poor sheep, who have been shorn to within an inch of their lives, and were not expecting the driving rain and meagre twelve degrees which have today descended. They huddled under the chestnut trees, looking most put out.
I am going to ignore the torrential weather and give you some flower pictures instead. Sorry there are not better words on the blog today; it all went into the book and there is nothing left. You are very patient with me. These are from yesterday, when the sun was shining:
A tiny hedgerow rose.
All that is left of the tree hydrangea, which only a week ago was covered in white flowers. I think it is still rather splendid, in its own right, with its bare stalks and tiny red tips.
A brand new rosebud, all the more marvellous because it is on a rosebush I thought had perished in the long winter snows.
These geraniums are those kind that do not grow in one place, but wind their way through many other plants, and spring up in the most unlikely areas. They always feel like a present to me.
When I rescued all the poor old pots and put them up on the new pot table and started watering them and mulching them and giving them some love, some turned out to contain quite forgotten flowers. I had no idea these two even still existed. They appeared, quite out of the blue, a week ago.
Here is another surprise, a little strawberry I thought dead as a dodo.
The pot table in all its glory. Just look at that happy lavender. And do you see the mystery seeds are growing, down in the right-hand corner?
I still have absolutely no idea what they might be. My sister says I must 'prick them out'. I do not know what this means. It sounds most alarming. I just nod my head when she says things like this and try not to look like an idiot.
I leave you with the traditional gratuitous dog shot. She's got her stick, and she's not letting it go.