Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Here was my plan:
My guests would arrive, admire the newly hung pictures, eat the Aberdeen Angus beef, drink the good 2005 claret, dispose themselves about the house, while I would waft about in serene hostess mode, and in moments of quiet, calmly keep up with the blog. Oh, and I also thought they might like to sit in the sun. SUN. In Scotland. In August. Ha.
Actually, what with avoiding the monsoon rains, going on expeditions along Deeside, Donside, and all points in between, attending the Lonach gathering, getting up before breakfast to make the bread, and cooking lunch for ten yesterday, I hardly know what my own name is. So it turns out I ruthlessly abandoned you, which is perfectly disgraceful after all the incredibly kind and lovely comments you left on my last couple of posts. I am a perfect shocker, and there is no health in me, and I keenly apologise.
The guests are still here, but there is a tiny moment of quiet, so I have rushed to my desk for a swift interim update.
It's always the most humble things which are the greatest triumph. The fine wines and the best beef in the world were obviously appreciated, but actually what gave the keenest pleasure were: the dogs, leaping for tennis balls; the hills, turning purple now as the heather comes out for autumn; and the soda bread, that great peasant staple of old Ireland.
My funny pot table was also much admired:
I am very excited about my new violas:
And my rather splendid pot hydrangea, which actually no one much noticed but me:
Now I must go and start planning lunch.
Normal service shall resume tomorrow.
PS. You may remember that I told you how the duchessy dog occasionally gives one the Lady Catherine de Bourgh look. Sarah was sitting quite innocently on the sofa last night when she got The Look.
'That dog,' she said, 'just raised her eyebrow at me.'
It's always a little bit of a shock, the first time.