Posted by Tania Kindersley.
It's an odd, flat day. There was some proper monsoon rain this morning, which delighted the garden, but now it is neither flesh, fowl, nor good red herring: dishwater skies and an overall feeling of ennui.
I am finding it difficult to settle back into work. I keep thinking: I must make a list. There is tremendous safety in lists. I love the ticking off of things. Then I think: I'm not sure what I should put on the list, apart from Work Harder, and TIDY KITCHEN. The dogs are slightly grumpy, because I am not throwing them nearly enough sticks, and I keep forgetting to buy their Bonios when I go to the shop. That's something I could put on the list: Bonios, Sticks.
Also, I am always a little unsettled by the summer recess. This is a most peculiar admission, I quite see; only a political geek would truly understand it. I know it should be a relief when the House rises and the silly season starts, and the nation can stop worrying about the national debt for ten minutes, and John Humphrys has to find someone else to shout at. But I get cross because the Radio Four schedules go to pot as all their best presenters have flown off to Umbria, and all parliamentary programmes are abruptly cancelled, and I have to listen to stupid things about obesity or people's childhood houses. (I do admit there is a juicy half hour of the lovely David Aaronovitch on the McCarthy witch-hunts to look forward to this evening, so not all is quite lost.) I find myself missing Jon Sopel and Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil. I never thought in my life that I would say: I miss Andrew Neil. If he will insist on turning himself into the most forensic political interviewer on television, what does he expect?
The dogs and I went for a rather desultory walk in the non-weather weather. Even though it was a dull day, there were still enchanting things to see. What I like about my new camera is that it makes me look closely at things that I once walked past, without noticing. You will be glad to hear that my secret obsession with moss and lichen continues at a high pitch:
Some strange, almost certainly fatal mushrooms have sprung up overnight:
The foxgloves were nodding their dewy heads:
This little silvery plant was looking pretty against the old stone wall:
I took a slightly poncy shot of the burn through some elder leaves; not at all sure it works, but still:
I admired the tree trunks:
I thought how delightful the lavender and the heather look together on the pot table:
I found one final stretch of most excellent mossy moss:
And now I must sharpen my wits and get on.