Thursday, 19 August 2010

The size of the world

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Some of the very kind readers have been appreciating the pictures, and asking for more of the dogs. (You really should not be encouraging me like that; we all know where it will end.) I am trying to get some printing done, and my chip is occupied, which I promise is not some ghastly euphemism, so I cannot use the camera today, and I had to go back through my files to find some old pictures to put up. I suddenly realised it is a record of a very small world. There are the dogs, of course, and then the flowers, the moss, the trees, the wall, the burn, the occasional artistic leaf. That's it.

I used to live in a very big world. London is one of the great global cities. I remember years ago walking down Bond Street and hearing twelve different languages in one block, at least three of which I could not identify at all. Pashto? I wondered afterwards. Serbo-Croat? I spent a lot of time in Soho and Chinatown and Notting Hill, before it became a hedge-fund compound, back in the old days when the All Saint's Road really was the front line, working girls and crack palaces where there are now boutiques and chi-chi restaurants. I'm not saying that crack dens are good things, but I did quite like the sense of being on the edge. I liked the old established communities, where the immigrants had come from Naples or Bridgetown or Peking, in the days when it was Peking, and made little corners of the city their own.

I had friends and relations in Dublin, New York, Seattle, Siena, Singapore and Los Angeles, and I would fly off and visit them. It was before there was such a thing as a carbon footprint.

Now, there is this small place. I ponder whether I should go and visit my cousins in North Uist, and that feels like an epic journey to me. The world comes to me via my computer, where I can find news and pictures and blogs from Ulan Bator to the South China Seas. But my physical space has shrunk; I am at a stage in my life where I want to stay still. I cannot quite work out if this is a good thing or a bad thing. When I was green and foolish, I rather despised the people who stayed at home. Travel broadens the mind, I thought, as I skipped off on another jaunt. I think this is true, however much of a cliché it might be, but I also think that there are many places to explore in the privacy of one's own head. There will come a time when I shall go off again; there are still many places I want to see. I yearn for the fjords, and I want to look at St Petersburg and Copenhagen; I should very much like to see the rose red city at Petra.

Just now, I am staying at home. This is what I see here:

The wall:


The trees:

Thursday before Easter 044

The pots:


The shrubbery:


(It's not really a shrubbery, I just like saying that, in a Monty Python accent.)

My room:


Virginia the pig:


The dogs:

May 3rd 035

The beautiful younger niece, who has just come home for the holidays, and is looking more and more like Julie Christie in Darling:


The view:

May 3rd 022

The flowers:


My books:

Bookshelves 073

The lichen:


The obligatory artistic leaf:


It's a tiny world, but it's where I live, and I feel very lucky in it.


  1. Your experience largely mirrors my own: I've been everywhere and loved it, but now I want a comfy chair, a hot chocolate and a cuddle with my dog while I read or surf the net. I think it's called 'growing up' and it kind of scares me.

  2. I just love the images you capture! They are alwasy so rich in color (usually green!). The wall photo is my favorite.

    xo M

  3. I feel there is a huge lack of travel in my life and those places I have been are (mostly) package holiday destinations. I married at 22 and had No1 when I was 24. The only foreign travel I did with Smug ex in 13 years was my honeymoon in Cyprus and a business trip to Rio (fab location, but was very ill and marriage was breaking down, not great!)
    Mr GG are awaiting the time the boys are self sufficient and then we're off :)

    AS an aside, when you have all that beauty to look at every day why would you want to go far at all?

  4. I like the look of your little world...

  5. And what a lovely world it is. Thanks for sharing it with us. You make me want to cast a fresh eye over my own surroundings. Thanks for that, too. Oh, and the book FINALLY came, from Australia by way of Timbuktu, it would seem. Haven't been able to put it down; it's addictive.

  6. I don't think you are living in a small world I think you are living in a carefully designed niche of your own making! Look at it and the decisions you must have made to get there. Each part of your life looks perfectly tailored to who you are. I would also like to add that I am jealous.

  7. Off Topic: I have just been given a copy of Backwards in High Heels and have had my nose stuck in it ever since. I can't gush enough about how good it is.
    The chapter entitled: Not Mothers but Fighters struck such a loud chord with me that I felt I had to leave a comment on your blog. I'm sure that I've never seen my opinion regarding motherhood in print before. Thank you so much for making me feel less alone with my point of view.
    Even more off topic: I checked out Tania Kindersley on Amazon and found that she is the author of Goodbye, Johnny Thunders. I read this book years ago and then my sister nicked it - the story has lingered long in my head, but sadly I'd forgotten the title and the author's name - now I can finally buy a new copy and re-read.
    Anyhow, enough of the gushing and I will bugger off to my own side of the blogosphere.
    Many thanks,

  8. Enchanting comments; how lovely and kind you all are. Thank you.

    And ScarletBlue - thank you so much for exceptionally generous remarks about Backwards. The Not Mothers section was my own little rant, so I am particularly pleased you liked it.

  9. I think your part of the world looks wonderful. Why would you want to leave it? Thank you for sharing it with us x

  10. Gorgeous pictures as always. I love your bookshelves and your room is fabulous, great colours. And Virginia is adorable... xx


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