Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I call my mother.
'I am feeling slightly better,' I say. 'How are you feeling?'
'I am feeling slightly better too,' she says.
I like to think that my judicious application of Glemnorangie worked, but it may be that after three days the viral load just buggers off to torment someone else.
'I am going to get up and take the dogs out,' I say.
'Oh do be careful,' says my mother, as if I am about to fly to Chile and start digging for copper.
'Yes,' I say, dutifully.
'And wear something on your dear head,' she says.
'On my head?' I say.
'Because that's where the cold gets in,' says my mother.
So now we know: the cold gets in through your head. My mother is very wise.
Talking of Chile: the thing that amused me most about that story was that one of the miners had a wife and a mistress waiting for him, and there was the most almighty spat between them, and he did not seem remotely fazed by any of it. I know I should carp and cavil about it having taken up one entire day of rolling news on BBC News 24, as if not one other thing of moment happened anywhere in the world that day, but I shan't, because it's not often we get such a dramatic good news story from so far away. There were odd stilted moments when whoever the poor commentator was had to struggle for something to say in the slow wait between each emergence. Matt Frei made some rather good jokes about there being a hugging protocol: first the best beloved, then the President, then the Mining Minister, the splendidly named Laurence Golborne. I admit there was a slight silliness in treating the whole thing as if it were a royal wedding (I'm surprised the Dimbles were not roped in), but I was in the end incredibly impressed by the professionalism of the Beeb's journalists, most especially Tim Wilcox and Matt Frei, who interviewed the families with the utmost courtesy, in perfect Spanish.
And talking of the BBC: over at The Telegraph, Daniel Hannon has been having the obligatory right-wing pop at dear old Auntie, for her supposed commie bias. I try not to be tribal these days, in the spirit of the New Politics, and I am old enough to see that there are good ideas on the Right, just as there are on the Left, and saying that either side shows glimpses of a cloven hoof and trails a whiff of sulphur is childish and asinine, but I do wish that the right wingers could see how tired and clichéd and petulant they sound when they trot out this creaking old hobby horse. Clop, clop, clop, eh Mr Gibbon? It is especially idiotic when they compare the BBC unfavourably with Fox News. Have they ever seen Bill O'Reilly? I say, in the words of the great Leonard Cohen: Sing another song, boys, this one has grown old and bitter.
My mind is wandering now. I am up, but not yet back to fighting fitness. If you want to read something really evocative and gloriously written to add a gleam and a glow to your Friday, I suggest this post from my friend Miss Whistle, all the way over in California, which you may find here.
Some autumnal pictures before I go:
The rowan trees, which I planted, and which never fail to give me delight as they grow:
The little acer:
The leaves are really starting to fall now:
And on them rest the ladyships:
With the poodle, who is staying:
(Notice slightly cross faces. The old girls are not so keen on having to put up with a young, spry interloper who steals their sticks.)
More gratuitous beauty, I'm afraid, because I'm too weak from my virus to resist it:
(I think she can scent a squirrel. Either that, or she is just putting her nose in the air in true Duchess fashion.)
(Did someone say the word Biscuit?)
Amazingly, although it is real autumn now, these are still blooming:
To my utter delight and amazement, the lavender, which should not thrive in this climate at all, has put on a whole new lease of life, and is flowering as bravely as if it were on the high corniche:
Have a happy Friday.
PS. One more thought on the Chilean story. The BBC had an eminent professor on, sadly I was too dosed up on Day Nurse to catch his name, and he was asked why we do not know very much about Chile, post Pinochet. He said such an interesting thing. He said: the media is not that much interested in small successful countries half way round the world. Something to that effect, anyway. It turns out that since it has embraced democracy, Chile has done rather well. Despite this accident, its mining industry has a good safety record. The poverty rate has halved over the last twenty years, and GDP averages at about 4%, due to what every reputable source describes as 'sound economic policy'. Because of this, it does not make the news. There is a small irony in that. I suppose it is rather like a famous person who does not get busted for drugs or find her husband is sleeping with hookers; they are the ones you do not read about in the papers.