Friday, 15 October 2010

In which I find the whisky worked

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.


  1. I'm glad the whiskey worked and that your mother reminded you about the hat. How can we forget such sage advice?

    I am enormously grateful for the shout-out. I always feel a bit silly writing about my schoolgirl crush on horses. It never goes away.

    Love from LA,

    Miss W xx

  2. Hello, Last year I got your absolutely fab book 'Backwards in High Heels' for my birthday... given to me by my lovely stepmother! I loved the spirit, humour and wonderful truth about it all! I am really very happy to have discovered your blog and will pop you on my favourite list... love the labrador photo's too... I had a lovely lab too... nearly made it to 15 years!
    Good luck with all.. warm regards, Carolyn
    ps... all women should get your book!!!! A must have!!!

  3. Pleased you thought Matt Frei's Spanish was "perfect" - he read Modern Languages at Oxford in the 1980s. My (then, now VERY ex-) husband was one of his tutors in Spanish. It was good to hear the BBC pronounce all the place names correctly, especially Cheeleh!

    Seem to remember Mr Frei is half-German as well, Matt being shore for Matteus, as I recall. If there is ever a serious rockfall in an Alpine tunnel, he's your man.

  4. I am glad you are feeling better. My mother would say the identical thing to wrap up well specially the head and not to go out after 6 pm as you can catch a chill!

    Melbourne is beautiful. I think of how descriptive you would be regarding the foliage and the flowers. I've seen flowers I have never ever even heard of before but right now though its spring, its raining, its windy and ever so cold.

    The Chilean news was also on 24/7 here and the human element re the mistress and the wife was there in all its glory and didnt the wife stomp off and say she can have him?

    Is the poodle going to be permanent or have I missed a post somewhere? He is nice though not as nice as the other two. They look so dignified.

  5. There is an amusing video of Mitch Benn singing a song extolling the virtues of the BBC on YouTube which will counteract any telegraph craziness.

  6. Miss W - I think our schoolgirl crushes on the lovely equines should be honoured every day. :)

    Carolyn - incredibly kind of you about the book. So pleased you like it. Do hope all women take your excellent advice. (Then I can retire.)

    Goldenoldlady - fascinating about Matt Frei. He is half German. Have heard him do interviews in German also, just as impressive as the Spanish. So agree about Cheeleh.

    Mystica - you are always so very kind. The poodle is my sister's and just visiting. She has gone home now so the dignified ladies can return to their usual calm.

    Betty M - thank you so much for sending me to the Mitch Benn video. It's my new favourite thing.


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