Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I feel I should have words of wisdom or philosophical ponderings or political statements or at least an opinion on something for you. I am used to a quiet room. The rhythms of family life are so unfamiliar that I find my brain functions in an entirely different way. The words that spill over each other when I am at my own desk are suddenly not available to me. (Sudden thought: it may be because I am chatting all the time; once the words are spoken, there is no need to write them down.)
What I love about staying in my cousin's house: the jokes; the oblique angle from which small people view the world; the affection; the lack of dissembling; the moments when I come downstairs and find everyone dancing in the kitchen.
What I miss about my house: the silence; the space; the time to think and think and think; the latitude (I may eat soup at breakfast if I fancy, and work until 3am, and take Wednesday off as long as I then work on Sunday); the luxury of time.
There is a lot of happiness in this house. The sound I hear most often is laughter.
So, I am contented, but slightly disturbed by the vague sensation of being empty-headed. I am so used to having several strong opinions for you. But somebody has a birthday, and it is time to go and eat a Victoria sponge. What could be more important than that?
So instead of words, there are pictures. The weather continues dull and ugly, so there are no photographs from here. Instead I went through my files and plucked some old favourites from the archives for your Friday viewing pleasure.
The Scottish light on the hill, looking south:
I do sometimes look at something like this baby euphorbia and wonder why it was that nature went to all that trouble. She did not have to put those astonishing scarlet stars into the centre of the green flowers. There is almost certainly no evolutionary or practical need for it. I suppose there might be a thing about bees and pollen, but duller flowers manage to get themselves propagated without that startling colour combination. It's just there for pure, glorious aesthetics, and there is something magical about that:
I do not always need vivid flowers though; sometimes, as the regular readers know, I am tremendously happy with nothing more than a green leaf or two:
The hellebores transfixed me for most of the first half of this year. They flowered from February to September, in the shade of a north-facing wall, without fuss or complaint:
The impossible delicacy of the chive flowers also filled my thoughts:
And there was a moment when all I seemed to do was take pictures of the tiny honeysuckle buds:
The elderflower can be a blowsy and vulgar thing, but I like this rather strict shot:
This was my sister's hydrangea, of which I was blatantly jealous for most of July:
Of course I miss the ladyships the most, but I must not speak of that, or I shall sound like the most sentimental of the Dog People, and I am attempting to hold onto some reputation for rationality.
Rather moody and slightly blurred:
All sepia and Julie Christie eyes:
Almost too noble to breathe:
Look at that; patience on the monument indeed.
Have a very happy Friday.
(I can hear the sound of six small girls having a disco downstairs, so I must go before they eat all the cake.)