Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Ow, ow, my brain hurts. I am not being metaphorical. My cerebellum actually feels as if it is swollen, and is pressing against my skull. This is because I have done 1539 words today. 1539. That is quite properly vulgar. Graham Greene would never do more than five hundred a day. (This is one of the many, many differences between me and Graham.) I had to think so hard that I could feel my synapses straining with the effort.
I wonder if scientists have done studies of what happens to the brain when it is thinking like a racehorse at full stretch. I would like to read that paper.
As a result, you are not getting the blog I planned. (Yes, I plan my blog posts, which is either touching or tragic, depending on which way you want to look at it.) I woke up this morning with a perfect meditation running in my head about the Right here and the Right in America, and the attributes ascribed to them, and the differences between them. It is something I think about often. For a politics geek like me, it is so fascinating that I have to find new words for fascinating. It is also tied up with assumptions and received wisdom, two of my favourite subjects. I have been wanting to write about it here for some time.
The riff ran like a delicately balanced quartet in my head as I walked the dogs, made my breakfast, tidied the kitchen. Oh, I was pleased with myself, I was going to give you such a treat. Then there was the 1539 words of book, and no more thinking was possible.
I felt an obscure shame. I am letting you, dear readers, down; not giving you the Good Stuff which I had so meticulously planned. This made me think of the oddities of blogging. There is a trope in the media which goes: only political obsessives are interested in what are described as 'process stories'. This means not the policies themselves, but the sausage-making; the way in which political compromises are made, long term balanced against short term, the demands of the base weighed up against the more general good. It is strategy versus tactics; it is how will it play in Peoria.
I find process stories absolutely riveting. Because I am relatively new to blogging, and still don't have a clue what I am doing, I find process interesting here, too. I wonder where the idea comes from that I have entered into a compact with you, the reader. You give me the gift of your time, so I must honour the bargain with the Good Stuff. For some reason, this most often takes the form of some serious meditation on the big issue of the day. Look at me, look, look: I am thinking Deep Thoughts for you. Even as I write this, I see the fatuous absurdity of it.
There are two proofs against this odd idea. The first is that the blogs I most love often have nothing more than a couple of photographs and a quote or a poem or a snatch of prose. The second is that when I do a long and serious post, and feel quite stupidly pleased with myself, I often don't get much reaction. (It is as if I have bludgeoned you into submission.)On a tired day, if I put up something I consider slight and whimsical, and a picture of the dogs, I sometimes get twenty happy comments where I might have been expecting outraged we want our money back complaint.
I feel there is a lesson here, although I am too addled to work out quite what it is. Something about not second-guessing, and to your own self be true, and each to each. Oh, and there is surely a lesson about perfectionism, too. There is no such thing as the perfect blog, any more than there is the perfect anything, nor would that be desirable. Also: just because things do not go exactly as one plans, it does not mean All is Lost. Or something.
Whichever and whatever, I feel very grateful that you stick with me through it, even when I am rambling all over the shop. Especially when I am rambling all over the shop.
I was so caught up with work that I forgot to charge the camera battery, so there are no photographs from today. Just as well really, as it is a dull, flat old day outside, as if the hills are holding their breath for the Arctic blast which the weather people promise is coming. So instead I give you a random selection from the last couple of weeks.
Moss with stone:
Oh those patient eyes:
It turns out that some creatures are just as beautiful from the back as from the front:
While all other creatures want to do is find a really, really good stick:
Moss, lichen and branch:
Tree bark, looking almost like very chic wallpaper recommended by some tremendous style magazine:
I know that dogs do not have thoughts, apart from biscuit, throw stick, and tickle stomach. But if they did, this one would be thinking something like: 'Sometimes I am so overcome by my own beauty that I have to shut my eyes':
This one, on the other hand, is all eyes wide open, all the time, just in case there should be the offer of anything edible or the throwing of a ball:
Since winter is about to come back with a crazed vengeance, here are some cheering flower pictures which I took when I was in London a few weeks ago:
And now I am going to check on my stew.