Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I was going to do a whole thing on judgement and tolerance and hypocrisy and double standards. I wake up with these ideas in my head, running around like sugared-up children after too many jelly beans, and I think: must make that into a good old blog for the dear readers. By the time I have had breakfast and taken the ladyships out for their walk, I have already shot off on at least seven tangents. (My patient co-writer will tell you that I never saw a tangent I could not love.) Then of course there is the caffeine injection, which does not necessarily help with any kind of zennish inner peace. Also, I am thinking of at least three different sections of the book which must be tackled.
The result is that sometimes, when I get to write the blog, it feels as if my entire brain has been fused by too much electricity. ZZZZZZ crackle explode it goes, like something out of those old black and white science fiction films. 'We can't save it, sir,' shout the operatives, in panic. And I stare at the screen, squinting, trying to remember what a thought actually is. I have been brought to my knees by too many ideas. Be careful what you wish for.
Sod it, I think, with the emergency generator part of my mind which is still functioning; I'll put up a picture of the dogs. I think now that is probably how the whole dog picture thing started. Then some of you very naughtily began encouraging me in that slippery slope, and now look.
All of which is a fabulously long way of saying: today is not going to be words, but pictures. It's a snow day; there will be no thinking, only gazing.
This is what I saw when I first went out this morning:
See the ominous sky?
Within moments, it had started snowing again:
(When I look at that picture there is a cartoon voice in my head going: YEAH, SNOW DOGS.)
All the trees were white and sculptural and like impressionist paintings:
In all the white, there were the merest flashes of colour; the faint red of the rose hips:
And the amazingly vivid amber of the Scots pines, which have taken on an extraordinary gleaming aspect in this light, as if someone switched them from monochrome to technicolour:
The ladyships, normally invigorated as puppies by the snow, were slightly doubtful as the weather set in:
But then, like a miracle, the sky cleared, as if some backstage scene-changer was pushing the clouds away, and the sun came out, and there were startling flashes of blue behind the trees:
Do you see the bird up there on the rowan tree? She, and for some reason I am convinced she is a she, is a new visitor to the garden. She has been bossing the robin and the blue tits about like mad. She is twice their size, so she has the advantage of physical heft, but she also knows no self-doubt. I thought at first she might be a blackbird, but she is quite pale, and now I am wondering if she is a mistle thrush. If any of you are twitchers, can you tell me? (And forgive my crashing avian ignorance.) Here she is in close-up:
A slightly random photograph of my dear old shed:
(I love my shed. It is so damn Scottish.)
After all that, the poor pigeon got a shivering fit, and even though I am very hard-line on the Paris Hilton mimsy pampering school of dog owner, the only answer was to wrap her in my rather chic new blanket:
Hard to believe that these were actually bred as working dogs:
Thin end of the wedge very clearly inserted. Please notice the amazing sheen on the Duchess's coat. This is because while I was away the darling mother and the heavenly stepfather combed both dogs every day with a special implement. Parents hath no greater love.
Wherever you are, my darlings, I hope you are warm and safe, and not stranded in an abandoned car on the road to Dundee.