Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Sometimes I feel this blog is rather like a Rolf Harris show: can you guess what it is yet? Despite the fact that I despise the mandatory making of resolutions on the stroke of midnight at New Year's Eve, of course in the back of my mind the thought lurks: blog must must must be new and improved. This notion is entirely inchoate; since I do not know if this endeavour is a bird or a plane, I am not sure what form improvement would take.
I have a scratching yearning for definition. I think: is it a diary, a commonplace book, a place for facts or ranting or setting the record straight? Should I just concentrate on one discrete thing, like politics or food or literature?
It's all nonsense really, because it is what it is. This sounds like a massive cop-out, and it might be, but I think I am going to allow it. I think (am not yet quite sure) that I like a new medium which is so elastic. In my enduring drive against the evils of perfectionism, I think that I like that some days it's not madly good. That feels oddly interesting to me.
There is an element of serpents eating their own tails in all this. First rule of blogging: you should not talk about blogging. Oh, oh, the self-indulgent dullness. But then all writing is self-indulgent in its strict sense. Of course one is striving for the one shining sentence that might surprise and delight, but there is no pure altruism in that. What writers hide, under their crumpled clothes and serious spectacles, is a mad desire for love. It is not a disinterested business, sending words out into the world for their own sheer sake. There is an element of the obsessive in it; there is the adoration of language and ideas, if I can say that without being sent onto the pretention step for life. I can dream of the semi-colon for hours. I would certainly write even if I never got paid for it, because it is a bit like a disease, that way. But every writer I know also yearns for applause and prizes.
I think that probably all blogging does have an element of self-indulgence in it, and I do not think that invalidates the enterprise. I do slightly wish that I knew what it was all for, and the idiot perfection genie in me does insist that if only I thought a little harder I might be able to hit on the ideal formula. For the moment though, like old man river, I shall just keep rolling along.
Thank goodness that there is the raving beauty of the ladyships, because I start to think that any enterprise with these faces in it cannot be all bad:
And since I seem to be on a bit of a what the hell jag, here they are, having fun going about their doggy business:
One of the things I like very much about these dogs is that they wag their tails when they walk. They are not hysterical grinning canines; quite a lot of the time they are quiet and contemplative. But the moment they are out walking, the tails begin to wag, as if the mere fact of ambulation is something to be celebrated. When I watch them, I think: perhaps humans should learn to wag their tails too. In the strictly metaphorical sense, of course.
As well as the good dogs, there was some excellent tree action:
And finally, today's hill. It is slightly out of focus, because I forgot it, and had to rush out just now into the gloaming to take the picture, and the light was too low for diamond-sharp definition. But it is such a lovely thing that even when a little blurry it still retains its perfect hilliness:
Perhaps the thing of a blog is the good Buddhist idea of paying attention. The knowledge that there are to be words and pictures makes me think and look, maybe harder than I would otherwise. It means that not a day goes by unmarked. I like the idea of that.