Posted by Tania Kindersley.
One of the loveliest things about living in close proximity with extended family is that when one is under the weather people come and do kind things. The wonderful stepfather has not only been walking the dogs but also delivering bags of watercress and chicken breasts so that I may make soup the moment I am feeling butch enough. The sister arrived this morning to take over dog-walking duties. (She was feeling very bouncy, so the ladyships looked rather astonished when they returned, having been taken all the way into the woods, instead of on our normal more sedate route.) The particularly excellent thing about the sister is that, apart from all her intrinsic wonders, she and I share many thought processes.
Illness as weakness is one of them. We do not recline gratefully like a nineteenth century madame the moment the slightest sniff hoves onto the horizon. We at once take inventory of our moral fibre. We must have eaten wrong, not taken enough fresh air, entertained unworthy thoughts &c, &c. Absurd. The idea that there is a bug going round the village is not enough for us, oh no. It is great relief to say these idiocies out loud with someone who shares them and then laugh at ourselves for being so silly. It is a contra mundum thing.
So that happened.
Now I am busy reminding myself that I am neither living in Queensland, where the floodwaters rise day by day, nor Arizona, which has become an epicentre for national bafflement and mourning. It's just an old lady viral load. It's not the end of the world that my eyes feel like boiled sweets and my joints as if they have sandpaper in them. I am NOT COMPLAINING. Because I am British, goddammit, and my grandfathers fought in both the wars. This is how crazed my mind gets after two days of bug, so I am going to stop now before I say too much.
But you must have your blog and your hill.
Today it was so beautiful, wreathed in magic cloud, which rolled down it like a forest fire, that I had to take more than one:
This is a cropped close-up of the very, very top. If you look hard you can just see the cairn:
Also what amazes me is that, as many of you have observed, it does change colour every day, but it also changes colour even between pictures. These were all taken at slightly different angles and distances, and they all have a perceptibly different tone. Clever photography people will tell me why this is, amount of light coming into the lens or something I should not wonder, but it feels mysterious and miraculous to me.
Here are my graceful companions on the sickbed. Luckily they are old now, and so do not like too much activity. When they were young, they needed four walks a day, and would not have sat still on a bed for more than twenty minutes. Now it is all lounge, lounge, lounge, eh Mr Gibbon? Observe the perfect Florence Nightingales:
This Duchess photograph face makes me laugh a lot. It is because she was dozing and I wanted her to look at the camera so kept shouting BISCUITS until she looked up. The Pigeon, meanwhile, keeps on looking like Grace Kelly because that is what she is good at:
What she really wants to say is: now may I go back to sleep, please:
You see, if one is going to have a stupid bug, one could not have it in dearer and kinder company. Also: it is the moment I most bless being self-employed. No boss to feel guilty about. I can make up the pages at the weekend. Although I am rather longing for the return of my faculties.
Thank you for lovely comments and remedies, all of which I am going to try. At the moment it is full on ginger root and lemon tea with a hint of cayenne pepper, which does at least make me feel as if I am taking some good action, it is so spicy.
Stopping now. Back to bed I go.