Friday, 25 February 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

It's been a curious week of work, a hamster week, where my little legs have run very, very fast on the wheel, and I have got not very far at all. The book sometimes goes like that. (I have given up probing the mysteries of the creative process.) I get very manic, and very busy, and very stressy, and abruptly tell people No when they ask me to do perfectly nice things like eat supper with them. I must WORK, I shout, as if they are idiots who sit around all day eating bon-bons. Then, after days of this, I realise I have achieved hardly anything of worth, and go upstairs to the cupboard to get out the Big Sack of Shame.

One of my first thoughts, this morning, as I got up and made some bacon for breakfast, and contemplated exactly how strong the coffee was going to have to be to get me moving, was: must write something cheerful for the blog. It's been a bit serious lately, for obvious reasons.

It's Friday, I thought, time for random frivolity. But since I was waddling about in the Sack of Shame, I did not feel awfully cheerful or frivolous. Because I was in hamster mode, I had resigned myself to yet another day of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But the sun was out and the coffee was good, and I put on some Mozart very loud, and before I knew it, I had done some good, meaningful work.

This has had two effects. The first is excellent: I am now filled with satisfaction, and all ready for Friday joy. The second cancels out the first: my brain is all shot to pieces. All I wanted to do was give you some end of the week loveliness, a heart-warming story from the internet, or a piece of soothing human wisdom (don't laugh) or even a nice recipe, but I can hardly remember what my name is.

I can only think in homilies, which is what happens when the mind goes phht, and I dare not write those down, while I still have some reputation left to protect. Except maybe I will, because what the hell. My sister and I have been staying with my mother, to keep her company while the dear stepfather is in hospital. (His procedure went very well and the docs are pleased and he says even the food is not too bad.) I took the dogs, who adore the Mother, and have a very fine therapeutic effect on her. It was very small, but very sweet, and since I am currently obsessing about the small things, it made me think of what family can mean, in its unheralded daily incarnations.

I used to stamp about shouting about how blood was not thicker than water, but now I wonder. For all its complications, family can bring a potent joy; it's to do with all that shared history, and the stupid jokes, and something as simple as knowing someone very, very well.

So my Friday thought, which is neither original nor terribly well expressed, is that what really matters is The Love. I have been bashing myself all week because I have not been working well enough, and that is about achievement and success and worldly recognition. Those are not unimportant, and I would not do without them altogether. I want people to like and buy my books, of course I do. But just today, for whatever reason, I think that love wins. The line that keeps going round in my head is from grumpy old Philip Larkin, who once said, quite out of character: all that is left of us is love. I think he was right.

Now I am going to stop before I make a complete idiot of myself and never work in this town again. I am definitely not getting enough iron in my diet. You must forgive.

Here are some diverting end of the week pictures, to take your minds off the fact that I seem to have been reduced to talking in bumper stickers.

Some thyme and marjoram which have bravely survived the winter storms:

25th Feb 2

25th Feb 5

A rather wonderful dried hydrangea head:

25th Feb 3

Buds, BUDS:

25th Feb 6

25th Feb 20

25th Feb 11

25th Feb 24

A little bit of green:

25th Feb 10

25th Feb 14

And a little bit of amber:

25th Feb 13

Tree trunks, of course:

25th Feb 16

25th Feb 17

I love these pictures of the branches; they almost look like paintings in the way they have come out:

25th Feb 18

25th Feb 21

The amazing colours:

25th Feb 15

Talking of amazing:

25th Feb 4

25th Feb 8

Oh the nobility:

25th Feb 22

And the serenity:

25th Feb 23

A tiny, wizened rose hip, no less beautiful for all that:

25th Feb 12

Statutory bark and lichen and moss:


And the dear hill, in panorama today:

25th Feb 9


  1. I think love is the ANSWER. By virtue of having no man in my life at-the-mo, it appears to my various friends with relatioship problems that I've found the holy grail of content and peaceful existence (whereas I've only removed myself from the source of problems) - so I've spent many a moment recently dutifully analysing other people's lives and relationships with them, and the many complications that modern life brings, and I pretty much always came to the conclusion that as much as you'd want things to happen, as much as it would be in the best interest of all concerned - there is no going forward without love. So here's to love and may we have it when we most need it!
    And this has been making my day cheerful - it has many of my favourite things in it: a handsome boy, a catchy dirty song and a mischievous horse
    And I hope I haven't left any modifiers dangling somewhere; or committed another crime of grammar. English is not my first language.

  2. Sabina - your English is immaculate, and your comment is lovely and most welcome. I always get a bit of angst after I put up a bit of a mushy post, so you have made me smile. Now am going to check out the handsome boy and mischievous horse. :)

  3. Dear Tania, this post was a joy to read. Thank you. A bit of Mozart usually does the trick for me too. And I think Larkin was right. Have a wonderful evening xx

  4. Christina - how lovely you are. Thank you. :)

  5. My lovely sister took me out for girly shopping and lunch on Friday, and bought me pretty things for my birthday. I have been feeling a bit broke and cranky and had not really felt at all like shopping, (and am as bad as you at being bought things :) ), so this made me borderline tearfull. We have not always got on brilliantly, but in my late 40s I really appreciate that I have 2 fabby siters who love me even though we occasionally all get on each others nerves. And it may all be mushy but by 'eck it gets you through the dark times!


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