Monday, 14 March 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

As always, the dear readers prove their profound dearness. Not a word of reproach for my cavalier disappearance, but merely kind words of concern. I am sorry if the rather abrupt nature of the last blog led to misunderstanding, and I must at once reassure: the undisclosed location is for happy rather than sad or strained reasons. In fact, I am having an entirely unexpected and almost certainly undeserved treat.

The truncated versions of the blog over the next few days are not because I am trapped under a heavy piece of furniture but due to logistical and technological limitations.

I keep wanting to say something about Japan. Then I think: what can anyone say in the face of such wholesale devastation? I think: everyone has said everything that can be said. Then I see one more picture and for some reason think that words must be written.

I think the thing that I cannot quite imagine is what happens when everything is gone. The house, the possessions, the cherished photographs, the clothes, every single thing you use to cook with, the pictures, the books, the furniture: all that being swept away is a catastrophic, heart-breaking blow. But on top of that, everything around you has disappeared: the local shop, the car mechanic, the post office. All your landmarks are gone. How do you start again when that happens? I panic when the electricity goes out for half a day and I cannot cook or go on the internet. There are many things in life I can imagine. I imagine things for my living; that is my job. I'm not sure I can fully imagine starting again from literally nothing.

But, in a small ray of light, children in India are lighting candles and holding up signs saying: People of Japan, we are with you. New Zealand, which suffered its own catastrophe only days ago, is sending in specialist teams to dig through the wreckage. Britain has despatched rescue dogs. Countries as diverse as Honduras, Morocco and Pakistan are sending aid. It's a tiny, tiny silver lining, but it is a lining.


  1. The smallest light banishes darkness.

  2. You are right, to lose everything must be so shocking and frightening, there are thousands of children in Japan, traumatised by this dreadful event, but so long as other people help there must be some hope.

    I am so glad that you are having a treat, and I am sure it is deserved.


  3. Am imagining you whisked away to somewhere wonderful. Meanwhile, there are no words for Japan - no words that could take it away for them. Everyone feels the duality of guilt and empathy and thankfulness. It's altogether wretched. I find myself trying to imagine loosing everything and it goes well beyond the bounds of my imagination. Lou x

  4. Hear, hear for those who always look for silver linings. Thank you. xx

  5. A treat? How splendid! Have one for me!

  6. There was a young woman on the news last night who was just dazed and bewildered and wandering round the place where her village used to be - and I thought I'd probably do the same, but I can't really begin to comprehend what it feels like to lose everything.

  7. In 1983 we had ethnic riots in our country and I personally faced the prospect of losing everything. At that time I had just had my eldest daughter and was at my parents home. When my father asked where my jewellery was to bring it back, I asked him to save a pair of porcelain pigs I had! It is the little things that mean so much to us and losing mementoes and photographs must be so very tragic. Japan right now is heartbreaking.

  8. I have been enjoying your pictures of blossom which seem to magically appear this time of year to cheer on the arrival of spring.
    I love snapping blossom against bright blue skies and whilst you now jump into mind every time I do, so does Japan....
    I can't imagine what it must be to loose everything. I know the one thing I would be worried about after family (human that is) is my dog. I know the Japanese are huge dog lovers so was relieved to find out that dogs and pets have not been forgotten.
    See here:

  9. Dear Tania, I can't begin to imagine either. One of the most heart breaking pieces of footage I saw was even though they are so short of food and water now, they were all queuing so patiently and politely in line waiting to get something. I shall go to the bank and make a donation as soon as I get paid on Friday.

    Enjoy your treat xx


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