Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Or, in which my brain goes phhhttt. This may be a continuing theme for the next few weeks, as deadline time is approaching and I am in a constant state of nervous exhaustion. This is a Good Thing, because it means I have done something each day. It is good productive nerves rather than bad unproductive ones. But still, it leaves me incapable of speech or thought by this time of day.
I did 1051 words today, which was slightly unexpected. I had slept badly for the last two nights and feared it might be one of those days when I must do a great deal of research. Even though this is work, it does not feel like work because there is no word count by the end of it. At this stage, obsessive counting of words goes with the territory.
I did do one miraculous thing. I finally worked out a way to get salt and pepper squid to be really crispy, something which has eluded me until now. I have managed to get suspicion of crisp, but not the full crunch. (How like a horrid advert that sounds.) The secret is: cornflour, and really, really hot oil, hotter than you think, so hot it is about to burn. It was nearly as good as E&O, with the added advantage that I did not have to look at very, very thin ladies who never eat carbs while I ate it. (For those of you not familiar with West London: E&O is that maddening kind of restaurant where the food is remarkably good, but the clientele is quite annoying, and the staff is a little too conscious that they work in a place considered trendy. It's the kind of joint I long to march into in my gumboots, with actual straw in my hair.)
It was another low, still day, the kind of weather which is neither flesh, fowl, nor good red herring. It was the kind of day when you have to look quite hard for the beauty, as everything seems a little drab and flat. But of course once one focuses in the eyes, there it all is.
The growing things in the garden:
The wider view:
I went down to see if the daffodils on the avenue were showing any signs of life. Not much, yet:
The Pigeon came faithfully with:
The Duchess did not join us for the daffodil hunt, because she was off sniffing for moles. I regard this as a VERY good sign:
This next one may be what the internets call Cute Overload. I call it too much beauty:
See how the Duchess looks so much brighter? I am starting to think the whole vet visit freaked her out a bit, and obviously any stress is not good for someone with a heart condition. She has had a lot of extra care and attention since then, and the love of half the blogosphere from the dear readers, and she seems much happier today. I keep my fingers cautiously crossed.
Coming back to the house, I wondered about the daffodils. I had seen one in flower on Saturday and was frantically excited. It is not so much that I love daffodils; I am not mad for yellow flowers. It is that, along with the oystercatchers, who are careening about over the south meadow, singing as they go, they are the real harbingers of spring. So I was rather disappointed to find that my one daff was clearly an outlier. And then, then, I saw these:
Definitely, definitely spring. Although, having said that, we shall now be snowed in for a week.
Thank you again for your extraordinary response to Sunday's post. I always worry when I talk about the dogs, thinking it will put people off, especially if they are cat people, but the dogs posts are always the ones that get the biggest postbag. Of course I think the Pigeon and the Duchess are the two most delightful, fascinating creatures known to woman, but I would not necessarily expect anyone else to agree. I can't tell you how much it warms every last cockle of my heart to find how you dear readers respond to them. Although you should not encourage me too much, or it will be all canines, all the time, and you'll never get a good meaty political post ever again. And I know you would consider that a terrible shame.