Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A day

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Began the day sunk in melancholy. This happens sometimes, not that often. It is called: life.

Thought: all right, it is one of those damn days.

Walked with the Older Niece, who made me laugh.

Spoke to the Sister. She was an astonishing combination of comforting and astute.

Did, somehow, 1121 words of book.

Went to the vet to get some pills for the poor old Duchess's heart. There was a young lab in the waiting room, in training to be a Guide Dog for the Blind. (Not sure if they do officially get capital letters. I am giving caps, though, because they deserve them.)

I admired her. I spoke to her trainer.

'Have you done this for long?' I said.

'Six,' she said, smiling. 'I have had six.'

'What a wonderful thing you do,' I said. 'You must have such a sense of satisfaction.'

She ducked her head, not wanting to do that most unBritish thing of blowing her own trumpet.

'Yes,' she said, quietly. 'Well. It is very satisfying.'

The dog and her handler cheered me vastly, I'm not sure why. A small, profound thing of goodness, I think.

I went next door to the florist and bought a fold of tulips.

I went to the butcher.

'Steak,' I said, firmly. 'I need the iron, for strength.'

The butcher laughed.

'That bad?' he said.

'That bad,' I said.

I drove home and arranged the tulips. They looked absurdly pretty.

I went into the garden and lay on the mossy lawn and looked at the sky. The dogs came and lay beside me and sniffed my ear and licked my face.

I watched the light on the hill.

I felt the low tide of sadness ebb, and begin to go out. I could almost hear it, like the heavy wash of water over shale.

I thought: that's all right, then.




13th April 1

13th April 2

13th April 4

13th April 5

13th April 6



13th April 7

13th April 9

13th April 10-1

13th April 11

13th April 12

Very pigeony Pigeon:

13th April 10

Most duchessy Duchess:

13th April 14

And, of course, exceptionally hilly hill:

13th April 15


  1. I'm so sorry you had one of those damn days, but so glad that that particular tide drew back. There was something of the Matthew Arnold about the last bit.

    Your most melancholy days still give the rest of us beauty, in the hill, and the dogs, and those absurdly stunning tulips (especially when mixed with blood-red carnations): what a joy.

    Enjoy your steak.

  2. Gorgeous pix of flowers and dogs. I'm so glad the melancholy shifted - we never seem to remember that it does, or rather, I don't seem to remember. Not with true conviction, anyway.

  3. Cassie - how lovely you are. Matthew Arnold! That really is making me smile.

    Lillyanne - so pleased you liked the pictures. And you are right; I think we do forget.

  4. Oh, I love your blog. It always reminds me of the strength of the 'little' pleasures in life, which aren't really the little ones. They're everything.

    And the fact there's a new post every day... Well, I hope that doesn't make it too much of a bind for you because it's such a positive part of my day, every day!

    As a little aside, a friend of mine worked for the Guide Dogs charity. She told me that in the training centres, they have rooms where the dogs can socialise with cats. She walked past a door one day with a notice on it saying "Do not open the door. Kittens at play." How brilliant!

  5. What are those ridiculously beautiful flowers (the ones that are bright blue on top and a deeper purple-blue on bottom)?

  6. Jill asked exactly what I was going to ask, about the stunning flowers. I also wanted to send a hug, a stripey one. Enjoy the steak, I know you'll do it perfectly, flash fried and rare as can be :) I can always rely on you!

  7. Dear Tania,your tulips are beautiful.I hope tomorrow is better for you.regards Sue

  8. Hannah - what a delightful comment. Love the thought of the kittens. Thank you.

    Jill - aren't they crazy? They are a very special type of grape hyacinth, although the awful thing is I can't remember the proper name. Google?

    Anne - that is making me laugh so much. Literally just ate the steak: a minute and a half each side, in a pan so hot I thought it was going to catch fire. How did you know?

    Sue - what a very kind thing to say. The clouds are indeed lifting (they always do, eventually), partly thanks to the kindness of readers.

  9. Thank you for still sharing such beauty with us. Hope tomorrow is better x

  10. Laughing now(!)...I knew because you always do things the way they should be done, and *that* is the only way to cook steak :)

  11. I still remain gob-smacked (how I LOVE that English word!) that, in spite of melancholia you managed to do another 1,100 plus words on your book.
    When I'm down (and it so seems to be linked to the weather these days!), I fall asleep in my clothes, don't bother to get newly dressed, spend the day on the sofa watching crap TV (you wouldn't believe some of these "reality" shows!), eating dark chocolate and lacing my coffee(s) with Amaretto. (So, of course, I'm also actively -- hah! -- gaining weight when this happens.)
    That steak description has me salivating (confessions of a "lapsed" vegetarian!).

  12. I'm with Cassie - you still manage to give us cheer. Helena xx

  13. The comment from the butcher really made me laugh!

    I do find lying on your back and watching the clouds move quickly (especially if it's windy) can provide a funny kind of comfort, if not sometimes a little motion sickness, and then questions as to what makes us stick to this earth while it's spinning...

    I would love to see a picture of your sky next time - if you can keep out the dogs noses....and did the Duchess get any of your steak?


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