Thursday, 21 April 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

There is always a question of tone. People say that the internet bleaches tone, so that insults are taken where none are meant. This is especially dangerous on email and Twitter. Irony is a more delicate creature than one might suspect.

Tone needs care on the blog, too. Lately, I have not talked of the world, but concentrated on my own little patch: the blossom and the tulips and the canines. I sometimes think of this as negligence; sometimes I think well, everyone out there is shouting about the issue of the day, so I shall divert you with cherry trees. What I do not want is for it to seem like smugness. Oh, look at me with my bloody horticulture and my recipe for beetroot salad, while the world goes to hell. So, there are fine lines, everywhere.

I was going to do a bit of a random post today. I had not done one for a while. I was going to say: here are the things that I might have written about, which ran through my head like tickertape this morning. I was going to make a little joke about gold eyeshadow and questions for Thor and superinjuctions and how I have absolutely not one inch of interest in AV.

But I wanted too to say something about death. You can't just go from gold eyeshadow to the end of two lives. And sometimes one risks taking on that awful, sanctimonious, I'm talking about serious stuff now tone; the one that makes one seem somehow more important and caring and emotionally engaged than other, more frivolous people. A man did it just now on the radio and I wanted to throw things.

So I don't really know how to go from la di dah, this was my day, to Captain Lisa Jade Head and Tim Hetherington, without it being odd and jarring. But they were two quite remarkable human beings and I wanted you to be able to read about them. You can do so here, and here. I have an inordinate admiration for physical courage, and they both had it in spades. They are remembered well.


Pictures of the day are of the garden, again. I apologise if this is becoming a little repetitive, but I am obsessed with the sudden growing that spring brings. The lawn is full of blackbirds, and the bushes are enlivened by antic blue tits, and every time I go outside, I find something blooming that was not there the day before.

These tulips are so grand I cannot believe they are quite real:

21st April 1

My adoration of the euphorbia continues:

21st April 2

And of the hellebores too:


The little ornamental cherry has almost finished its blossom:

21st April 3

But the apples are in full fig:

21st April 5

21st April 8

21st April 9

I found the very first lilac buds today:

21st April 7

And the beginnings of the chives:

21st April 10

While the little blue clumps grow more delightful each day:

21st April 6


21st April 11

21st April 12

And the hill, almost lost in the afternoon light:

21st April 15


  1. I cried when I heard about Tim Hetherington. Restrepo was utterly wonderful and the loss of anyone who can produce such strikingly powerful work is a real tragedy.

  2. Tania: one element that is always absent from your blog is smugness. Yes, I am sure that some jaded characters might read of your beautiful surroundings, wonderful canines and loving family, and carp at your good fortune. But the truth is that your writing is a continuous thanksgiving for those wonderful gifts, which you share so generously with the rest of us: and thanksgiving is, too often, in short supply.

    Just as many of us are terribly bad at receiving compliments ("This old thing? That piece I wrote? The photograph I took? Oh, it's nothing / it's old / it's not that good..."), I believe that we should all celebrate, far more than we do, the lovely stuff. We can't all do it as elegantly as you, but that's one more of your gifts that you share - for which we thank you.

    As for the deaths: not a hint of the sanctimonious, but simple reflection on lives that "are remembered well", and deserve recognition, sits, for me, perfectly happily alongside the contentment of the canines, and the unreal tulips. Because, in every case, the overwhelming sentiment is one of appreciation.

  3. As a once-working journalist, I enormously admire the gutsy ones who bring us close to the action armed only with brains and cameras. (Even our wonderful military men and women have guns.) I looked at a picture of Tim Hetherington on a Twitter link yesterday, quite unexpectedly got a lump in my throat and then tears welled up, and I'm not a crier normally.

    And I'm with Cassie, too. You? Smug? You'd need tons of lessons to learn how. Just be Tania. It's what you do best and always will. We come here to read your words for lots of different personal reasons. You challenge me, which is something I can say about very few people I know AND love.

    Just keep doing what you're doing.

  4. We need both kinds of subject matter to function well, in the same way that we need two feet to walk properly. One sort of topic feeds us, the other one expands us, and both help to make us more human.

    I love the way you just come right out and say whatever is rising to the top for you on any given day, whether it's a happy event in your life, something on the world stage, something weighing on your heart, a rant, random bits, or even when you describe how you feel when you are sick. And your photographs are a delight.

    Know that you are appreciated!


  5. Alex - so agree. It is an awful loss.

    Cassie - what an incredibly lovely thing to say. Am very touched. Thank you.

    Susan - Thank you so much.

    Jean - so agree about the photographers, a cadre I have long admired. And thank you for the kind words about the blog.

    Razinah - thank you so much. Love the thing about the two feet. :)

  6. I just want to say I agree with every word from Cassie. So that is all I will say.

  7. Thank you for such thoughtfulness, my deep sympathy is with the families of these two amazing people. Bravery is an incredible and heartbreaking gift. Jude

  8. Your blog is so good because, as a real artist, you don't write through duty - you write what you feel, regardless of what the world might think you "ought" to do.

    I do admire foreign correspondents, among them John Simpson, Jon Snow, Anne Leslie, and the earnest and intrepid Orla Guerin - wherever there are bombs, riots, diseases - there she is!

  9. Tania - the wonderful thing about your blog is that whatever you choose to write about, we see it through your eyes - we have, for a moment, a window on your world - on you.

    That's what I come back for. It's what YOU see; how YOU frame it and express it.

    I never feel your blog should be anything. I just want to find it there. x


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