Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I have breakfast with the lovely Stepfather and the Mother. They make me bacon and tomatoes, coffee black as pitch, and toast with homemade marmalade. I tell them I have no time just now for small, petty emotions.
'I am a utilitarian,' I say. 'I can't be doing with anything at the moment which has no utility. Those endless conversations where people get cross about something that does not really matter at all.'
They nod, possibly slightly startled by this outburst, too polite to show it.
I say, a little too loud: 'We are all going to die, so everybody had better sharpen up.'
The Stepfather laughs.
'That's not bad,' he says.
I laugh back at him. 'I'm going to put it on a t-shirt,' I say.
My friend M calls. 'Come for cocktails,' she says. 'I think you might need strong liquor.'
I wonder if she has heard about the everybody sharpen up comment.
My kind neighbours send a little plant, in a pretty pot.
The Sister comes round, and we walk through the trees and past the sheep and the lambs. We talk, suddenly, without quite meaning to, about our father. It has sometimes been complicated, with us and him. He was a magnificent man in so many ways, but also would be the first to admit that he would not be up on the podium for parent of the century. Now, we find ourselves remembering the good bits, the funny bits, the inexplicable little lines he used to say, when we were small, that went into family folklore. We remember how physical he was, how comforting when he hugged us. We laugh, quite a lot, at the memories.
'I want to remember that Good Dad,' I say. 'That is what I am going to do.'
The Pigeon wags her tail. She has not been doing that much lately. I take it as a Sign.
I look at the trees, their leaves still new, sketched in ten different shades of green. I think: this is what matters now. What matters now is the Love, and the Beauty. I think: I am really, really lucky that I get both.
There are clouds. But there are silver linings, too.
Now for pictures of the day:
Still that little piano face; but the tail was wagging. She is not yet back to her usual self, but she has not lost all her joy.