Monday, 16 May 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

The Beloved Cousin calls. She is a remarkable human being. Even though she is in grief herself, she can still make me laugh; great shouting belly laughs. I think: if we can do that, we shall be all right.

We discuss the importance of cooking. It is the making of food that gives purpose and shape and meaning and point to days of sadness.

'It's what makes me get up,' she says; 'thinking of something lovely to cook.'

That, I think, and the trees, of course. And the birds are a most tremendous incentive. The swallows have come back to my shed, an annual occurrence which never ceases to amaze me. (How? How? All the way from Africa?) My mother also has a new pair of swallows, which is causing great excitement. My sister has a gang of swifts, who rampage about her eaves until all hours. Walking this morning, I saw two pairs of ducks on either side of the burn. Usually, there is only one pair. I hope there will not be fisticuffs. They are nesting, and the two rival camps eye each other with some degree of duckish suspicion.

It will be all right, I think, as long as there are the ducks. I really do think the most absurd things. But never mind.

I make salad with rocket and avocado and cucumber. I also have some new season asparagus. I am determined to eat as many green things as possible, for health and strength.

I go south tomorrow for another funeral. Once again, I pack the black jacket and the jewel. The least I can do is wear a good jewel. It's a matter of respect.

I ring my usual stopping-off hotel to book a room. They know me there.

'Two dogs?' the nice woman says.

My voice catches.

'No,' I say. 'Just one, now.'


I did not take any photographs today; here are a few from last week, of the twenty different shades of green that I love so much:

15 May 1

15 May 2

15 May 3

15 May 4

15 May 8

15 May 9

15 May 9-1

The Pigeon:

15 May 10

And the hill. It is not strictly today's hill, but there must be a hill, nonetheless:

15 May 11


  1. Sending you lots of loving thoughts and strength for your trip south tomorrow. This too shall pass. Amanda x

  2. Wishing you a safe journey south and back again. I hope that you encounter plenty of green things and birds along your path to make everything more bearable.

  3. I hope you have a safe journey full of beauty.

  4. I clean in my grief, I find it soothing to bring order to chaos.

  5. Your photos are the most beautiful thing I have seen all day....I am going through some challenging times right now (my Dad is very ill and will not be getting better) and just looking at the gorgeous greens of your photos made me finally exhale, for what feels like the first time today.

    Love and strength to you Tania xx

  6. Thank you. I've been meaning to tell you that for a while; my own dear Mums died at the end of March, and you've put so many of the same thoughts and feelings I've had into beautiful words. I hope the love and laughter continue to surround and comfort you.

  7. I had not stopped by in a while, and was so sorry to read of your season of grief. So much heartbreak in such a short period. I hope you will have a nice long peaceful stretch now to think about your precious lost ones and to take care of yourself at this difficult time.

  8. I have found that grieving is cathartic. The way a good sweat clears the pores, a good cry -- and then another, and another -- purges the soul. When you are done, dear Tania, you will have a sparkling clean, lily white soul, I think. We lovingly wait in the wings for your cue to be trivial again. I will test the waters with a tale of a dental appointment almost missed. The bloody office staff almost made ME feel guilty and apologetic. I was steamed but couldn't open my mouth to say so. And so it goes. Be kind to yourself.


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