Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I eat bacon and soda bread toast for breakfast. I have a small moment of panic when I temporarily mislay the Marmite. A house without Marmite in it is unthinkable. I read in the paper a restrained and touching piece by a father who has just lost his son in Afghanistan. At the end, he writes:
'But, God knows, I loved you Sam and always will. And, if a faraway nondescript patch of rock and dust has claimed your flesh and blood, it can never claim your spirit, never destroy the bonds we had.'
This makes me cry. I had read the obituary for Marine Sam Alexander in the Helmand Blog, which I follow, a couple of days ago. When the deaths of the young soldiers are reported, it always makes me shed a silent tear. Now, they touch me in a very slightly different way. It is not that I can ever know what it is like to have a child shot to death or blown to bits. I cannot imagine the courage of Stuart Alexander, who, in the raw ravages of his grief, can still compose lovely sentences in honour of his son. But after the three funerals of May, I am closer to death. I am in the park.
I start to understand that tears are a daily, usual thing. They are not finite. They come and go, and I learn to let them, and not be frightened.
I manage some ordinary tasks. I get the MOT done, with the help of the dear Stepfather, who kindly takes me to the garage and talks to me of politics, which is my favourite diversion. A gentleman comes to see about the broken boiler, checks the pipes, sucks his teeth, shakes his head, and goes away again. I put on another cardigan.
I go to my desk and do my work. The Co-writer calls and is calm about deadlines. She is very, very good at that. I continue to panic for two. Miraculously, and without quite meaning to, I seem to write 1248 words. I stare at the screen in amazement, interested that my brain appears to be working again.
Outside, I run into the Man in the Hat. Our dogs play together for a while, making us laugh.
In the world, it is reported that Sir Vidia Naipaul and Paul Theroux have made up, after their long literary quarrel. It was at the Hay on Wye festival, where I used to go when it was three tents and a handsome Welsh poet. Apparently, Ian McEwan acted as go-between. I think: silly old men. I think: really, life is too stupidly short.
Pictures, as is now customary, are of the green growing things:
And the hill: