Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I wanted to tell you a story about one of the dear readers, who has done something quite extraordinary, but I have been writing condolence letters all day and I can hardly produce one more word. So that wondrous tale will be for tomorrow.
It's odd: I thought because I have just gone through the death of my dad I would know exactly what to write, in these letters. I could think of the things I wanted to hear, and the things that some people wrote to me, which were so kind and comforting, and do something similar. Turns out it does not work like that. There is still the pen pausing over the page, the halting sentences, the inadequate words. I desperately try to avoid platitude, but fall into it anyway.
Here is what I really wanted to write: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. Bloody damn buggering death, sod it and its pale riders. You can't put that in a letter. You say: I'm so sorry. You say: the world will be a poorer place without him in it. You say: I am sending you so much love. And all the time you, or I really mean I, am thinking: bugger and fuck and sod. Too much death happening to the wrong people, it's just stupid, stupid, stupid, and there is no sense in it, and hearts are breaking, and scratches on a page are not going to make any difference to that.
But I must write, and do write, because one of the things I discovered when my dad died was that I craved letters. I felt a passionate gratitude that people took the time to send a letter or an email. It does not alter the thing which has happened, but it does touch one's battered heart.
I can't tell if any of what I have just written here makes any sense as my brain has now shut down. I apologise for incoherence. Here are some pictures of the beautiful sunny day we had up here instead:
Slightly obsessed with the lovely sheep. They make me think of Jane Austen:
I found a perfect bird's nest, fallen to the ground:
The care and craft and sheer brilliance that has gone into that feels like a miracle to me. Its raging beauty is quite astounding. It is one of those things that is even more beautiful in life than in photographs. It is light as a feather and perfectly formed. I am going to keep it on my windowsill.
She is still very sad, and spent last night on the sofa doing the most awful sighing, as if her poor doggy heart was too heavy for silence. But today she is brighter, and wagged her tail and chased a stick, and splashed about in the burn, and the Older Niece has sent off for special dog vitamins, so we can keep the dear old lady going.