Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I go to see The Brother-in-Law, and he tells me stories of Ireland, where he has just been. He has a lovely turn of phrase. I think more and more that is is a great gift, to be able to talk well. I once knew a man, a great old friend of my grandmother, who never spoke in anything but complete sentences and perfect paragraphs. There were no ums or ahs or you knows; no dangling modifiers or thoughts left unfinished; no platitudes or jargon. I can hear him still, in my head.
I wave off the relatives, who are going to Glen Muick, my favourite glen. It is not one of the great famous ones, those monumental glacial rifts of the Highlands. In Scottish terms, it is a small, neat glen, with a wide valley floor, where a bright blue river winds its way, and herds of deer graze. It has a shining loch at the end, where ospreys hunt, and a circle of indigo mountains rise in a perfect bowl beyond. It is one of the finest places I ever saw, and it is only forty minutes from my front door.
Out in the world, I am vaguely conscious that American politicians are doing questionable things (oh oh oh, fiery and eloquent Mr Anthony Wiener, what were you doing sending pictures of yourself to young ladies who were not your wife?), and the IMF is making statements, and terrifying things are happening in Syria. Normally, I would want to talk about all those things. Just now, I think: it is time for someone else to parse and argue and examine. Here, a fine rain falls, and the oystercatchers sing their song outside my window, and I contemplate the trees. Everything is very still. The world seems a long way away.
I took no pictures today, on account of the dreich weather, but here are some from the past week:
Even though the focus in this one is all wrong, I love it, for some reason:
This tiny little cotinus barely survived the hard winter, and I am giving it love and plant food to encourage it to live:
The poppies make me think of the three little maids from school in Gilbert and Sullivan:
My marjoram is going gangbusters this year, and I cook with it almost every day. Last night I used it instead of the more customary parsley on some lovely little clams, for a special treat:
It is too long since we had a really good tree trunk:
And some bark and moss:
I can never get enough of the honeysuckle buds. I love them more in this incarnation than when they burst into their slightly vulgar full flowering:
I have a deep affection for the box. Sometimes I think I could almost have a garden made entirely of box, like the French. I like it especially up against the good old Scottish granite of the shed:
These are not my hills. They are four miles west. I love the way they dip and curve in waves, like the sea:
The glory that is The Pigeon: