Friday, 24 June 2011

What I done.

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Sometimes I feel that this blog has morphed into a kind of show and tell. It’s like a six-year-old being asked to write what kind of day she had. I should surely have something serious to say about sovereign debt and what the mad old Eurocrats are doing, and the poor Greeks. Yet my world stays small. I need it small, just now.

I did see lots of really marvellous things today. On the burn this morning, a lone mamma duck was patrolling up and down. Her young must still be too little to go out, and she was watching hard for predators. It was very touching. Out in the rough grass, a tiny deer was contemplating, his stare raking the horizon. We think he is a young buck. He is about the size of a mastiff, and bright chestnut. He let me get very close, before loping away with that wonderful jumping run that deer do. The swallows, who were practising their low flying, flew at his shoulder, like Spitfires protecting a Hurricane.

Then I went to work in my sister’s shop. She is away, because it is the Younger Niece’s eighteenth birthday, and there is a London treat. (At which point we must all pause and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVELY NIECE, in vulgar capital letters, of course.) To get to work, I drove: past my favourite hill, the one that stands quite alone, like a sugar loaf mountain, then along the river, through a forest, past a stand of silver birch, by two shining lochs, and into the shadow of the high blue mountains that stand at the end of Glen Muick. That’s just a fifteen minute drive to work. It held so much beauty that I ran out of superlatives in my head. It is at times like this that I feel so lucky I do not know what my name is. What did I do to deserve such country? What miracle chance brought me here?

I came home in the evening sun, looked with love at the salvia, took the Pigeon for a breath of air, and ate some cheese on toast. Sometimes I like fancy schmancy, sometimes all I crave in the world is cheese on toast.

I thought of my dear old Duchess. I miss her.

Now the oystercatchers are singing a crazy song outside my window. I am going to give myself the Friday night gift of doing absolutely nothing.

Here are some pictures:

Acer, nepeta and delphiniums:

24 June 1

Grand delphiniums on their own:

24 June 2

Can’t get enough of these mad violas:

24 June 3


24 June 5

The youngest apple tree:

24 June 6

More salvia:

24 June 7


24 June 8

24 June 8-1

The evening light on the baby euphorbia:

24 June 9

And the tiny shrub rose, which I thought had been finished off by the frosts, but is about to burst into flower:

24 June 10

Little herb corner:

24 June 13

My little carnation arrangements, of which I am idiotically proud:

24 June 19

Festival of utter, blazing loveliness:

24 June 15

24 June 17

24 June 20

I took her to the shop today, because she must come with me wherever I go. She lay elegantly on her very smart Johnson’s of Elgin blanket, and made friends with the customers, who were utterly enchanted by her. One of the things I love most about this dog is her ability to make friends wherever she goes.

The hill:

24 June 21


PS. Some of you have asked about the flowers. The violas are Gold Purple Wing, and the little blue flower from the other day is a Johnson blue geranium.

PPS. The Doing Nothing Plan is slightly stymied as I have suddenly realised Andy Murray is starting his third match at Wimbledon. I’m not much for tennis, but I have a tremendous soft spot for A Murray, and so I shall be shouting Come on Scotland for the next two hours. Slightly tiring. I may have to take some iron tonic.

Have a happy Friday.

Oh, and here, in honour of the eighteenth birthday, is the Young Niece. I still think she is four. But she is all grown up:


Young Niece 24 June


  1. Keeping things small is very, very wise. I hope you have a happy weekend.


  2. What a super journey to work. I cylce across Teddington Lock, lots of wonderful fowl with babies! Bliss!

  3. your writing is wonderful whether you keep things small or not. I'm glad you had a good day Cheese on toast is a wonderful treat and I too am glad the Pigeon makes friends wherever she goes. I am not surprised.

  4. It's my birthday too, and your beautiful photographs and wonderful writing are, as always, the perfect treat. Thank you.

  5. Happy birthday lovely niece indeed! (I can't capitalise it, I'm not family)

    I think blogs are all about show and tell. Whether it's flowers, dogs, outfits or opinions, it's all about showing who you are and what you think for like minded souls to comment on.

  6. Lovely comments; thank you. And happy birthday to Quine Online. :)

  7. Tania: the small things, and world, are always the things I cherish the most. If more people paid attention to the tiny beauties and joys as you did, there would be so much more contentment. Bless you for it.

  8. Cheese on toast is often just the thing in this house too. Enjoy your weekend with the beautiful Pigeon and a very Happy Birthday to your niece. x

  9. Drink in the green.
    Happy birthday to your lovely niece.

    Doing "nothing" is an art form I'm trying to (almost since nothing is ever absolutely) perfect.


  10. Late to the party as usual...the time difference and all.

    I beg your indulgence to allow me a word about ALL CAPS and the vulgarity of them. You probably are correct, but I find Internet communication absent facial expressions, no inflections of voice. The occasional ALL CAPS for emphasis seems innocent enough. I'll admit I'm not the most refined person on the planet, but I will try to refrain from ALL CAPS in the future, teacher.

    And your patch does sound glorious (see, I might have said DOES, but I didn't). It's the way I feel about my beach and my ocean and the sailboat rigging clanking in the twilight breezes. We are lucky buggers, aren't we?


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