Thursday, 14 July 2011

No more News; or, in which I talk about almost nothing at all

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Can’t do any more News. I return, slowly, to the Sitting Very Still plan. Outside my window, the black-faced gulls have come in from the coast, and are wheeling in formation over the long grass. The lone heron, who has been absent for months, suddenly makes a reappearance, and glides along the tree-line. He looks, as always, like something from The Ancient Mariner. Inside, the dogs twitch and yip in their sleep, dreaming of rabbits.

My lovely stepsister is visiting, with her small daughter. The step-niece is adorable. She very kindly laughs at my jokes, giving me a quizzical look as she does so, as if she cannot quite work out whether I am funny ha-ha, or funny peculiar. Most days, I cannot work it out myself.

Last night, the Brother came for a glass of honest Italian red.

‘It’s fruity,’ I said.

‘Oh yes,’ he said.

We talked of family, music, the planting of trees, ambitions, his love of the Far East. We did not speak of our father, although we were thinking of him.

He left at half-past ten. It is still quite bright at that time, up here in the north. The sky goes a sort of singing blue, and takes on an extra dimension. The moon was almost full, hanging low in the sky, a real hunter’s moon, a colour for which there is no word in the English language. Gold will not quite do it, although that comes the closest.

‘Look at La Bella Luna,’ I shouted.

For some reason I always think the moon has to be in Italian, for full effect.

We stared at it, and my family of swallows swooped low over our heads, singing their night song.

I looked down, and noticed the Brother was wearing purple suede shoes. You have to be a very certain kind of fellow to get away with purple suede.

‘Nice shoes,’ I said.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘They are purple.’

We contemplated this fact for a moment.

‘They damn well are,’ I said.


Pictures today are of trees and flowers:

14 July 1

14 July 2

14 July 3

14 July 4

14 July 4-1

14 July 6

14 July 6-1

14 July 7

14 July 8

14 July 10

14 July 10.ORF

14 July 11

14 July 11.ORF

And The Pigeon, of course. Here she is, deep in the flowerbed, rummaging for rabbits:

14 July 20

And on watch:

14 July 21

Today’s hill, in panorama:

14 July 21-1


  1. Shame you didn't take a photo of the purple shoes. I don't actually think I have ever seen a man in purple shoes. I too will sit still and contemplate this.

  2. Return of the Native - now slightly obsessed with the shoes. The lovely thing about the brother is he wears them as if it is a perfectly normal thing to do, and he is slightly surprised that every gentleman does not own a pair.

  3. I love the idea of purple shoes on a man.. funky :) xx

  4. Wildernesschic - they really ARE funky. Bless him and his little shoes.

  5. It is NOT almost nothing at all. It is just simply lovely (there's that word again).

    Would I be betraying my university education if I hinted that I like your Pigeon/hill/family posts better than your News posts? Your News posts are very interesting and funny and clever, but your Home posts can be sad and comforting at the same time, like an Elizabeth Goudge novel.

  6. Oh Rebecca - what a very kind thing to say. I sometimes think that I am betraying my university education if I do not write about serious, worldly things. My childish self says: Look at me, paying attention to the Big Stuff. But then I think that the small, potent delights and comforts of family, and home, and dog are just as important and profound. Do sometimes worry about boring the Dear Readers with the domestic, so your comment is fabulously reassuring.

  7. Please be fabulously reassured. You are never boring.

    Can I add my plea for a photo of the purple shoes? Next time your brother visits I think you should sit him down with a glass of something and take a photo of his shoes. And if he looks at you oddly then you can tell him it was all our fault.

  8. Rebecca - that idea is making me laugh A LOT. :):)

  9. The purple shoes must overshadow Elvis's suede shoes - they were only blue!

    I think the mixture of the personal and the wider world in your blogs is absolutely fine.

  10. Vivien - you are kind. Love the Elvis thing.

  11. "Nothing" is something and so very necessary in these insane times. Have been struggling all day with the internet, downloading photos, sorting out a "free" internet-linked calling service, checking out Google+ (yet another social networking site!). All the while FoxNews (an oxymoron if ever there was one) is blathering away in the background. My sister & I are halfass monitoring the "enemy". Breaking News off & on all day and not a single word, not a whiff! about Murdoch & his evil empire.
    I don't know why I'm surprised, yet, I still am...a little. "What a wanker" as Vivian of the Young Ones would say.
    So "no news" is blessedly WELCOME!

    XX (from the belly of the beast)

  12. Pat - VERY impressed by your monitoring duty. :)

  13. Mmmm - purple suede! Yes, we, the Dear Readers, definitely need to see them. Are they pale or dark? Vivid or dull? Red or purple in tone? These are important questions.

    The small things matter. They're what keeps our lives running and the world turning. They matter intensely, small pieces of everyday magic. Like dog love. Compost. Bulbs turning into wonderful flowers. A soup that is full of flavour and goodness. Good friends.

    Loving the photos of greenery. In Australia, the greens have so much grey and blue in them. So different. Unless, of course, you're in a rainforest, when the intense greeness is so startling!

  14. Yes, a photo of the purple suede shoes, please! The same way as you saw them, while looking down.

  15. Lovely pictures. One of my colleagues wears purple shoes with his navy blue suit and no tie. I noticed in a meetign once that he wears purple socks to match.

  16. Your description of late evening and the moon over Scotland gave me a little shiver, a kind of supercharged electric shock...thinking of it, imagining it. I believe there really is something magical about your part of the planet.

    Coupled with red wine and purple goodness, it's enough to make me swoon. Hang the news for a bit and just enjoy being alive, I say. If they're going to destroy our little blue marble, I want my last days to be spent being happy.

    You are a lovely creature, Tania Kindersley, as is your Pigeon.

  17. Can I add my voice to the appeal for pictures of the purple suede shoes? Vivien said something about them outshining Elvis's blue suede shoes - which reminds me of my flute teacher telling me (aged 16) about different colours of music and how she thought purple the strongest colour there was.

    Anyway, I also have a man in my life with brightly coloured suede footwear - my partner got a pair of green (more a leaf than emerald, disappointingly) boots for his birthday. I am hoping he does not wear them with the marigold coloured chinos.


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