Posted by Tania Kindersley.
It’s been a really melancholy few days. First, Lucian Freud died. He was 88, but it still felt like a great loss. Then the news came from Norway. Today, the details continue to emerge, each more haunting than the last. The only tiny ray of light is the dignity and goodness of the Norwegians themselves. The Prime Minister talks of democracy and humanity, rather than revenge or fear; stories come of men and women taking to their boats to rescue the children from the island; eyewitnesses facing oddly intrusive and insensitive questions from the press are calm and measured.
Then today came the news that Amy Winehouse had died, at the age of 27, which is just a stupid shame and a waste of all that troubled talent. I thought I might try and cheer myself up by watching The King George at Ascot, but in the middle of it, in a shocking freak accident, the lovely horse Rewilding broke his leg, and afterwards had to be put down. It seems odd to mourn a horse in amongst all this human tragedy, but I did.
Only the voices of Aggers and Blowers on Test Match Special remained constant and reassuring, but even the cricket did not work its usual magic. I dolefully made myself a croque monsieur and worked on my book, forcing my brain to concentrate.
The Pigeon and I went out into the garden, in the early evening. A bitter wind had blown up out of the east, sharp as needles. The garden shivered and shimmered in the breeze. A lone ray of sun lit the trees. I thought: there is nothing really to say on this strange, strange day.
Here is someone who did have something to say, and they were good words. This is what Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s Prime Minister said:
‘No one will bomb us to silence. No one will shoot us to silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norway. You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our ideals for a better world.’
Those are words worth saying.
Pictures of the garden: