Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Sometimes I wake up and think there has been some kind of time slip. London is burning, the unions are enraged, the world economy teeters on the brink. It’s like the 1970s, only with dubstep instead of punk. (I don’t actually know what the dubstep is, but my godson tells me that it is what the young people like to groove to.)
The very odd thing about living where I live is that all this seems very far away, and slightly unreal. Here, the mighty trees go on growing, the swallows are practising their advanced flying skills, getting ready to go to Africa, the cows lie gently on the ground and chew their cud. I hear the shouting voices on the news, and sometimes I think they are just making it up. Can all of this really be happening?
My very old and dear friend the Political Operative calls. I have not seen him for a while, and I miss him, but I have been dreading this call. This is because he is having a great celebration and I cannot go to it. It is partly because it is a serious journey (secret foreign location), and I am not quite strong enough for that, but also because I saw at our highland games this weekend that I am still a little fragile for big gatherings.
I felt awful telling him this, and quite shy even writing it here. Come on, come on, butch up, I tell myself. Don’t make a fuss. But he was beautifully understanding and directed me to piece written by Matthew Parris about the death of his father. I just read it, and felt a great, swooping sense of relief. His theory is that one misses them more, not less, with the passage of time, and that is just how it should be. Where there has been love, there should be sorrow. It is meet and right so to do.
I see now why the Edwardians went into lavender, after the initial mourning black. I think perhaps I am almost in lavender. It says: there is joy again, but there is still grief. There is still fragility. The world is still a little off its axis.
It says: be gentle.
Camera battery is flat as a pancake, because I forgot to charge it, so here are some soothing garden pictures from the last few days:
And the gloriousness that is my Pigeon:
And the dear old hill: