Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I apologise for rudely abandoning the blog without a word of warning, especially after all the incredibly kind comments you left on Friday. It turned out that what with an engagement party, attending the Highland Games, cooking Aberdeen Angus for the guests, and general domestic activity, there was no time for blogging.
It was a very, very sweet visit, and the cousins could not have been more adorable.
Here are the three small ones, with a very-pleased-to-see- them Pigeon:
Mixed in with the joy of seeing them, there is also sorrow. It was thirteen years ago today that two small black bundles arrived at my sister’s house, just down the road. I remember that high, sunny day as if it were yesterday. I remember the look of amazed delight on the Younger Niece’s face, her mouth open in a cartoon O, as she held out her hands, and took the tiny puppy that would become the Duchess into them.
Three years later, they came to live with me, and they have been here ever since, until the morning, four months ago, when the Duchess’s splendid, beating heart stopped. It feels a bit stupid still to grieve a dog, but I do. I feel it aching in my throat, a pulling yearning that is not yet done with me.
I can do a pretty good job of normality now. Time does help. I can go out in public and smile and make conversation. There is space for laughter and joy. But the sorrow is strong, for my old dad, and my dear canine, and I can’t just magic it away. Someone once said: you can’t make it go away, but you do get better at dealing with it, and I think that is probably true.
Even the weather mirrored my emotional state. There was wild sunshine on Friday, and grey rain today. It is, as I keep saying, light and shadow. The good, gleaming thing is that one does not cancel the other.
Here she is, the beautiful old lady, just as vivid to me as if she were still here: