Posted by Tania Kindersley.
You would think that, in my week off after all those words, I would have a wonderful stretch of freedom. I could gently do the blog, think thoughtful thoughts, share universal verities.
Instead, I found myself doing a Google Street View tour of the Isle of Arran.
I should be able to tell you why, but I can't, really. It was something to do with wondering whether I should go to the west coast, and then thinking of places by the sea. Arran looks utter heaven, but I don't want to be taking ferries just at the moment.
Then I thought maybe I should go to Loch Lomond, which really isn't very far away. I'm rather ashamed of how little of Scotland I have seen: I know Speyside and Inverness, bits of Perthshire, Edinburgh and some of the Borders, and obviously most of Aberdeenshire. I race through Glenshee every so often. I know Oban, and spent years going to Colonsay for my summer holiday. But that's about it. I have cousins on North Uist, for heaven's sake. The Sister and I idly speculate about taking a trip to the Hebrides to see the relations, and then we sigh, and talk of something else. The Brother-in-law and I badger each other almost weekly about a mythical journey to Orkney which we cooked up about six years ago and have never undertaken.
It's very silly to live in such a place and not go and look at it. Now I am quite cross.
Perhaps I shall go to Loch Lomond after all. The hotels I looked at were either horrid and corporate, or sad and stuck in the 1970s, or would not like The Pigeon. It's very interesting, this fantasy about the British being the most dog-lovin' nation on earth, unlike those pesky Chinese, who eat theirs. Well, trying typing dog-friendly hotel into The Google. You'll get about five results, and one of those will have been shut down by Health and Safety in 2008.
You may notice that I am a bit diffuse and rambly. This is partly because of post-deadline crash. Partly because there is silence de glace from co-writer, editor and agent. They are all very, very busy women. They deal with thousands of words a week. I'm sure it's not because everyone is screaming about what a piling load of arrant nonsense the whole thing is.
I'm not paranoid. I'm not.
Now for some perfectly calm pictures, because I am perfectly calm and rational, thank you so very much:
I love this serious, questing, slightly furry face:
And this gorgeous grinning face. She has been making this rather a lot lately, and I snap it and snap it, and post it and post it, so I do apologise if it becomes slightly repetitive:
Hill, today in panorama: