Monday, 3 October 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Actually, it's more like BLAAAARRRRGGGHHH.

I must admit that I am very slightly prone to theatricality (as some of you may have noticed). I like a bit of hyperbole. I am down with excess. So, I can deal fairly well with big emotions. I like great big, clean, painful emotions that are about one thing, that come roaring and screaming out of you, that mean something.

When I say well, I don't mean necessarily with marvellous grace and cleverness. I mean that I sort of know what to do with them, and I always know that they will not finish me.

What I really hate are the messy, muddled, bunched up, neither flesh fowl nor good red herring emotions. The ones with a bit of resentment and a flash of envy and a dose of grumpiness and a pinch of recrimination. And it all gets stewed up in a box and sits low in your stomach, heavy as a lurking alien life form, and you've got to get your bloody work done, and stupid people are just asking you stupid questions, and making demands on your time, and can't everyone just bugger off and leave you alone?

I think that's how it goes. (You can see that metaphors get mixed too, and figures of speech strained to breaking point.)

Then, because I am not dealing with the mid-level emotions very well at all, I get cross. I tried walking it off; did not work; then I tried eating a lot of popcorn; utter failure. I tried Pigeon love and mushroom soup. Nope. Nothing. Still crazy.

The crossness escalates into something all its own, as if it is being fuelled by a Martian energy source which will last TO THE END OF TIME.

Luckily, the Beloved Cousin emails. Apparently she is furious too, and shouting at everyone, and then madly apologising. 'Everyone slightly confused,' she writes.

'Don't worry,' I write back. 'It's good for them. Will butch them up.'

Then I write 777 words, and think about chapter fourteen, which is a screaming mess. If I were brave and decisive, I would just scrap it altogether. It's not really awfully good. It's not dazzling and dancing with original thought. Also, this would save a lot of time: it's just one, slashing delete.

But oh no. I am determined that there are some dull emeralds in all the dung, so I have to go over and over it again to try and find them.

Also, I forget that cutting is never as straightforward as you think. You triumphantly carve away a section, feeling like a fifth musketeer, all flashing blade and insouciance, and then you realise that, without it, the next sentence makes no sense at all. Worse, there will be something three chapters later which refers back to it, which relies entirely on that section to make any sense, and now the anchoring section is gone, and the other thing is just hanging out there.

I think I had better stop now. I am suddenly aware that none of this has made any sense at all. I should cut it, but as always, some bizarre prompting nudges me into showing you the mazy wanderings of my furious mind. Why? Why? But I suppose all the advice on blogging always says you must give the punters what they want, and you do seem to like honesty. I really hope that you are not going to come to regret mentioning that.


Photographs now:

Autumn trees:

3 Oct 2

Promised lichen:

3 Oct 3

Moss on wall:

3 Oct 4

Young horse chestnut:

3 Oct 5

Even though it is October, the hydrangea is optimistically putting out new growth:

3 Oct 8

These are very naughty. I scavenged them from the wild. They seem happy, though:

3 oct 9

The last three salvias:

3 Oct 10

And my three old lady chairs, to do with. From here, I can sit and stare down the beech avenue:

3 Oct 11


3 Oct 12


3 Oct 15

She has her special I'm up on the wall face on:

3 Oct 16

Then I make her lie down on some leaves. She gets bored, and starts sticking her bottom in the air as an indication that she is finished. I think she looks exactly like Jennifer Lopez and start laughing:

3 Oct 17

Then we throw quite a lot of sticks. A dear reader sent me a link to a heart-rending piece in Slate about giving your old dog one perfect day, so now of course I am determined that every day shall be her perfect day. So I threw and threw the stick. And then I threw it again:

3 Oct 19

Not terribly good picture of the hill:

3 Oct 22.ORF

Better tomorrow. Promise.


  1. It does make total sense and, as ever, you've articulated the inner feelings beautifully. Brain too fried from a similar sounding day to be more coherent than that, but nodding and saying YES and QUITE.

    Like the new blog too. Ephemera is such a great word, up there with serendipity and loquacious for me.

  2. Read that Slate piece and thought of you. I did.

    Life is like a huge chunk of knotty wood that we think we're going to buzz-saw into perfect boards, but saw blades break repeatedly and we swear like sailors. In the end, though, it's all good, isn't it? Beats hell out of the alternative, I think. Dad used to say, "Any day above ground is a great one." At 20, I thought he was just being goofy. Now I understand perfectly. Always room for a better tomorrow.

  3. Elaine - you are so kind. And I too LOVE loquacious.

    Larrouxgirl - Lovely image. Your dad sounds tremendous.

  4. Ha! Butch them up. That's what my Dad used to say about us when he was putting us to hard labour - picking peas in scorching sun comes to mind...
    Am very impressed with Pigeon up on the wall and she is all over Jennifer Lopez. Really, there is nothing she can't do x

  5. Em - I do start to think I should rename her Pigeon the Wonderdog. :)

  6. That fourth picture... I don't see a horse anywhere, chestnut colored or otherwise. Do I need glasses?

    (I crack myself up sometimes!) 8-)

  7. The image of you slashing copy with your rapier is dancing in my head!
    And then, the actual visual of Pigeon as J-Lo...
    Love it love it!!!

    ....What horse?



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