Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Ten days to go.
I genuinely have no idea what is happening in the world today. I feel this is shocking dereliction on my part. It is as if there is a magical thinking section of my brain that believes if I were to know the current state of, say, Greece’s parlous debt, or what poor Mrs Merkel is going to have to do about it, then somehow it might make it all better. I have no idea where this comes from. I was not brought up in a house of news hounds. Somewhere, I imbibed the idea that it is the concerned citizen’s duty to know the state of the world.
I know nothing because when I get to this state of intense thinking even the sound of John Humphrys may act as a massive distraction. In fact, the only thing I can listen to is classical music, because there are no lyrics. The only words that I can listen to, in this final stage, are my own. (This is, I should admit, quite tiring. I’m not that interesting.)
The thinking is in one sense good. It is about clarification, mostly. What are you really trying to say, is my current song. But then it can lead me astray. Suddenly, this morning, I realised that I had neglected an entire section. Part of me thought, oh sod it. No one will notice. The rigorous part said, crossly, WRITE IT DOWN. So I did 2231 words.
2231 words in a day is crazy talk. Only Barbara Cartland wrote that much in a sitting, and she could do it because she in fact dictated her books to a secretary, whilst lying on a chaise longue, dressed all in pink.
As a result, my brain feels slightly scorched. I am also suffering from sudden waves of nausea, which come and go like seasickness. I thought perhaps it was stress, but I learn that there is a wild sickness bug in the village. I just went to the village, to buy carnations, on a sudden whim. (I thought that arranging flowers might be good for the singed mind.) I went to the village, when there is a sickness bug? What was I thinking? I cannot be ill; the good body must keep working.
I swallow handfuls of spirulina, Echinacea and fish oil capsules, in the vain hope that vitamins may save the day. If that does not work, I’m moving on to whisky, the spirit that kills all known germs dead. It's neck or nothing, now.
The hydrangea, with one fallen rowan leaf providing the singing splash of scarlet:
Slightly blurred, as it was blowing in the wind:
The white marjoram:
The shrub whose name a dear reader did kindly remind me of, and which I have again forgotten:
These little beauties were quite over, and have suddenly come for a second late flowering:
Cyclamen, still going, like some kind of miracle plant:
The lavender really should be over now, but here is a nutty little plant suddenly putting out a new flower:
The amazing viola:
Newest tree, a prunus, bending in the wind:
Pigeon, with her all present and correct face on:
In sepia, for full nostalgic effect. I always think it makes her look like an Edwardian dog, on her way to Sandringham:
And in black and white:
I know I should not go on about the dog, in a shamelessly sentimental manner, but those two politely placed paws slay me.
Just as I am finishing this, the Beloved Cousin rings. This is very exciting. No matter how stressy I am, she has the talent of making me feel that everything is better. We laugh for twenty minutes. I put the telephone down. I check. There it is. Her gift has not deserted her. Everything is better.