Posted by Tania Kindersley.
The Beloved Cousin calls.
'How are you?' she says.
'Grumpy as hell,' I say.
The Pigeon looks up, enquiringly. Either she is curious about my mood, or she is wondering whether we are to go up the beech avenue. In the end, we go to see the sheep.
And here is the miracle of the thing. I was grumpy as hell. I slept badly and am fretting over book verdict. But after forty minutes of cousinly conversation, I was happy as a lark.
The Beloved Cousin is a miracle person, I think. Imagine having that capacity. It's a real, magical thing.
Then I come inside and find my friend The Photographer has sent me an email with a huge, fat compliment in it. He does not need to do that. We have been friends for twenty-six years, from the days when he had a green Mohican and lived on a barge. He knows I love him. So it made me smile even more.
Perhaps that should be something that everyone should do, I think, a little fey: pay someone a random compliment each day.
Despite the week off, I seem to have written two proposals for new projects. Another lives in my head. I turn it round in my mind, watching how the light catches it.
And, despite my days of leisure, I still seem to have missed the news. I think that Colonel Gaddafi is dead. That seems like very big news. Oddly, I am not sure what to make of it. (I think, I think I prefer my dictators tried and imprisoned and stripped of power, but I suppose it's not really up to me to choose.)
I think: I really must sharpen my wits and concentrate. That is what I shall do tomorrow.
Some quick pictures, as it is getting late: