Posted by Tania Kindersley.
The news continues very strange. There are pictures of dead and bloody Gaddafis all over the papers. (Do people really need to see those? Or is it wrong to sanitise reality by refusing to show the photographic proofs?) Aliens have landed in the Brazilian rainforest. Protesters are being shot in Syria. Scientists think the internet may be changing the human brain.
Meanwhile, I continue in a slight sense of unreality. I mostly appear to be contemplating chicken soup, which will not surprise the regular readers. I have lately been experimenting with the addition of peas. It is one of those interesting things which happens in cooking. It is not a disaster, it is even quite nice, but you know, in your secret culinary heart, that you will never do it again. (I have quite a lot of such moments.) I think there is a reason that chicken soup with petit pois is not a classic dish.
I also feel slightly physically peculiar, a bit shivery and old. I hope I am not succumbing to a post-delivery grippe. I was so pleased that I fought off the sickness bug with ginger and Echinacea and ruthless force of will (otherwise known as excessive bolshiness); I shall be furious if the good body gives in now.
And, in weather news: the sun shone, and then stopped again. It is cold. The leaves are slowly turning, turning. My rowans are the fieriest scarlet I ever saw, much wilder and redder than last year. The horse chestnuts are almost over. Yet the beeches remain serene and green.
And that last paragraph is especially for one of the kindest of the Dear Readers, who lives in Sri Lanka, and says that she likes reading despatches from chill Scotland whilst she sits in the heat and humidity. I love getting messages like that. There is something inexpressibly thrilling about knowing that this tiny thing has readers in Texas and Arizona and California, in Australia and New Zealand, in Belgium and France, and all points on the compass. I always loved the slightly daffy idea, so popular in the 1930s, of being a citizen of the world. Sometimes, when I get messages like the one from Sri Lanka, I feel as if that is really true.
Autumnal pictures of the day:
Here are the rowans:
Post-ball laughing Pigeon:
And showing she can also do excellent serious face: