Monday, 12 December 2011

12.12.11. Or, not a thought in my head

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Sometimes I have a very clear idea of what I want to tell you. It is a politics day, or a state of the heart day, or a dog day. Sometimes it is ranting, sometimes it is musing.

Occasionally, I have not a thought in my head. I sit down at the keyboard, raise my fingers to go, and there is – nothing. That’s usually when I just bung up a couple of Pigeon photographs, bashfully apologise, and rely on your forbearing nature.

Today is one of those days.

But then I think: there is never nothing in the head. There are always snaking, twisting trains of thought. What I mean is: nothing of any interest. Nothing shiny enough to share. Nothing coherent or meaningful.

Then I thought: well, why not throw some of the random musings down on the page? Perhaps it might create a collage of thought which could add up to something. What is the scrapbook of my day?

It’s an experiment. It might turn out to be a load of buggery bollocks. But here goes:

Not enough sleep. Slight sense of self-recrimination about not regulating sleep patterns with more rigour. Ridiculous sweetness of dog. Joyful return of Younger Niece from university. Ridiculous sweetness of Dog greeting Niece. Sunshine and cold. One excellent telephone conversation. Still can’t decipher Euromess. Faint worry about storm warnings for later in the week. Two really interesting books on the go (reading, not writing). Annoying uncertainty about where to start with third draft of book (writing, not reading). The enduring joy of lichen. I love that today is the twelfth of the twelfth. I even like writing: 12.12.11. Food rut: must think of more adventurous recipes instead of just endless chicken soup. The absolute bore of getting rid of large cardboard boxes. Must buy great bunches of eucalyptus to enhance Christmassy nature of room. Which thought leads to small mediation on the conflict between the practical and the cerebral, possibly the central conflict of my daily life.

Hmm. Not entirely sure. As I stare at the screen I think: if I did those as a discrete list, instead of an undifferentiated paragraph, they might look more fascinating. There is a very interesting thing about formatting. It sounds such a dry, dull word, such a dry, dull thing. But the mere fact of a gap in a text can transform its effect, even its meaning. (It’s why tabloid newspapers have a rule about very, very short paragraphs. It's one of the several reasons that poetry is different from prose.)

Well, that’s my head for the day. Outside, the light has turned the blue of duck eggs. Everything is very neat and still. I think: if I go to bed at a reasonable hour, tomorrow I shall be galvanised, and get done all the things I have left undone.


Some nice photographs of the day, though. Even though the bright sun had gone by the time I took the camera out, the colours still remained vividly intense.


12 Dec 1 12-12-2011 15-48-14

I love the moss and the beech leaves:

12 Dec 2 12-12-2011 15-48-42

Hope you don't get bored of this; I seem to be putting up a picture of it every single day:

12 Dec 3 12-12-2011 15-49-12

Even though I miss the green, and shall be delighted when it returns in April, I do find the stark bare branches of winter rather beautiful:

12 Dec 4 12-12-2011 15-50-11

The trees on the hill:

12 Dec 6 12-12-2011 15-52-12

I love that the tree trunks and the stone wall have the same colours and textures:

12 Dec 6 12-12-2011 15-52-39

Moss and old stone, I can't ask for more:

12 Dec 7 12-12-2011 15-53-31

The occasional brave green leaf remains:

12 Dec 8 12-12-2011 15-53-57

And the mossy wall is the ne plus ultra of mossiness:

12 Dec 9 12-12-2011 15-54-07

12 Dec 10 12-12-2011 15-54-56

The Pidge had a tremendous mouse hunt in a tuffet of grass, which made me laugh a lot. Funnily enough, that was always the favourite game of The Duchess. Now it seems, her sister has taken over small critter watch. The absurd thing is, neither of them have ever, ever found anything, but they have both lived in eternal hope:


And oh oh oh, that face:

12 Dec 12 12-12-2011 15-52-02

And today's hill:

12 Dec 14 12-12-2011 15-55-26

One of the Dear Readers has asked about the hill. It lies about a mile due south from my house; when I come out of my front door and turn left, it is what I see. I started taking a daily photograph of it many months ago, as a way of mapping the seasons. I love that it changes every single day. It has become, along with your Daily Pigeon, one of the anchors of the blog. Which feels symbolic of something, although I am not sure what.


  1. Tania...Virginia Woolf would be proud of such a stream of consciousness. Spookily there are many similarities to mine today - minus the lichen. I walked the dog this morning in the most beautiful sunshine, with my Mum who has embraced the dog walking, although she is a self proclaimed' cat person'. I tried to tempt her to Dog Island but so far, no go. I am restless as I am trying to break the sugar/chocolate/cake habit that has been the feature of my recent afternoons. Chicken soup sounds ideal; like a salve. And as for that wonderful avenue of yours - dare I say? I love it more than the hill. Please can it feature every day? When I posted it on my blog, it got 'pinned' onto Pinterest by someone and then re-pinned again and again...thought you might like that. You should be approached by Getty Images soon ;-) Lou x

  2. Proof of 'Avenue' love:

  3. Echoing Lou - I utterly adore the beech avenue!

  4. I am echoing both Lou and Anne, I love the photos of the avenue too.

    And i am very glad indeed to hear that someone else is not good at regulating their sleep patterns.

    Have you ever walked to the top of your hill? We had a wonderful hill near our childhood home and we only climbed it the once, just before our parents moved. The view was amazing, and we all wondered why on earth we had never climbed it before.

  5. Anne - you are so kind. :)

    Loulou - thank you so much. Ashamed to say I have never walked to the top of the hill. There is a famous race to its peak each August; the most I have ever done is watch, from a comfortable seat.


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin