Monday, 5 December 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

One of my greatest weaknesses is that I hate to admit to weaknesses. I have a terrible Look, Ma, no hands, tendency. Look at me, being fine. I loathe pity. I sometimes get actually cross if someone (mostly my poor mother) says they are worrying about me. I think I find it faintly patronising, as if I'm such an eedjit I can't run my own life.

This relentless tendency goes along with the endless counting of the blessings. Look, look: I have Scotland, and opposable thumbs, and a mostly functioning brain, and democracy, and everything. (The inevitable inference I draw from this, in the irrational part of my brain, is that I may never complain about anything. Because I have All This.)

Add in my terror of being a bore, and you get a perfect storm.

This is occasionally exacerbated by the act of blogging. No one wants to read about some dreary Minnie Moaner. You want sunshine and happy thoughts. Surely?

But there are some times when I have to admit that I am having a five star, ocean-going, shitty day. Even though I have heat and light and running water, I cannot summon my inner Pollyanna. I feel out of sorts, under the weather, scratchy and grumpy.

I think I always get a bit unsettled when I have been away for a while. After the initial symphony of joy and excitement to be back among my hills, I get the falling realisation of the domestic and administrative tasks of life; the work to be done; the emails to be sent; the letters to be written. Then I feel disorganised and cross and wish I were one of the shiny, efficient people.

It's not the end of the world. It's not front page news. It will be better tomorrow, because it always is. I almost thought of not mentioning it, and just putting up a Pigeon photograph for your delight. But there is some inner drive for authenticity which cannot be staunched. You are my Dear Readers, and you must have the truth.

And I think I hope, in my secret heart, that you will rise up in chorus, and say: oh, oh, me too. It's such a strange thing, as if I am asking permission not to be gleaming every damn day. (That admission does feel like a step too far, it is so mad, and I am tempted to delete, delete.) But there; the kindness of strangers is, I think, what this novel medium is all about.


Photographs of the day. The first scatter of snow fell. The Pigeon was highly delighted, as there is nothing she loves more. She eats it, and jumps about in it, and just looks too pleased for anything.

5 Dec 1 05-12-2011 15-38-46

5 Dec 2 05-12-2011 15-38-57

5 Dec 3 05-12-2011 15-39-23

5 Dec 4 05-12-2011 15-40-11

5 Dec 4 05-12-2011 15-40-32

5 Dec 5 05-12-2011 15-40-46

5 Dec 6 05-12-2011 15-40-58

5 Dec 9 05-12-2011 15-47-06

Off goes the old lady, in seventh heaven:

5 Dec 6 05-12-2011 15-43-32

Happy snow pose:

5 Dec 10 05-12-2011 15-45-37

Ridiculously beautiful close-up:

5 Dec 11 05-12-2011 15-45-43


5 Dec 13 05-12-2011 15-37-31

And now I am stumping off to make some chicken soup, which really is my only answer.


  1. Oh but it is such a wonderful thing about be able to throw out your thoughts, worries, and opinions out into the universe in hopes of hitting someone that feels the same way. There always is. We are not alone. We all have shitty days, and it will be better tomorrow.

    That view of your road - shown in the first picture - is simply stunning in every season.

  2. Well if you're looking for a chorus of "me too" then I have a feeling you won't be disappointed! I get this feeling every now and then and it's so frustrating. I always feel I should be bursting with happiness every single day, since I'm healthy, homed, loved and all that... But it's just a bugger to shake!

    I'm glad you didn't delete. Probably the first thing I do to cheer me up and remind me of happy things on One Of Those Days is to check your blog, so it seems quite fitting that you do... the opposite? ('opposite'? Well, you know what I mean...)

    Roll on tomorrow morning, and a happier day for you I hope.

  3. I read this thinking, "I could have written this... If only I were a little more articulate..."
    So you are most certainly not alone.
    It gets better, it always does.

  4. What beauty of landscape and canine. What clarity of thought and expression. What really important honesty.

    Of course you can have off days. The brilliant thing (for me) is that you DO have off days. Your off days make me feel better about my off days. Of which, yes, today was one as something rather scary happened, which I can't resolve yet.

    What I think all your dear readers love most about your blog, apart from the photographs of Pigeon, your hill and your tree avenue, is that you don't press that delete button. You are you. Unedited. (Except in the linguistic sense. Please tell me that your blog isn't stream of consciousness …)

  5. My guess is that you are probably missing those Little People and their Mother; the ectic and noisy life that you have been part of in the last month. At times it might get a bit too much, especially for someone like me who adores solitude, and yet, yet, it is so whirlwindy addictive and for a while you miss that special high.
    It will soon unpercettably subside, once those horrible, unsexy admin duties are out of the way.
    It is just a change of gear.
    Chicken soup tonight, and a fresh posies everywhere tomorrow!
    Pigeon totally adorable in the snow. Cristina :)

  6. Adding my own "me too" to the chorus :-)
    Most of us have the occasional lapse into utter bleh fom time to time - the trick is in remembering that this too shall pass...And that the world is absolutely crammed full of beauty, hope and love for those with eyes to see and hearts to feel - you regale us with compelling evidence of this almost every day. Your blog is one of my own personal List-Of-Very-Good-Things which cheers the beleaguered spirit, and I thank you most sincerely for it, Jo

  7. What I love about your blog is that your true voice comes through. You always write so beautifully and honestly, and it's inclusive.
    Plus, of course, Pigeon, trees and The Hill always work x

  8. Errr, can I just too! I just got back from 24 hours of lovely kid-free wonderful time in Bath with my husband, celebrating our anniversary. Coming home is a rude awakening...dirty dishes and messy rooms and school uniform to get ready. It does cause grumpiness. And the wonder of blogging is that with or without the inner Pollyanna, we are still here and interested. And as for that set of snow tipped images...just precious. I long for snow but living on the southern most tip, it's rare. Lou x

  9. Meeee tooo. But I feel disorganized and cross when I get back from shopping.
    and certainly, when all else fails...cook!

  10. I am struggling to summon my inner Pollyanna too today and that's very rare. After watching my littlest girl and her five year old classmates do a beautiful Christmas play full of love hope and songs, my friend (Joseph's mummy) found out her dad had died half an hour before - her third baby is due in 10 days and she did not know if she would make it to the funeral. Even my hug and you learn to deal with it better each day mantra seemed of so little comfort today - just focus on your baby and those little angels this morning I said - how cruel is life, I found myself thinking of you and your brave brave friend. Grief is so unkind! Amanda x

  11. P.S. I really hope you didn't find me patronising earlier.
    You must understand that I have been leaving in Blighty for 33 years now, and still can't help taking things at face value!
    So, sooo un-British, I know.

  12. Just incredibly lovely comments, thank you so much. You have brought a smile to my face.

    And specifically to Cristina - never patronising. Your comments are always absolutely charming. :)

  13. Yes, it can be dispiriting coming home after a whirl of new scenes and lots of people - everything seems suddenly just the SAME as before - the same admin, housework etc!

    The Scottish scenery looks so wild and spacious compared to the south of England (except for Dartmoor). Lovely pics of Pigeon - you can see what a beautiful dog she is when you see her photographed with other dogs.

  14. Love the shitty days posts and the sunny day posts. Love all the posts. And that driveway, it gets beautifuler and beautifuler.

  15. I didn't think that pictures of either your tree-lined avenue or the Pigeon could get any better, but the snow makes their beautiful bits really pop. Incredible.

    Your honesty has brightened some of my shittier days, so thank you for sharing your shittiness :)


  16. Oh, oh, me too, me too! Stumping around. Grumbling and complaining. We all have those days. Crappy days. Under-the-weather days. But we're here listening because It resonates with us. Who doesn't have a Cupboard of Doom? I laughed so much over that because I've been there, too.

    I do think soup is an excellent place to start the repatriation process, though. I've finally come to the conclusion that getting good food and good sleep really do make a huge difference.

    Beautiful photos!

  17. I'm it all on the weather. Winter is struggling to arrive (and I suspect with a vengeance since autumn trailed on way too gloriously). I'm trying to stuff my feet back into socks or stockings(ugh) and "closed" shoes when I really want to be strolling barefoot down a beach somewhere like Hawaii or, closer to family, in Miami.
    That said, the dusting of snow DOES look beautiful...

  18. So much 'me too' today. Have strong desire to curl up on sofa with blankets and tea but I must be at work until five and then go to do EXERCISE in a freezing cold pool. *chronic grumpface*

  19. I can do "me too", and could have done almost every day since mid-October. This is because I suffer from SAD and that is when it kicks in. Once upon a time I would try to carry on regardless and still do all the usual stuff, even go to work (as a secondary teacher, how did I ever do it?!) but since taking early retirement I accept the need for more sleep, more rest, less activity, and as a result I am much less miserable. It's fighting the doldrums that makes them more shitty, I think. Better to accept, like the crew of a ship on a windless ocean, that we are "becalmed" until the energy picks itself up of its own accord and the sails fill again.


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