Sunday, 4 December 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

It is very cold in Scotland and the sun is quite gone by 3.15pm, but our hearts are warm because the pandas arrived at Edinburgh Zoo. People stood out in the streets to see them, bagpipes were played, humans dressed up in panda suits, the newsreader on the BBC kept getting the giggles, and Twitter went nuts. It was very funny and sweet. There was rather a horrible shock when News 24 reverted to its usual diet of cuts, unions, Eurozone smash, and other animals. 'Bring back the pandas,' I wailed.

Then I looked at The Pigeon and thought she looked a bit like a panda herself, and felt better.

Here are some of the things I missed:

4 Dec 1 04-12-2011 15-55-08

4 Dec 2 04-12-2011 15-55-45

4 Dec 3 04-12-2011 15-55-59

4 Dec 5 04-12-2011 15-58-37

4 Dec 9 04-12-2011 16-02-41

4 Dec 10 04-12-2011 15-56-21

The Pidge is very pleased to be back. She loves it at the Cousin's house; there is a beautiful valley to walk through, two younger dogs who rather worship the old lady, and the children, who adore her, and hug and stroke her all day long. But there is no place like home. Perhaps it's all the familiar smells or something, the ones she grew up with, but she is bounding about like a puppy.

She celebrated re-entry by demolishing a most satisfying stick:

4 Dec 12 04-12-2011 15-59-39

4 Dec 13 04-12-2011 15-59-42

Yeah, stick-work. How about you?

4 Dec 16 04-12-2011 16-00-25

I think I see another one over there:

4 Dec 15 04-12-2011 16-00-18

Then she played around a bit with a fake mouse I'd given her. I'm not much for toys for dogs. We usually just make do with old bits of wood and an ancient tennis ball. But she does seem to like tormenting this poor little critter.

4 Dec 17 04-12-2011 16-01-43

Whilst sticking her bottom in the air, for some reason:


And, the hill, from a wider angle than usual, to show her in all her glory:

4 Dec 15 04-12-2011 15-56-35

Very Scottish, that. Low white sky, dour, serious colours. Some days that thick Scottish sun comes out, and the whole thing gleams and glows. On others, it's lovely and understated, like this.

I missed my dad last night, like a blow to the heart. No reason. I suddenly, terribly, stupidly, wanted him back. The missing, I have discovered, does not hurt less, as time goes by. It's just the spaces in between grow stronger and wider. I missed my Duchess too. She was such a fine dog, and I don't know if I'll ever know another like her.

But I have The Pigeon, and she is happy as a nut.


  1. She's not sticking her bottom in the air (she's much too dignified for that). That? That's the classic yoga position "downward facing dog". It's wonderful for the spine - try it sometime! When you can extend your arms and open your shoulders the way Pidge is, you'll truly appreciate the perfection and level of difficulty of this pose.

    You are right about missing dads... that's just how it is.

  2. Missing departed loved ones is hard. I think it is a measure of how much they meant to you and try to take some comfort from that. I don't think it gets easier; you just learn to live with the pain.

    On a different note I have to say that the Pigeon has the legs of a supermodel; glorious!

    I can see from your pictures why you are both pleased to be home.
    Best wishes,

  3. Although it is not my home, your words and photos convey a lovely sense of homecoming.

  4. Welcome home! I don't know how old Pigeon is but she looks like a puppy in these pictures :)

    My dad died 26 years ago and I still have moments of absolute grief when I just miss him so much, I still can't believe he's gone. Time does stretch out between these times and that's what makes life bearable, I think. Sending love xx

  5. The first photo looks like something out of Narnia...
    (And Pigeon looks YEARS younger! Not that I'm calling her "old"...please!)

  6. It makes sense that you would feel the loss of your father once you arrived home and no longer had all the diversions of the trip to hold your attention.

    And yet, what a lovely, lovely place to return to. Welcome home to both of you!

  7. Welcome home Tania and Pigeon.

    I thought Pigeon was doing her downward dog stretches too. And perhaps also a little bit of I am so happy to be home that I shall wiggle my bottom and stick it in the air.

    The missing never goes away, does it. The passing of time slowly makes it easier to bear, but then there are days when it rips you wide open all over again.

  8. ...amazing how life can get up and slap you in the face isn't it?
    Glad you have that lovely mountain and the wonderful Pigeon.
    Strange sort of a day here too. Started off with cookies, ended up with old age homes.
    Funny old life...

  9. Thank you for the photos. the fourth one is almost reminiscent of a painting for me. It is so beautiful.

    Yet trying to finish routine work!

  10. The first picture (Beech Avenue?) is stunning! It looks like the beginning to an incredible adventure. And my vote is for downward dog as well -

    Stay warm!


  11. The first picture (Beech Avenue?) is stunning! It looks like the beginning to an incredible adventure. And my vote is for downward dog as well
    regulatory consultantsSexy Adult Costumes

  12. Angus Trumble has a lovely recent post on losing a parent:

  13. I feel warned now - having read this - about how grief can continue to 'hit' you over time. It sounds scary but you do seem to endure it with incredible bravery and dignity. Thank goodness for the Pidge. Lou x


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