Posted by Tania Kindersley.
One of the things I like about the internet is that it is very levelling. There are no ivory towers out there in the prairies of cyberspace. (My only fear about this is that the levelling can go too far, and lead to abandonment of decorum, so instead of saying, ‘I’m not sure I quite agree with you,’ people scream ‘die, bitch, die’.) If ever I should get a bit above myself, I only have to look at the search terms which bring people to my blog.
In my hubristic mind, these might be Universal Verity, or Most Beautiful Canine in Existence. In reality, they include Goat Climbing Mountain.
I should be thinking about serious things like the morality of banking bonuses, and the tottering world economy, and whether poor Andy Murray shall ever stop being shouted at for not winning a grand slam. (I’m not very interested in tennis, but I find the Murray phenomenon fascinating. He works incredibly hard and is very talented; he is at the top of a highly competitive game; the three men who routinely beat him are titans; yet he seems unable to shake off the label of dour Scottish loser.) I should be contemplating big serious questions about government cuts and fiscal austerity and what is going on with Hungary and the IMF.
Instead, I am slightly obsessed by the whole goat climbing mountain thing. I don’t think I have ever actually written about goats. I may have reported on the half-joke plan that The Sister and I hatched in case the entire economy does, finally, implode. We are going to grow vegetables and keep goats. You see how cunning and finely conceived our plan is. Ha. The crazed bankers and know-nothing economists can do their worst; we shall have the goats to keep us warm. However, none of this involves mountains, or, in fact, climbing. How the Google gets to me from the clambering goats is a mystery.
I also love the idea of people sitting down and bashing ‘goat climbing mountain’ into a search engine. It’s either a Dadaist form of poetry, or someone is doing espionage. Goat climbing mountain could be Moscow Rules. Just as I imagine discreet operatives going up to each other in St James’s Park, which as everyone knows is where all the spooks meet in their lunch break, and saying ‘The geese are flying south for winter’, so I could see that ‘goat climbing mountain’ is clearly code for Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The other, even more perplexing search is: girl fawn Maddow. This is code so abstruse that even Bletchley Park might be left wondering. I do write about Rachel Maddow quite a lot. I love her. The love might, I suppose, sometimes pitch over into fawning. But I do not think, at 44 years and 362 days old, I could be described as a girl, even by the most unreconstructed patriarch.
I don’t know. Perhaps Rachel Maddow secretly has a thing for fawns. The most brilliant thing about this odd search is that now, every time I watch the coruscating Maddow show, I shall think of baby deer. Which is probably a very good antidote to the latest loon thing Newt Gingrich is saying.
The sun is fading now, and the last of the frost lies still and white on the cold grass. It’s been a long week. I have, as is so often the case, not done quite enough work to satisfy. I bash on and bash on and think: come on, come on, not there yet. More, more, I think.
I have thought a lot about my father. In yesterday’s life post, I wanted to say: remember your dead well. Then I thought: that is a stupid thing to say, of course we all remember our dead. I don’t need to write that down. But then I wondered whether there is a part of mourning where one shies away from thinking of the departed. There is a childish, magical part of the brain that wonders: if I do not think about them, perhaps they will not really be gone.
On my desk, I have a photograph of the first man who ever believed in me as a writer. Since, at the time, I was writing books so bad that I need to invent a new word for execrable to describe them, his belief was a real leap of faith. He was not a relation; he had no skin in the game. He was an artist, who, for some reason, picked me up, and encouraged me. I was twenty. I knew nothing. But he treated me as if I were Virginia Woolf.
He died, much too young, from AIDS, many years ago. Every day, I look at his picture, and feel gratitude, and wonder what he would make of it all. I remember him well.
One day, I think, I shall be able to look at a picture of my dad in the same way, with glad remembrance, rather than a tearing in the heart.
I know it may be rather vulgar to keep harping on about this, and it could sound like the worst kind of pandering, but the Dear Readers have really been magnificent this week. And now I know I have the goat mountain Maddow fawn people on my side, I believe I can do anything.
Pictures of the day.
It was another afternoon of astonishing light. Most of these pictures are of the hills and trees I can see when I look due south. I hope they are not too same old, same old. But there is something about the Scottish light, seen at that angle, that is so magical I can't quite get over it:
This one is completely out of focus. But these are two of my favourite little birches, and I rather love the blurred effect, as if they are in a painting:
The old iron fence. I can't get enough of that, either:
The beech avenue, from a low angle. (More attractive crouching from me, as The Pigeon looks on in bemusement.):
This happy face is because I bought her a new ball. I know I'm always banging on about how all you need are free sticks, but sometimes I like to get her an actual bought object to have fun with:
Here she is, with the bright orange thing in her mouth, doing what I used to call 'bottom in the air', but which I know now from the Dear Readers is actually a serious yoga pose called 'downward facing dog':
As my friend The Playwright says: do admit.
Now I really am ready for the weekend. Happy Friday.