Monday, 13 February 2012

In which I hope to come back with a bang, and end up with more of a whimper

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

The Dear Readers. Really, you have outdone yourselves. You’d have thought I had come back from an Antarctic trek, the warmth of the welcome was such. How kind and good and generous you are. I feel rather overcome and very humble.

The weather is flat and low, not at all a gaudy homecoming. I don’t care. The trees are there, and the low light on the hills, and the roots and the lichen and the stone walls. The Sister and I march round the block, talking and talking, one black dog at each of our heels.

I do work, think a bit about the news, eat a pastrami sandwich for lunch. The light dwindles and fades into a black, moonless night. The Pigeon is fast asleep, making little sighing noises of contentment. At last, there is time to sit down and do the blog. After all your incredibly kind words from yesterday, the least I owe you is something absolutely bleeding marvellous.

I pause, fingers stretched over the keyboard. I shake my head, as if I can ginger up my cerebellum, as if some blindingly brilliant thought might be dislodged. I wait for it. Nothing.

First day back and there is only blankness? This is not the way to do it at all. I wonder about the weight of expectation. I remember, a hundred years ago, a wise old shrink saying to me that the enemy of happiness is false expectations. My expectation, just at this minute, is that you are all sitting there, waiting for the good stuff; my expectation is that after a week off I should be able to give it to you. A perfect symphony of expectation is playing in my head, drowning out all coherent thought, crippling my fingers, crabbing any decent mental process.

Hmm, I think. Can I pass this off as a little life lesson? Will this serve as some kind of parable? Can I dig something out of nothing? If I scrunch up my brow a bit more and pummel my brain and really, really try, could I scoop out one tiny, gleaming nugget of universal verity?

There is something there, something about the weight of expectation crushing everything flat. Don’t expect too much sounds like the most awful cop-out; a pedestrian, gloomy way to go through life. It’s not exactly inspiring. You wouldn’t put it on a t-shirt. On the other hand, the sensible managing of expectation could be one way to peace of mind.

Could it be a sort of Goldilocks principle? Not too hot, not too cold, just right. As a theory, it needs work. I am going to go away and ponder it. When it is all polished and shiny, I shall come back and lay it at your feet.


And now for the pictures of the day.

I adore these young beeches. They seem to grow more glorious with each passing day:

13 Feb 1 13-02-2012 11-16-41

The magnificence of a dry stone wall:

13 Feb 2 13-02-2012 11-28-09

The gnarly old beech trunks, which always remind me of an elephant's foot:

13 Feb 3 13-02-2012 11-29-27

This one is all blurred and out of focus, but I rather love it all the same:

13 Feb 4 12-02-2012 13-56-36

And here are the trees, in proper focus:

13 Feb 5 12-02-2012 13-56-29.ORF

There were gales whilst I was away, and two of the great old trees have come down. Some very efficient person has been tidying them up with a great big saw. This is always a sad sight:

13 Feb 6 13-02-2012 10-31-25

But on a happier note, The Pigeon has got a really, really big stick. I imagine she is thinking of Roosevelt, and following his advice to speak softly and carry a big stick:

13 Feb 10 05-02-2012 12-21-03

The hill comes at you from a slightly different angle than usual:

13 Feb 15 13-02-2012 11-27-27

Oh, those colours. Who knew that I would be so lucky as to end up living in the shadow of a violet hill?


  1. Tania
    I think I might be the first responding to your post today. And I feel I am the most inexperienced one of the Dear Readers.
    I loved your honesty today. I am in awe of you delivering a post every single day. Goodness, the pressure, the, not every day is the same and you have just come back. Its just good that you are back and that we (I) love to read what you think. And, the pigeon is over moon. That's good enough for me.

    One day I will be brave enough to have a blog too but I think it will contain more pictures than words....because words are hard work.

  2. So perfect Tania ~ I loved the honesty of your post today. Nothing more needs to be said...I think you said it all. Again, beautiful picture and beautiful Pigeon. Have a wonderful day! ~Tammy

  3. just came across your blog by accident..... isnt your header a quote by Ginger Rodgers?

  4. Tania, a wonderful post as always. I do envy you the colours of your surroundings and the Pigeon is just delightful - the look in those eyes to die for.

  5. No expectations here, just lovely you're back. I've already started my day with fingers poised over the keyboard... and nothing. So I thought I'd pop over and check on the hill, and the trees and a beautiful black dog with a big stick. :)
    Now, I'll try again. xx

  6. I would absolutely wear a t-shirt that reads "don't expect too much"!

  7. In the T-shirt department I would opt for that memorable Mad Magazine quote from cover boy Alfred E. Neuman: "What, me worry?"
    If I knew more about the actual nuts and bolts (or is it circuit boards and access codes?) of computers, I'd shift an image to here. (Must get daughter to show me how, after her eye rolling and Oh, Moms!)
    And that comment about Goldilocks has sparked a yen for porridge (well, rolled oats with real Maple syrup) 11:30 at night. Ah me.

  8. LOL, even when you say nothing much, you do it with great style. ;-)


  9. I read your blog every day (this past week I just reread it or older ones). I love your pictures, which often look like beautiful paintings. They inspire me to think about a trip to Scotland someday.

    I've never commented before (blog-comment-shy, I guess, otherwise known as a lurker), but your great expectations post made me think of praise my partner once recieved from a client, who said, "I love working with him because he always under-promises and over-delivers". It feels like a hard line to hold when you are trying to please someone, and I don't know it would work for a blog, but thought I'd mention it.

    Thanks again for creating such a lovely experience for your readers.
    Diane (from Northern California)

  10. Welcome home, I missed you ;0) Amanda x

  11. So lovely of you to visit my blog...welcome home. This post so speaks of those days when I try too hard and nothing comes, then later it flows...words, photos, whatever it is I am striving to achieve. Thanks for the reminder.


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