Friday, 30 March 2012


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Red the Mare had another rest day today, after her shots. (Also, my beaten up old car was in the garage.) I missed her so badly that as soon as the very kind gentleman gave me back my beautifully fixed motor, I drove like the wind to see her. She was loafing about in the sun, happy as an entire colony of clams.

I stood with her for a bit, rubbed her ears, had a bit of a chat.

I thought, in my head:


Then I rubbed her ears some more. She very kindly let me. I fed her a bit of apple, which she likes very much. I felt profoundly lucky. My God, the luck.

Then I went home and there was the Pigeon, waiting for me, greeting me with her familiar bouncing up and down. She knows she is not allowed to jump, but she cannot contain her delight, so she bounces on the spot like Tigger.

I rubbed her ears, had a bit of a chat. Then I gave her some biscuits.

I thought, in my head:


So, you see, I have no coherent thoughts for you today. Every atom in my body is dancing with the horse and dog love.

And the sun is dazzling and the sky is blue and nothing else matters, just at this very moment.

Pictures of the day:

The wild part of the garden, with everything just coming into its singing green:

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That little apple tree was only planted last year; see how merrily it blossoms:

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Looking south over the hills:

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Despite the signs of spring, the limes are still quite bare:

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But these little fellows (chestnuts, I think) are putting on their fine fig:

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And the willow is out:

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Two days ago, there was no blossom on the cherry trees. It has appeared, suddenly, quite without warning:

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Sun on the wall:

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I don't know if some strange thing is happening in my brain, but I really think she is getting more beautiful with each passing day:

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You can see that her paddock has rotten grazing. Never fear. She is soon to be moved to a field so gloriously grassy that she shall be in horse heaven.

And talking of beauty:

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The Pidge was looking so splendid today that I put a picture of her up on my Facebook page. She got six Likes. I felt stupidly, giddily proud.

The arrival of the horse has shifted the creature love up into a whole other gear. There is a very, very real danger that I risk becoming a perfect animal bore, never again able to discuss anything else. I must guard against this. But oh, oh, oh, the beauty. Such loveliness, on which to rest my eyes.

The hill, at its most blue:

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One of the things we wrote in Backwards was that there are so many different kinds of love. We were a bit grumpy about romantic love getting all the press.

I remember listing the kinds of love. I think there was family love, friend love, creature love, place love. I'm not sure if I mentioned thing love, but there is that too – I have a lot of love for inanimate objects like my bashed old copy of The Wasteland, dog-eared from repeated reading, or my Lartigue photograph. I love The Great Gatsby and Mrs Dalloway. I love trees.

(If the Younger Brother is reading this, all the way in the Far East, he will be shrieking at my old inner hippy coming out in such a shameless manner.)

This week, for all that there was a difficult day, and I am battling a bit with my work, I got huge doses of family love, place love (Scotland never looked so glorious as in this riotous spring sunshine), and, of course, the horse-and-dog love.

I must not bang on, like a one-trick pony, but I sometimes think these things are oddly important to record. It's like Sebastian Flyte's notion in Brideshead: the pot of gold that you may go back and dig up when you are old and crabbed, so you may remember the place where you were happy. I do not take any of this for granted; I mark it well.

I hope that wherever you are, Dear Readers, that you too had some Friday love, in any of its multifarious forms.


  1. I went to the V&A with my Mum (she's visiting from Wales). A very good thing to do on a Friday.

    My cat and my little red car give me rushes love, as does my small nephew who will also be arriving tomorrow. In fact there will be so much family love visited on me this weekend that I may be glad of a bit of peace and quiet next week ;-)

  2. Your post is such a perfect example of how sometimes it is the most simple things in life that make us truly happy. I often have to remind myself to stop saying "I will happier when I get this.." or "I will be happier when this happens.."

    Better to just be mindful and be grateful for the little things.

    Red and The Pidge are gorgeous by the way! :)

  3. Do you suppose, as a special treat for us, you might at some point be so good as to take a small video of the bouncing-in-place Pigeon? I cannot be the only one whose day would be entirely made by that.

    Today's (this week's) joy in our house is the woodpecker family who have established themselves in a dead tree right outside our back door. The Mrs. sticks her orangey head out of her tiny nesting hole, which it took her weeks to make, and Mr., bright red-headed, sits on a nearby tree and brings her things and flies out at starlings. We are so pleased. We can stand there with our morning tea and watch her poking her beak out of the hole. Also we have cardinals.

  4. Creature love . . . crossing the species, the most miraculous love of all. Bang on all you want, and I'll be happy to read.

    To endorse what Ellie said, a video of the Pigeon doing her Tigger routine would be much appreciated.


  5. It's the CIRCUS (not the circle) of life...

  6. Thank you for that last line. Yes we had Friday love, collegiate love it might be called as well as friend love. The Husband's test laboratory closed yesterday. He has worked there for thirty-two years, and taken redundancy aged 56, to retire even earlier than planned. There was a send-off/wake. The afternoon and early evening were spent in the gardens of a couple of canalside pubs. I stayed sober and drove a batch of them around. The lab manager bought Moet out of his own pocket. He also gave the two that were leaving the company soopah-doopah Letterman knives, engraved with their names on the main blade. He's worked with The Husband for twenty-five years. Love begtween colleagues, there's another one for you.

  7. Tania! I love my husband, but before you wave your hand and dismiss "romantic" love, I must insist this is different - it is a many-faceted thing, of which romance is only one. He embodies family love, friend love, yes- romantic love, and colleague love (as we were once colleagues), hero love, co-conspirator love, and the sheer joy of two kids off from school on a snow day. Yep, it's that good.

    One question: you mentioned, in a previous post, "the livery" being upset because you had your own vet come see Red. For some reason I thought Red lived at your house - do you board her at a stable elsewhere? Just trying to get the story straight in my head.


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