Posted by Tania Kindersley.
My brain is recalcitrant today. I do low level, unsatisfactory work. I wrestle and tangle with my material and can’t quite find the right place to put it. I spend a lot of time staring out of the window with a perplexed expression on my face. (Many writers will tell you that this is a vital part of the process.)
Sometimes coffee and loud Mozart helps. Someone discovered once that Mozart lights up the creative areas of the brain; they did MRI scans and everything. Sometimes, these stratagems do not work. Sometimes it is just a bit of a blah, wading through mud day.
The problem with writing is that when it is good, it gives you a feeling like almost nothing else. Sometimes the sentences really do come out fully formed, and the thoughts are lucid, and the exact right word presents itself at the exact right moment. This is rather spoiling for the workaday grind; because one has known the sense of flight, the contrasting plod is harder to take.
Also, even though I know better, the very fact that people think it a delightful, pleasurable, almost jaunty calling does not help. I should be drifting about in a bohemian manner, producing profound apercus about the human condition, and dashing off the odd perfect glittering paragraph. It should not feel as if I am grinding out wood chippings.
Because I have been frowning at the computer all day, I have absolutely no idea what happened in the news. Missing the news always gives me a strange, magical feeling. The barbarian hordes could have marched up Whitehall, for all I know. My best guess: the government has announced something mildly unpopular and someone has said something controversial on Twitter, and everyone is very, very cross. Oh, and of course it is a bank holiday, so there will be weather news. Ordinary Decent Britons love almost nothing more than a bit of bank holiday weather.
The mare and I continue our deepening friendship. She does have moods, though, I am discovering. People always say this about mares, and I always think it is rank prejudice, but there may be something in it. I suppose an old gelding has many fewer hormones to worry about, what with one thing and another. She got a bit tense in her back and started jumping at shadows at one point. There really was nothing there, but for whatever reason, she decided to put her startle reflex on. But then, I took her down to the pair of scary bridges, and she went over them as willing as pie. Considering that yesterday it took twenty minutes to get her over the first strange bridge, I thought this was a triumph.
I like that she is not a novice ride. It means I can't just slop about in the saddle. I have to ride her with care and concentration. I have to use my legs and my brain. I have to remember everything I ever learnt. There is a great satisfaction in that.
She will settle more and more, as each day passes. Also, this week, she shall get a companion, which will make a huge difference. Although she seems peaceful and docile in the field, and quite happy with the sheep in the next field and the wandering chickens for company, I think it will be soothing for her to have another pony. I may be establishing myself as her lead horse, but let’s face it, I only have two legs. It’s not the same thing at all.
Some quick pictures for you:
Trees and hills:
The sun came out, in the end, and shone on the sedum:
And these little wild things whose name I do not know:
And I became interested by a bit of old iron:
At one point, the work got so dispiriting that I started playing about with my photography software. I have discovered a new effect, for Red and the Pigeon:
I think it makes them look like film stars.