Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I do 1256 words today, and some interesting research. I am not getting huge satisfaction in my work at the moment, battling and struggling, but that is par for the course. I keep my head down, and continue to bugger on. By lunchtime, I am quite tired and fed up, so I decide to give myself a little present of a pot of coffee and an hour off. (I suddenly realise this sounds quite normal, but at the moment, I am so crazed that I consider taking ten minutes for a sandwich at lunchtime profligate. So a whole hour feels like infamy.)
I have a choice, between my two favourite subjects: politics, and racing. I had a swift look at Leveson. I’ve been vaguely aware that it has been going on all week, because it lights up the Twittersphere like almost nothing else. Normally, my political geekery would insist that I take the whole week off and watch, but now there is no room for that. In the spirit of a tremendous treat, I turned on the internet. I waited to be riveted by high legal and political theatre. An investigation, after all, into the relationship between politicians and the press could not be more fundamental to our democracy.
Oh my goodness it was dull. You think horse stories are boring, wait until you hear Rebekah Brooks explaining about how she went to Matthew Freud’s party and ‘popped in’ for mince pies somewhere in Gloucestershire for Christmas. I could feel the atoms of my body slowly moving towards the exit, as the life force was sucked out of me.
What is odd about this is that everyone who has ever met her in life describes Rebekah Brooks as astonishingly charismatic. So she has clearly made a strategic decision to be dull, which is interesting in itself. The QC, Robert Jay, who trended on Twitter all afternoon as Mr Jay, also appeared to believe that anodyne was the correct approach. His questions seemed disconnected and bland. I have the stereotypical view of barristers, all Shakespearian oratorical flourishes and the whiff of Dickens. This one, though apparently a star in his field, was more like an inspector of works. Again, I'm perfectly sure it was on purpose, I just can't quite work out what the purpose is.
I really did want my money back. So I turned over to Chester and watched an absolutely beautiful three-year-old colt called Astrology, a bonny son of Galileo, with a lovely, raking action, absolutely trot up, with my ten quid on him. I shouted, the dog barked, I felt the will to live return. People love Chester, although it’s a bit of a mixed meeting, and has been dogged by rain all week. But today, the sun shone on the glorious equine backs, and some really nice horses showed their class, and a brilliant eighteen-year-old jockey called Joseph O’Brien looked as if he shall go right to the top.
It was aesthetic, and exciting, and even though it’s flat racing, and so a lot about money, in a way that jumps isn’t, it had a purity to it which lifted my heart. It was a million miles away from the drab, badly lit room, with the flat answers about text messages and mince pies and ‘popping in’.
I don't know why the popping in thing bothered me so much: for some reason I don't think successful, accomplished women should 'pop' anywhere. I think they should go to places, and be done with it. But this is an unreasoning prejudice, and I think has come on because this bloody weather is driving me demented. The temperature hovered around five degrees for most of the day, the clouds lowered and shifted, there is snow on Red's mountain, and the wind blasted in from the west, hard and implacable. I know that I am supposed to be able to generate sunshine in my heart, which is the only sunshine that matters, but sometimes it does feel like an uphill scramble when the elements continue so unkind.
Tomorrow, I think, someone said somewhere that tomorrow there will be sun.
Too gloomy for pictures today, so here are a few from when there was some light: