Monday, 9 July 2012


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I hear rumours that half the county is on anti-depressants. My sister is convinced that we may all have quite serious vitamin D deficiency. The mud and the murk and the flat brown skies and the chill persist, day after day.

I know it’s only weather. It could be hailstones and hurricanes. The garden seems to quite like it, although the astrantia and nepeta are far too tall this year, I think because they are reaching and reaching for the sun, in abject desperation. The foxgloves certainly adore it, I never saw such a bumper crop. The Pigeon and the pony seem to take it in their strides, although the duchessy Red can find the whole thing quite grumpy-making.

It’s just, oh, oh, oh, how I long for the sight of the sun. It doesn’t have to blast down day after day; just a little moment in the evening; just a glimpse of blue sky; just the gentle feeling of warmth on the skin instead of the cross hunch against the gloomy ten degrees.

The wailing thing is interesting. Generally, I like to be cheerful for you. if you have had a shitty day, the last thing you want is some Minnie Moaner. On the other hand, in the spirit of empathy and we are all in it together, I think a bit of a wail can be an act of communion. On yet another hand, it can be self-indulgent and deathly dull. I never want to present my life as shiny and impervious, in an awful magazine spread way, but I do feel a bit second-rate when I give in to pathetic first world complaints.

For instance, I am really, really sad that my local arts festival did not ask me to do the writing workshop this year. In my mind, it had become tradition. I adored doing it, even though it exhausted me. It was hard work and rather magical, as I watched uncertain students grow in confidence over the week until they gleamed with brilliance by the end. ‘I’m working on my abandonment issues,’ I told The Older Brother, when he rang.

I am fretting about the book. I am not sleeping that well and having annoying dreams.

But these are such tiny wails, really. It’s just a bit of weather and a bit of life.

I must come back to my own dictum, which is that every day cannot be Doris Day. But would one glimmer of sunshine be too much to ask?

The wail lingers, even as I attempt to write the final sentence. That’s a fine blog you’ve given them, it says, turning in on itself. That’s a pretty mediocre use of prose. Don’t you know you are messing with the language of Shakespeare and Milton? Could you not have made a little joke at least, to cheer everyone up?

NO, says my bad weather voice, which is so grumpy it wants to punch everyone in the nose. I bloody well could not.

Luckily, I also have a sensible great-aunt voice. It says: take some iron tonic, make some nice green soup for supper, go and see your dear mare, rub the soft stomach of The Pigeon, count your blessings, and stop being quite so silly. Everything will be better in the morning.

I quite like that great-aunt. I have no idea where she comes from. My actual great-aunts were frankly nuts. However she came to be in my rather crowded head, I do hope she is right.



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Even the magnificence of Red’s view seems defeated by the weather:

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Although she herself still glows and gleams with beauty:

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9 July 22

Somebody is doing her Grace Kelly impersonation again:

9th July 1


9 July 20

If that bloody jet stream does not shift soon, I may not be responsible for my actions.

I suppose one must look for the silver lining though. At least I seem to have written an entire post which does not mention horses.


  1. Trade you one of our blistering-hot sunny days for one of your cool, grey ones. (Although must admit to overcast today; temperatures will be only 87F/31C today instead of the past week's 107/41.) Funny thing is, either end of the weather scale when it is unseasonable and too lengthy produces depression. Don't look at the structure of that sentence. Shakespeare and Milton would think it's a foreign language.

    On a positive note, the photo of the Pigeon today is just breathtaking, and easily able to banish the blues. Thank you, especially, for that.


  2. If it's any consolation, Tania, the weather here in Wild West Wales is just as depressing. I did smile though when I overheard this - "What's the difference between Aberystwyth in summer and Aberystwyth in winter?" Answer:- "The rain's warmer in summer!" Says it all, doesn't it? Love the Pigeon photo.

  3. Oh Tania I had to laugh. I had just posted my own lament and then I came to see you!

  4. Oh the weather. It's becoming rather full of itself. Best ignore it and maybe it will change.

    However, I have to ask how the pigeon manages to look so perfectly groomed, sitting on a lovely blanket with cushions as a backdrop. When I come home from a walk or a run my hair is frizzy and I have muddy boots. The pigeon however has not a hair out of place. What is her secret?

  5. I think Red might have been moonlighting as a movie star, maybe I spotted her here in 'Ma Bonne Etoile'. I have only seen the trailer, might be just as well it's in French as I'm not sure how much sacharine melodrama is involved. Can't have too much beautiful horse, though.

  6. Oh, that darling Pidge does Grace Kelly better than Grace Kelly. What a pose!
    I'm outraged you're not doing the writing workshop this summer. I've so enjoyed your generous advice in the past without actually being there. :)

  7. And here am I grumbling about the sunshine, the intolerable heat, and more heat. But we have had torrents of rain last night, this morning and hopefully it will continue. So there is hope it will change for you today.

  8. I think you may have my great-aunt Mabel tucked in there. She was always Aunty Mab, very practical, comforting and dearly loved cooking. Just the right sort of great-aunt to have, and yes, she is right, it will be better in the morning.

    What an elegant Pidge pose. The paw placement is impeccable.

    And, although not on Twitter, just noticed this in your sidebar "love everything about that Lynne Truss paragraph. Esp the piano-playing semi-colon." Which promptly brought Victor Borge's phonetic punctuation to mind. Bless my dear Mum who played his, Tom Lehrer's and Noel Coward's records (amongst others).

  9. Such particularly lovely comments; thank you.

    And to the Dear Reader who asked about Miss Pidge and her groomed perfection - I do not know how she does it. I've given her about three baths in her entire life, mostly when she's rolled in otter shit. It seems her miraculous default mode is Grace Kelly perfection. Just another thing to love about her. :)


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