Monday, 1 October 2012

Bit of a non-blog blog

Sometimes a blog comes out easy and obvious; the fingers have a life of their own; a moment’s thought and the thing is done. Sometimes, the perfect post writes itself in my head as I clean my teeth, and by the time I get to my desk it has blown away like thistledown. Two nights ago, I wrote something so violently brilliant in my mind that I went to sleep delightfully convinced of my own cleverness. By the morning, no trace of it remained.

Then, sometimes, I lose my nerve. I know I insist that this is my goofy old scrapbook, and I shall write of what I please, and no one has to read it, but sometimes I cannot but think of the Dear Readers, and all they have to put up with. Not that, not again, not today, my strict monitor tells me, disapprovingly.

And after all that I stare out of the window at the low green trees, and the blank sky, and think: I HAVE NOT ONE SINGLE SENTENCE LEFT.

Also, every so often, I get myself in a fury about not being funny. All Britons want to be funny; it’s written in the national DNA. (Except, oddly, one of our most famous prime ministers, Mrs Thatcher, who appeared to think humour was for idiots. ‘Monty Python,’ she once asked, serious as stones; ‘Is he one of us?’) I can provoke laughter in life, although one can never tell if that is funny ha ha or funny peculiar. But on the page: can’t do it.

The occasional mild drollery may be cranked out, or a little light wryness, but not that true, dancing, funny funniness. Craig Brown is properly hysterical, week after week, year after year. Hugo Rifkind always makes me laugh. Caitlin Moran is routinely funny. I insist that I am never envious of writers, because it’s an undignified and mildly revolting emotion, and we really are all in it together, only a paragraph away from rank failure. But sometimes when I read the funny ones, I get a little shift of melancholy at my own shortcomings.

Then, there are all the other pitfalls, which may lurk even in such a small and benign arena as a tiny blog post. I have a horrid tendency to earnestness. Also: tangents, striving for effect, becoming intoxicated by the exuberance of my own verbosity. And then of course there is the beastly, critical voice that goes all the way back to childhood, the one that says: really, who is interested in you?

You can see I am officially having an Insecure Monday. I loathe admitting to insecurity, because it is quite dull, and also sounds like begging for reassurance, which then feels bogus. It’s not that one wants to be all swaggery and filled with bombast and certainty; that is possibly even more repelling. But endless apologies for perceived flaws are very monotonous indeed.

So, there we are. Not really a blog at all. I am glitchy and cranky and crabby. I have no wonderful new theory to blind you with; no shining story to relate. Better tomorrow, better tomorrow, goes my mantra, like a mad old hippy who won’t stop smelling the flowers. I wish I could pick up a glittering handful of words and scatter them all over you like stardust, but if wishes were horses, we would all be Lady Godiva.


Today’s pictures:

The last daisies:

1 Oct 1

Rowan berries:

1 Oct 2


1 Oct 3


1 Oct 4

Red’s View:

1 Oct 7

1 Oct 8

1 Oct 9

We have a new member of the herd:

1 Oct 10

She is a three-year-old American Paint filly. The American Paint is a fascinating breed, going back to the Spanish explorers who arrived in American in the 16th century. They can include Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred bloodlines, but all have the distinctive markings. (In Britain, animals with this kind of coat are generally referred to as coloured horses, and can include skewbald, piebald, spotted or roan.)

She belongs to the Horse Talker, whose young daughter is pondering what her blog name shall be. She herself is cool as a cucumber, although she has caused some intense prancing and pecking order antics from Red the Mare, whilst Myfanwy the Pony sticks with the one who brung her, as if to say This is my boss and don’t you forget it. The field gate is now like the royal box at the theatre, as we all watch the new dynamic unfold.

M the P:

1 Oct 10-001

Red, with her every good girl deserves a treat face on:

1 Oct 11

The new girl tried to herd the Pigeon yesterday evening. This, as you may guess, was not greeted with rapture:

1 Oct 15

The return of the hill:

1 Oct 20


  1. I memorised that quote (Gladstone on Disraeli) as the lifeline for my history O -level. I managed to shoe horn it in, but sadly, still did not manage to pass. And if the pedant in this failed student may be allowed to surface, I believe he was accused of being inebriated.So grateful to have had a use for it all these years later.

    1. Lucille - I absolutely LOVE the fact that you know that. It was one of my absolute favourites, ever. And you never, ever have to excuse pedantry on this blog. It is the HOME of pedantry. :)

  2. You're admittance of feelings of inadequacy, unwarranted as they are, touched me this morning, as I am extremely put out with myself for having failed tests of forbearance and civility last night. After a lovely afternoon on the boardwalk followed by an extended stroll in the peace of the botanical garden with my dearly beloved, I got into a yelling contest with a friend, the proprietor of our favorite pub. It was over politics, which I take very personally in this year of rampant misogyny here in the U.S. I've written him a note of apology for being obnoxious but not for my views. Now that I've used your earnest post to rattle on about myself, please know that your words and photographs often transport me to a different and better place, and they have done that again today. You have no cause for insecurity, which, of course, is most often irrational and usually cured by time, light, and affection. Thank you for your down-to-earth inspiration.

    1. Minnie - that is one of the nicest, kindest, and most timely comments I have ever had. It is making me smile all over my face. Thank you.

  3. Wonderful photos and your "new girl".

  4. Susan Heather - so glad you like the new girl. We adore her, and the herd is made perfect by her arrival.

  5. I think yesterday was particularly Mondayish for lots of people. I love the "new girl" too and as always your photos are beautiful.

  6. Greetings, I have support, because I want to follow the race blog. I hope to win and I would use the money to go to school

  7. Lovely photos, as always! I also get navel-gazing regarding my blog content. In my head I'm "The Blogess"... funny, funny, funny all the time. But then I start reading my posts and I think - "way too much whining". I also think that people who are consistently funny are hiding something. Writing to make other people laugh so they won't know what's going on under the surface. Writing FOR other people, and not for themselves.

    I'm constantly in flux between keeping a real online journal - for me - and writing "to" the people who read the blog.

    Guess it's just part of blogging, eh?


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