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.
The last daisies:
We have a new member of the herd:
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:
Red, with her every good girl deserves a treat face on:
The new girl tried to herd the Pigeon yesterday evening. This, as you may guess, was not greeted with rapture:
The return of the hill: