Thursday, 25 October 2012

Mostly pictures

1024 hard-written words today. Sometimes, when I am really motoring, I can do five hundred in an hour. Some days, I have to pull each phrase out of my head with tweezers.

The Younger Brother calls from Bali, where he lives. ‘We must pat each other on the back,’ he cries, for no special reason. ‘We must cheer everyone on.’ (This is the kind of thing he suddenly says, overcome with his own exuberance.)

He is so filled with optimistic certainty that I can practically see the pom-poms. I was feeling a bit grouchy; the weather had turned dour again, I have a dull head cold, the words were hard. Now, thanks to the unfeasibly happy voice of the Balinese Brother, I feel my spirits lift. I contemplate the miracles of the Skype.

Through my work storm, news from the outside world filters in. The economy seems to be recovering. Dear old Blighty is growing again. Ordinary Decent Britons know better to throw their hats in the air over one set of figures, but I can’t help but feel a small green shoot of hope. It’s so long since we had any good economic news.

A Republican politician has said something unspeakable about rape. This appears to be a pathological daily occurrence, so I’m not sure it counts as news. It never ceases to amaze me, though.

Donald Trump has done something idiotic and self-promoting, which is also too usual to be worthy of print. What should be news but is lost below the fold, because the papers are still obsessed with the Jimmy Savile scandal and bashing the BBC, is that two soldiers were shot to death in Afghanistan.

That’s the one that always stops me in my tracks. I don’t know what to say about that. It’s where words fail; even the language of Shakespeare and Milton is not good enough.

Here, in the far north, the trees are turning and the weather is coming in over the hills. There will be snow tomorrow. I feel the faintest flutter of apprehension at the arrival of the serious winter chill. It is time, I think, for stew.


Today’s pictures:

Autumn colours on the hills:

25 Oct 1

25 Oct 2

25 Oct 3

25 Oct 5

25 Oct 7

25 Oct 8

25 Oct 9

And in the garden:

25 Oct 10

25 Oct 12

The herd:

25 Oct 14-001

25 Oct 14-002

25 Oct 14

The impossible dignity of Miss Pidge:

25 Oct 15

25 Oct 16

The hill:

25 Oct 20


  1. Pidge is such a darling. As I have mentioned before I had a childhood dog, Bess, who was a lab/collie and could be her long lost distant cousin, the resemblance is so distinct.

    A farm near here has lab/collie puppies for sale, according to a hand-written sign at the side of the road. I am being very good and not turning up the track to enquire. We have a dog, our loyally lovely Westie, Edgar, and he is enough. More than enough. But one day, when we are bereft of him, I hope there is another farm with lab/collie puppies who need a home and human love.

    Snow? I guess it happens in late October some years, even further south. There was snow at half-term in 2007 in the Chilterns. Get that stew on, quick!

  2. Here is one to put smile on your face:

  3. Tania, just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your beautiful pictures of where you live. I've just moved from London to Kuala Lumpur and am missing Britain terribly now that the weather there has turned. Outside my window it's a steamy 34C, day in, day out. It's very difficult to imagine the possibility of snow tomorrow. Of course I've conveniently forgotten how difficult my Australian body finds the UK winter, but for now I'm all wistful for cold weather, and I love seeing the changes of season through your blog, so thank you!

  4. Autumn is beautiful in London too, but the colours are so much more vivid up where you are. Makes me think of home, Finland.

    I feel same you do about the casualties of war - even that phrase seems too callous and technical somehow. Having been a naval wife during the Falklands War, I have some idea of what the poor families who are left behind must be going through. Thirty years ago I was naive enough to think, 'never again', but it happens over and over. It's so sad.

    Helena xx

  5. Sometimes your four-footed family and the photos of a serene place are the most sanity I see all day. ;-) Thanks!


    1. Bird, I have missed your comments on here of late. Hope all is well with you, and welcome back


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