Monday, 12 November 2012

An ordinary day, in telegraphese

Wake early, as I have to take the car into the garage. Entire Today programme appears to be eating itself; BBC reporting on BBC. Wonder if it is wrong that I have little interest in BBC row. Think to self: someone made mistakes; someone should fix mistakes; someone should apologise; someone should make appropriate restitution; world could move on. Or is that too naive? Over-riding sentiment is: love dear old Auntie, and hate to see her flagellating herself.

Muck out car. Feel purposeful and proper. Today shall be a day of getting things done. Removing any old rubbish from the motor is a good metaphorical and literal start.

Then find dog’s collar and break down in tears.

Pull self together. Take car to garage. Do horses. New quarters white with frost and gilded with winter sun. Mercury hovering at minus two. Soothing equine love.

Work. Fairly good, useful work. Fingers a bit crabbed and out of practice; brain creaking slightly; but there is something where there was nothing.

Discover absolute incapacity to decide what to eat for lunch.

Eat bread and cheese.

Glorious sun buggers off and is replaced by sulky rain. Try not to let spirits slip.

To generate internal sunshine, have huge bet on 2.25 at Carlisle. The delightful Across The Bay streams over his fence and wins in a TROT. Excellent corrective to brown skies and drowned trees outside my window.

Have to call Tebay to book room for Friday night. Fatal mistake. Very kind Cumbrian lady says: ‘And are you bringing your dog?’

‘No,’ I say. ‘She is gone.’

‘Oh, I am so sorry,’ says the kind lady. She really means it.

Put telephone back in its cradle. Break down into tears.

Make list of things that must be done tomorrow. Do admin. Send emails. Contemplate the making of a soothing evening soup. Speak to mother. Feel quite tired. Thoughts turn to blog. Really don’t know what I am going to tell them today, I think, brain entirely clear of useful thought. In the end, decide on this.

An ordinary day: two cries, one winner, clean car, reasonsable work, some small intimations of normality. Just a day, like any other.


Today’s pictures:

Missed the early sun, and everything now too murky for beauty, so here is some light from the last few days:

12 Nov 1

12 Nov 2

12 Nov 3

12 Nov 4

12 Nov 6

12 Nov 8

12 Nov 9

12 Nov 9-001


12 Nov 14

12 Nov 15

Best Beloved, sorely missed:

12 Nov Pidge 23rd October

Hill, from yesterday:

12 Nov 20


  1. Your girls are so beautiful now they are all woolly. Lovely writing too Rachel

  2. I tried to cancel Monday quite early this morning but, too late, it was already out the gate and clattering down the road.

    I wrote a reactionary angry blog post today about the BBC which is similar to yours but RANTY: I prefer coming here for the gentle nature of the thing and the lovely photos.

    Minus 2 is enough reason to cancel any day in my head, but there is also that strong feeling that when there is a painful absence things should not go on, at least not for a while.

    I used to work with Orthodox Jews. They sit Shiva(h)? for a week after a death in the family. People bring their food, they do nothing but contemplate the life and loss and how they might move forward. I think this is a good thing. So much pressure these days to get on with it. Of course there is a salvation in activity too, but I do think, sitting, thinking, much the better thing. Or make soup. That too. Take care.

  3. This is the best shot of Myfanwy yet.


  4. Hello. So I have been thinking since you wrote about whether one should get a new dog after a much beloved one dies. What I sense about your ordinary day is the absence in it. Having never had a dog until recently the thing I am most conscious of is the extent to which having a dog forms your day. In any ordinary day there is the morning hello, the feeding, the head-stroking, the talk, the walk. These things exist because of dog ownership and so it's the life you lead with a dog. I can't help thinking (although I am a novice to this) that one of the reasons this loss is so acutely felt is that your dog life has had to be stopped. And it seems natural to me that if one likes having a dog life (the stroke, the walk, the talk) that you should try to reintroduce that element again. So what I am saying is: maybe that is why people get dogs after beloved dogs have passed; it's because they like the dog life. The dog life is their life and it matters. Without it it shall always feel odd.

    I conclude this as I went for 37 years with no dog and now I have a dog, I shall never want to be without him. I love him so much I can hardly describe it, but I know, almost independent of that, that I need to lead a dog life. Does that make ANY sense? Probably not and probably seasoned dog owners will scorn my lack of feeling about what it is to have a dog for years and years. Hmmm.

    Anyway - I am glad you are hanging in there and I also don't much care about the BBC we can observe from a distance without attachment.

    Lou x

  5. much love to you from a drear dreich london, hope the soup is salve for a tiny bit of the raw hurt.

  6. Lest I forget, can I add that you really are an amazingly gifted photographer. There is a tremendous record of the days and the seasons in your work. And this old boy loves to see them, along with the bijou prose, of course.

    1. I was just thinking the same thing today -- what a record there is of the Pigeon, Red, Myfanwy, the beech avenue, the hill, the views, the change of seasons.


  7. Newsnight got that all the wrong way round as didn't run the programme about a child abuser who was dead and couldn't sue, but did run the erroneous allegation about a person who is very much alive (and most probably kicking!). Why did no-one ask the legal dept? Now we have had two resignations at the top I think it all the more.

    Re Lou's suggestion another dog is the only thing that could fill a dog-shaped hole in the shape of a day, there are so many ads out there for collie x lab puppies or re-homings. Many are in England rather than Scotland, but if you are on your way down here...after all, last visit you went back with a HORSE!

    Not meaning to sound trivial, as we know you need to mourn your Dear Pigeon until the due date. My dog is asleep on my foot as I type this, and I think I could not be long without another cherished canine connection once he is gone, I am sure. Dog people are incomplete and sort of undefined without their dogs, I guess...


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