Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Back to normal

Settled back into my routine at last. Which is: work and horses and dog. I’m still in a slight professional limbo, waiting for verdicts on new projects, and can feel the stress of it tighten in my shoulders and press down over my head.

As always, the very small things give me pleasure, while I wait for green lights. Someone said a kind thing about the work I do for HorseBack UK; keenly sweet to me, as he is not a person given to rash compliments. I stored it up like a squirrel hoarding nuts for winter.

Someone I very much admire wanted to be a friend on Facebook. I’m not even quite sure how she knows I exist, but now she shall see pictures of Red the Mare looking happy and glamorous and the little Welsh pony being adorable and Stanley the Dog looking like Burt Lancaster. This gives me idiot amounts of joy.

It makes me think about the sharing of a life. I have a small life. I like that it is small. When I was young, I had grandiose ideas of doing mighty things. I would win prizes and people would know my name. Now, as regular readers know, all I care about is love and trees. I have nothing particularly fascinating to report, no meetings with famous men or encounters with storied women. I do not stalk the corridors of power; I cannot give you inside information on great events.

And yet, I find something touching about the quiet, unheralded lives which may be seen on the internet. I like to know that my blogging friend in California has taken her glorious Dalmatians through Laurel Canyon, or is cooking a delightful new recipe. I cherish charming Facebook pictures of people’s morning views, or chickens, or dogs, or equines. My other great blogging friend, met entirely through the internet with no connection at all in real life, is currently struggling with a mystery pain. I read of her battle and sympathise and feel a curious connection through the ether to an interesting, intelligent woman I may never set eyes on.

This feels like something real and oddly significant. It is a widening of community, not a shrinking of it, as the crosser commentators like to insist. There is an odd zero sum thinking, when it comes to the internet, as if any life online must nullify life in the actual world. It’s very curious, when you think about it. It’s like saying that reading a book means you are replacing real living with fiction. I say: there is room for both. There is room for everything.

Occasionally, one of the Dear Readers, who does not live surrounded by hills and sky, will leave a comment saying how livening it is to see those things. I put up pictures of the hill for those who have no hill. In my mind, the hill, symbolically, belongs to everyone. It is the Universal Hill. I am not trying to prove a point or convert anyone to my way of seeing the world or start hares running. It is the simple sharing of a life, in its plainest sense. If one shard of pleasure shoots into another life, then my work is done. It is: here is an amusing canine, here is a lovely horse, there is a charming tree. Rest your eyes for a moment, and be diverted.


Today’s pictures:

One of my favourite of the HorseBack UK horses, a delightful South American veteran, who came out of polo to do this new, good work:

9 April 1

My own favourites, loafing in the sunshine, which has suddenly appeared after last night’s snow:

9 April 2

9 April 3

Stanley the Dog, doing slightly plaintive:

9 April 4

(Or: when are you going to stop faffing around with that camera and THROW MY STICK?)

First signs of spring:

9 April 4-001

9 April 5

9 April 6

9 April 7

9 April 10


9 April 11


  1. I feel the return of your sense of calm in today's blog ... it is nice to get home and be surrounded by one's 'familiars' .... I hope that you and yours will get some real spring soon :)

  2. Lovely, Tania. Spring finally sprung here, so perhaps it will be the same for you. With the mystery pain, if it is abdominal, has she looked into endometriosis? It can only be diagnosed with a laparaoscopy. But it is one of those underdiagnosed diseases. Have a beautiful day!

  3. Isn't it wonderful to get home and snuggle back into the life we've made for ourselves? The older I get, the less I want to be "out and about" - I just want to be home. Proper travel, yes - I still plan to get to Scotland again, this time with my husband, and would love to visit Prague and Germany too... but as for just being out at stores, rushing about? No, thanks. I try to get all my errands for the week done in one day, so that I don't have to waste precious garden time mucking about in traffic. Home is wonderful, and I'm glad you're back in yours.

  4. My absolute favourite is seeing your photos of the return of spring. Here in Durban, South Africa, we have summer all year round and seeing the very vigorous spring shoots in your photos is energising.

  5. I agree that blogging and social media expand your world instead of contracting it. I've followed sporting events that people who I've never met in real life are participating in. I know when it is -50 degrees in Alaska or burning hot in Australia when it is snowing in the U.S. I've taken book suggestions and mourned lost pets from all over the world.

  6. May I finally say thank you for the very honest posts about the loss of your dogs? My beloved aged cat was finally put to sleep today and I have been reading your lovely words in preparation. Thank you. I hope, in time, to also have my version of a feline Mr Stanley.


  7. Amongst all the head nodding of agreement with regard to the importance of small things - young Stanley has a more settled look in his eyes, as if he is certain that his new good life is not going to disappear and he can properly relax on all levels. This is a HUGE thing!

  8. Stanley really does look like Burt Lancaster! And I see the same expression in his face as the Darling Pidge used to show when she was waiting for the photo to be done with. Lovely. :)

  9. So lovely to have you back to normal! I love your horse, Stanley, and hill photos. And the little connections we make on the internet, I so agree. It does expand our world. Thanks for your thoughts.

  10. My favourite will always be the dogs! sorry about the horses but I know so very little about them. Love the spring photos as well.

  11. It's good to know that unheralded lives are good lives. I loved reading this; your updates have become a part of my day and when they are gone or you are somehow absent with busyness, I miss you. Thank you for coming back. And for reading along with my strange endeavours and pitfalls! From South to North Lou x


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