A lot of wisdom and kindness from the Dear Readers this week. One of my favourite Twitter gentlemen, a fellow racing fanatic, asked me yesterday how I do a blog every day. (Well, not quite every day, but pretty close.) I replied that I could only thank my weirdly obsessive nature.
I like doing it. It is not for money or fame or the ghastly idea of building the brand, which it seems everyone must do now. It is a marking of the days, a recording of my beloved Small Things, a small existential stamping. Yes, yes; here I was.
And yet, there is an oddness too. I feel a very faint bat’s squeak of obligation. This is nuts, of course, but sometimes I do not fight my nuttier imperatives. This audience has settled into a small and exceptionally select band. I can’t tell you the pleasure it gives me when I see a comment from some of the old faithfuls, who have been with me since the beginning. I also glean particular joy from the international correspondents. You come here, and give me the gift of your time. I feel that in return, I must give you something, as many days as I can. I sometimes feel bizarrely guilty when I go missing in action, even though there is usually the most excellent excuse of life getting in the way.
That really is quite strange. My finger hovers over the delete button. The truth is that today I am tired from a long week and I was not going to write anything, just give you some nice Stanley the Dog pictures. On some days I have a tale to tell; on others, the brain is filled with mud, and I can feel my synapses snapping off, one by recalcitrant one, and there is no story. I am like that today, but I wanted to thank for the kind comments of the week and before I knew it, I was off on this peculiar tangent. (I am fatally addicted to tangents.)
The finger hovers, and then stops. I’ll let it run. I feel a curious liberation in sometimes giving space to my less explicable thoughts. Why not? I write often that I believe people should have the moxie to follow their own goofy star. Perhaps I should put my money where my mouth is and reveal my own profound goofiness. The entire humming theme of Backwards was that the hunt for perfection is a snare and a curse. So in some ways, offering such imperfection feels like putting down a marker. Sometimes I like to tell you the good parts of my day, but I resist the shiny magazine trend for offering gleaming, seamless lives, with all the contradictions and muddliness and small moments of failure airbrushed out. (I think that was why it seemed important to tell you of my shaming crash onto my arse yesterday, and not just confine myself to the glory jumping.)
Shame thrives in secrecy. It lives and feeds in the dark. The moment one admits the flaws, the failings, the idiot notions, the moments of sheer folly, the crashings down to earth (literal and metaphorical, in my case) they lose their power.
And that, my darlings, is my winding and tangential Thought for the Day.
If you can call it a thought.
Are a selection from the week.
We haven’t had any garden pictures for a while:
The lovely colours of some of the HorseBack herd:
This splendid gentleman arrived in the feed shed this morning:
Stanley the Dog:
Can you hurry up with the tea?:
Thanks, it was delicious:
King of the Absolutely Enormous Stick:
The very dear Myfanwy the Pony:
Excellent yoga stretches:
Can’t resist one more of me and my darling duchess: