Wednesday, 21 January 2015

No words.

I was going to write you a whole blog about why words matter, but then I decided not to. I’ve been editing all day and my brain is gradually turning to mush and it’s minus four outside and I didn’t sleep very well last night.

Besides, you all know that words matter.

Mr Bobby Jindal sadly had to find that out the hard way, when he tweeted ‘Your welcome’ instead of ‘You’re welcome’, to hysterical and pitiless Twitter derision.

Sometimes, words matter when you least expect them to. I had to write a condolence letter not long ago, to someone I love very much. I always feel that scratches on the page are paltry things, in the face of death. But I bashed on, trying to avoid platitudes, trying to put my heart into my pen. The reply came back today. The words, amazingly, had mattered, even though I feared none of them were the right ones. (What can one say? Really?) I felt the old communion, running between old friends, who do not see each other often enough, but who may still send out little arrows of affection, small balm to shattered spirits. That does matter.

Tiny words mattered this morning, in the arctic chill, from a tiny person. The smallest of the great-nieces had come down to see the red mare. She was defying the weather and wearing her special gold-sequinned party skirt. I know no other human who can get away with gold sequins whilst standing in a snowy paddock. She insists on choosing her own clothes, even though she is only three.

She regarded the mare for a long time, and held out a little hand to stroke the soft muzzle. The mare went still and gentle, as she always does with children, whom she adores. (A lot of thoroughbreds love children, I never quite know why. It’s very touching.)

The small person went on regarding, pondering, observing. The mare snuffled through her nostrils and whickered. The great-niece rang out peals of delighted laughter. ‘She’s so funny,’ she said.

That pretty much made my day.

Then the great-niece told me, very seriously: ‘Rabbits eat carrots so they can see in the dark.’

‘Thank you,’ I said, gravely. ‘That is excellent information.’

Well, it turns out that I did have a few words after all. And now, here are some pictures for you, selected at random from the archive:


21 Jan 8

21 Jan 10

21 Jan 12

21 Jan 14

21 Jan 15

21 Jan 18

21 Jan 23

21 Jan 1

21 Jan 1-001

21 Jan 5


  1. And just as I was hoping to find some words, too - thank you. The big city greyness is too grey today. I'll try to breathe in the fresh air from your pictures.

  2. Thank you for your words today Tania, and thank you even more for yesterday's words. You express so beautifully (and entertainingly) the ideas burbling unformed in my mind. Beautiful soulful Stanley - those ears get to me every time! Gill

  3. The image of gold sequins in the pasture is just too entertaining for words (no pun intended). This makes me smile - while reminding me to search for the right words in a condolence note I must write tonight. Thanks.



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