Wednesday, 9 November 2016


I get on the telephone. I ring people up. ‘What the buggery just happened?’ we ask each other. Nobody knows. None of the conventional explanations seem quite enough. Was it the failure of capitalism? Was it the rise of social media? Did bloody Twitter make the difference?

‘All I hope,’ says one friend, ‘is that the poor Queen never has to sit next to him.’
‘Yes,’ I say. ‘State banquets for anyone else. Bhutan, Estonia, the People’s Republic of Absolutely Anywhere.’
We contemplate the horror of Donald Trump sitting next to the Queen. Then we contemplate the horror of Donald Trump. We discuss the elements of narcissism. It is such a doleful list.

After a while, I give up. I can’t read the news. It’s like one of those awful, nihilistic, purposely shocking novels that you’ve always avoided because you don’t want to sear your eyes with such shoddy prose. I read Persuasion instead, for the twentieth time. I need manners. I need wit and delicacy and good-heartedness and truth and a happy ending. I need sweet, kind Anne Elliot and dashing, adoring Captain Wentworth.

In the gloaming, down at the horse’s field, the good, quiet, trusting creatures eat their evening hay. I shake it into perfect piles for them and they breathe contentedly through their noses. An indigo mist is rising and a hunter’s moon sails, amber and serene, in a mauve sky. Everything is very real. The dogs dance and play, antic silhouettes in the fading light.

I think of the things one cannot change. Away across an ocean, a great country has been gatecrashed by a man of no mind, no manners and no morals. ‘America,’ I had said this morning, ‘gave us jazz and Dorothy Parker and Scott Fitzgerald and Hollywood and the Algonquin Round Table and Louis Armstrong, and now it gives us this.’

I wonder: will the world change? Perhaps the shock of the vulgar will make the good people, the brave people, the clever people stand up and do something magnificent. Perhaps, this time in four years, Elizabeth Warren, who is a real revolutionary instead of a fake one, who is a real femme du peuple instead of a prancing poseur, who is a proper human being instead of an empty suit, will be swept to power on a tide of relief. Perhaps the grown-ups will be the grown-ups. Swagger and bombast can only go so far.

I turn back to my book. ‘I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.’ I think: I would not mind some calm waters.


  1. I've left many a comment for you, alas with no response or visit to my own blog. And, I have admired you and your wit. Today, however, I am sad to say this will be my final visit to your place, in spite of how much I love your animals. I live in Houston, Texas where I was born, a daughter of a 5th generation American family, with some Irish and Italian heritage in there somewhere. I'm an American, in other words. I have 2 adult children, with 5 little grandchildren aged 8 to 1 year. I have lived in the Middle East and travelled the world, as have my children. We've had a nice life. We are all educated, very well I might add. I think President Elect Trump is a changed man from the one who entered the race until now. The reason we all voted for him is because he said what we were all thinking. Yes, exactly right. We all think the same things he actually spoke about. Living in Texas you will not believe the enormous drain on our economy and way of life because of the illegals from S. of the border. If your kids go to public school they come home with papers written in English on one side and Spanish on the other???? They get everything free, even food. They do not blend in at all. Houston is a huge international city because of the oil business. We have an amazingly diverse population, most of whom are welcomed from other countries and are accepted. What you are saying about Mr. Trump, while humorous, is not at all what we all see. He will be Presidential in thought, word & deed. He is a very very very successful businessman, which is probably what we need, instead of career politicians who line their pockets with money from the lobby, and "donations" from supporters. Did you know that the head of our FBI, James Comey, accepted a $6Million payment from one of the Clinton Foundation donors? His brother sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Fair? Impartial? Mrs. Clinton was selling our country out for her own personal benefit. Can you not see this? Or is the deep blue sea too wide for people in Scotland to understand how we, the American people, feel. The Clinton's have had their day. Obama ruled by executive order, not by advise & consent of our congress, whom he hardly knew. A timid man who could not make a timely decision, who left our military officers hanging for months at a time when they needed a decision. Those of us who voted for Mr. Trump are absolutely thrilled that a new broom will sweep clean.
    And, as much as I admire your point of view about things on your horizon, I absolutely find it hilarious that you would write something so lame as "sit next to the Queen." I daresay, she would probably find him charming and very intelligent. Or else, 70,000,000 of us just don't get it?

    1. Ms Kindersley is far too busy these days to answer comments or visit other people's blogs. She isn't a blogger, she is a public diarist, which is not quite the same thing.

      She has also fallen down a rabbit hole of an echo chamber, like many people in their middle years, and she is comfortably is set in her ways.

      It's as shame, as I believe she took a History degree at a pretty decent university, so she must have once have been expected to offer two or three interpretations of the same events.

      We have a strong tradition of liberal humanism and tolerance here in the UK. Sadly, it has ossified of late into "but how DARE people think that when all my life I was taught I mustn't!"

      We all, ideally, need to do some serious thinking about this. But not all of us will.

    2. And many of us - I think most of us - who do, will end up in the same place. What good does thinking do, when people are so unwilling and so afraid to be just plain kind? I can comprehend perfectly well why people would vote for Trump. It doesn't make me any less frightened and worried at the moment, to be perfectly honest.

      I don't have any children or grandchildren - and on days like this I'm very glad I don't. Because if I did, I would have greater fears for them than bringing home homework in two languages.

      I've no doubt that the Queen would/will find President-Elect Trump a delightful gentleman. It's how the not so lucky have found and are going to find him that worries me.

      But oh well. One may as well just wait and see (in between serious (and what feels, at the moment, utterly useless) thinking).

  2. When I woke up this morning I had a brief thought to see who won the election, that yesterday was just a dream, a joke, and someone ELSE was our new president.
    I go with the flow though, and just hope & pray he actually does some good and doesn't embarrass us, our country much.

  3. I so love your blog, I can't tell you how much I love it when I see a new one published and see it as a treat, a privilege and nearly always, a boost to the spirits. You show such great warmth and humour and honesty, no matter how difficult things are for you. Scottish folk rely heavily on humour, it's part of our inherent culture. The thought of the Queen and Donald Trump having to have a good old chin wag makes me chuckle - I'm sure she's seen and heard it all over the years and through the decades and I'm sure she too takes solace in her dogs and horses. In situations like this, what else is there to do but find some humour in the madness?! Thank you as always for taking the time to write things down and share it with the wider world. I hope you don't ever stop!

  4. Oh dear lord, what a telling you've been told!
    Dear Tania, I was travelling when the results came through and at first I couldn't believe my ears. I've obviously been living in a bubble as my friends in the States and anyone I view on this enormous www is as shattered as they could possibly be. The thought of the Queen sitting next to someone like that doesn't strike me as funny. It makes me cringe. It all makes me cringe and as my dear Nana used to say: It's all gone to hell in a handcart.
    Missed your writing and thoughts xxx

  5. Please keep writing Tania, have been so cheered to see you back recently. Your words are more needed than ever, right now, xx Rachel

  6. @ Ms. Splenda-nose : "WE" didn't "ALL" vote for that clown. I am one of the many Americans who is horrified that this joke, this caricature, has been given the highest position of power in our country. I am embarrassed by my countrymen, and horrified by the thought of his sitting next to ANY dignitary from another country. He has no governor on his tongue, and will no doubt embarrass us as he has already embarrassed us during the run up to the election. No, we didn't ALL vote for him, not by a long shot. Sadly, the good people of America did not all come out to vote - which is a crime. Or maybe there just aren't as many good people as I'd thought there were - which is just sad.

    @Tania: You keep on writing your wonderful blog, and count your blessings that people like Ms. Splenda-nose are not coming back here any more.

  7. Goodness gracious! I live in Houston too. I did not vote for Trump but my neighbor did. She still has a sign in her front yard that says "Jail Hillary." Not all Texans are stereotypically uneducated, ignorant, yahoos in cowboy boots and chew barbed wire. Most of us are educated, well-traveled, generous, kind people, with good hearts. I am also an African American who knows how to live a meaningful life alongside others from almost every culture on the planet. Mine is a "diverse" community.

    Humans evolve. We re-evolve. There are revolutions. Change is never easy. How we react to uncomfortable change shows who we really are. Having lived with one of the best presidents our country is ever likely to have makes this upcoming change a challenging one, but everything happens for a reason. We might not see the good that comes with adversity but we have to believe that adversity makes us grow. For the good. So, I refuse to let my heart be troubled. I will not let it be afraid. I will try to love my neighbor as God loves me. How can I do less?

    Thanks for making me happier after this visit. I enjoy your posts. Thanks for thinking of us in our time of sorrow.

    Be well.


Your comments give me great delight, so please do leave one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin