I’ve spent the day cycling through the stages of grief. Every now and then I get stuck on anger, and the visceral hatred I feel for the liars, plotters, cheaters, and employees/fellow-travellers/useful idiots of V. Putin who have brought us to this sorry pass and now have five years in which to dismantle the country unchecked, cause me to fantasise about Very Bad Things happening to them. This is surprising really, because in real life I actively avoid harming so much as a fly, but getting a mental divorce from your own country is a bit destabilising. And don’t even get me started on the Labour Party.
This afternoon I went to Slimbridge, which did settle me a little, though the light wasn’t all that good and the wind was vicious. I did manage some duck images on my favourite pond during a brief thinning of the cloud, of which this eider is my favourite; and I had a nice time in the Rushey hide at the end of the afternoon, trying to capture some of the birds coming in from the estuary to feed and roost – there’s a shot of a Bewick’s swan below. I also ate cake, which is only to be expected in the circumstances.
This morning a poem came across my Twitter timeline which I’d not read before, but which spoke to me quite a lot.
by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty per cent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Mental soundtrack of the day: Regina Spektor singing Rejazz.