It was inevitable, I suppose, that the rosy glow of a pleasant day would have faded by the end of a hot night of broken sleep - funny how I can waken twice in the night and feel it could be time to get up, and then feel so dead when it actually is the right time. And when you think of it - why should there be any such thing as "the right time" when there's no demand to be anywhere or do anything at a specific time, other than those set by myself, or by habit? I don't think I've ever replicated the day when, as a student still living in my parents' house, I woke to the sound of my mother's key in the front door lock as she returned at lunchtime after a full morning's teaching ...
I found it hard to retain any sense of wellbeing today. The news doesn't help - the flooding in Germany and adjoining countries, the rising infection rate in the UK, though I'm glad that Scotland's figures are falling again, the absurdity of the question of making France a "red" destination ( a move likely to be reciprocated), the ongoing disgust at being under the rule of such a shower of right-wing cronies who seem to belong to another planet - none of this does the psyche any good whatsoever.
But the personal downer came last night, in the form of an email from HF, the company with whom we go on foreign walking holidays. The holiday in northern Italy, first booked for over a year ago, has been cancelled yet again after already having been moved to September 20, then May 21, then September 21. Himself remarked that at least we wouldn't have the stress of wondering if it was going to be all right, but all I felt was emptiness. It seems wrong to feel bleak when there's nothing in my normal existence to worry about - but there's the passing of that existence, unmarked by milestones, underpopulated by people outside the home, while we grow older and less able to contemplate the things that have always stimulated. Is silent screaming allowed?
In a last effort to regain some sort of mental equilibrium, we went to Benmore Gardens at the end of the day. I don't think there was anyone else there by the time we'd embarked on the path up the hill, and we stood in the silence looking down into Glen Massan as the sun began to break through again. It was warm and still, and lower down there were swifts darting over the grass. The blip is of that view from the top; the white of the house belonging to Emma Thomson can just be seen behind the trees in the centre of the photo.
And my new passport is, apparently, on its way. Big deal, huh?