Monthly Archives: January 2011


I knew it was going to be cold this morning.  Not because they said so on the weather forecast because to believe what they tell me would be silly and possibly quite dangerous if I were to plan ahead on the basis of their information (Michael Fish will never live down his famous dismissal of a forthcoming hurricane, I was living in London at the time and was bemused by the upturned cars and uprooted trees outside my flat along with the lack of electricity and telephone, as I had been led to believe that there was no hurricane on the way.  One of the advantages of deafness is that I slept through the whole thing!)  No I knew it would be cold this morning because when I let the dogs out last night the frost had already begun to settle and they didn’t hang around outside.

So I was not surprised when I peered out of the window this morning and saw this.

The light was fantastic and showed Rocky’s colours off beautifully as he crowed and strutted around.  Sadly by the time I came back out with my camera he had retreated by the back of the kennel and was more interested in breakfast, so you will have to admire the sheep instead.

Being very cold, the runners were particularly keen to get to training this morning.  No I don’t understand it either but I duly picked them up after Song School and deposited them at Maiden Castle where I saw this lovely frozen bicycle.

Frost is like snow, it covers all the little scratches and bumps but unlike snow it almost always comes with a glorious clear fresh light that makes me want to get up and go.



This isn’t really a big surprise to me, I know that order makes me happy.  However, it is not just I like order, I cannot bear disorder.  Many eons ago when the dancer was less tidy than she is now I had to sleep in her bed (think of the inside of one of those kaleidoscopes where  little bits of coloured paper fly everywhere and multiply it a thousandfold and you have a vague hint of the disorder that once was her bedroom).  It was those heady days when, during the course of the night various small people would crawl into our bed, I gave up fighting for space and crawled into her bed.  I lay there and tossed and turned and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t relax and then it hit me (in all likelihood quite literally there was that much stuff about), I couldn’t relax because I knew that I was lying in the middle of the mother of all disorders.  So at 2.00am I got up and tidied up,  I then returned to bed and drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Over the years of living with the dancer, the runners, the boss and an awful lot of animals I have had to evolve and adapt, but inside there is a metronome beating out a nice steady and ordered rhythm and yesterday one look at my desk sent it into apoplexy.

This was why I wasn’t getting any work done, this was why I was high on displacement actvity.  The filing was the first to go, swiftly followed by several bills and for a nice balance paying in several cheques.  A swift dust and some flowers and a candle and suddenly my desk was mine again and I promptly rattled off two hours of work.


Unlike the runners and the dancer I do not have long slim legs which come up to my armpits nor a petite and firm derriere.  However, I do have a waist and finding trousers that are designed for someone who goes in at the middle and then out a little bit after that has led me to believe I must have a particularly misshapen body.

So hurrah when I discoverd my favourite light wool trousers were not lost at all but had found their way into the boss’s wardrobe.  They were  returned to their rightful home and today I am wearing them (with a snappy little cashmere top from a charity shop).  Clothes might maketh the man, but they also maketh the woman feel a spring in her step when they fit properly.


Sunday roast.  Crunchy potatoes, crisp cabbage, thick gravy, homemade horseradish sauce.  Eaten in the early evening before curling up round the fire.  Leftovers for stovies, shepherd’s pie, sandwiches and sticky stir fries.  What’s not to like?


I love a beautiful flower garden and I love a productive vegetable garden but my fingers are not as green as I would like them to be.   Or more to the point I don’t have as much time as it needs (though that will be changing soon).  Consequently when I ventured out to do the first clear up of the year there was a lot more to do than I had anticipated.  I went out at 8.30 and finally came inside for lunch at 2.30 and I felt brilliant.  I was excited about the year ahead and all the possibilities, I fantasised about abundant bounty from the vegetable garden and I ached.  I ached a lot, I ached more than I thought was possible.  The next morning I was like a shriveled gnome, it took me  several minutes to uncoil myself when I got out of bed.  But I still felt brilliant and I still feel brilliant today when I look out at the tidied garden and the beds waiting with their compost (courtesy of the ducks and chickens) for the arrival of this year’s vegetable plants.


Despite the fact that the centre of town has been turned into a building site of cataclysmic proportions the Farmers’ Market keeps going.  Potatoes for black pudding mash to go with red cabbage and braised lamb for supper tonight.  Two lovely leeks for tomorrow and a few extra onions.  I love shopping for fresh food, preferably as in this case, direct from the farmer.  I try not to set foot in supermarkets, sometimes it is hard, but on a day like today shopping is bliss and makes up for all the fancy stuff we do without.  Who can say that as they trudge round an out of town hell on a Saturday morning?


The smell of a new tin of wax.  Watching the colour  of the wood deepen with each layer.  Feeling the smooth warm surface.  Our kitchen is feeling spring like.