I am a little like that eponymous bunny, the one that just keeps going until the batteries run out. Yesterday the batteries ran out. At 8.30 I was exhausted, by 9.00 I could hardly keep my eyes open and the words on the page of my book began to take on a life of their own unrelated to the author’s original intentions. By the time I had hung on by my fingertips to 9.20 I wasn’t entirely sure I would make it up to bed and thought (such as thought was possible at that stage) that it was entirely possible that my children would have to step gingerly over me as they made their own way up some hours later.
I did make it under the covers and slept solidly until the alarm went off at 6.45. A solid nine hours sleep, which is considerably more than I normally achieve during term time when I have to crawl out at 6.00. Not only was I warm, well rested and comfortable in my half awake early morning doze, but better still the boss had offered to do the early morning station run to take the dancer to her school train. So not only had I had a very good, and much needed night’s sleep, I could also sit up with a gentle cup of tea, watch the geese fly over the pond in their early morning wake up cycle and put the words back in the right place in my novel, which in a moment of pure indulgence I decided to stay in bed and finish.
By the time I finally got up at 9.00am almost twelve hours after I first crept under the covers I was a very happy bunny indeed.
Then the icing on the cake, as I worked through the day’s list I decided to take time to look once more for a much loved blog that had unexpectedly disappeared, the sun was surely shining for the blog is back. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. You put a smile on my face today as well. Thank you.
I have struggled several times with the opening line today as it wasn’t one small thing that made me happy it was one huge thing, or perhaps it was lots of little unconnected things, or perhaps they were connected, or were they just the bits of the big thing… Analysing precisely what makes one happy is not an exact art.
Yesterday we returned from the Netherlands, a perfectly pleasant trip over on the ferry was followed by a lovely lunch in Utrecht. But the gut wrenching OMG this is fantastic only really began that evening at the first concert. The runners swapped their spikes for cassocks and were part of the Cathedral Choir tour to the Netherlands and the boss and I went along as official groupies. To the relief of the runners we were not the only parents who made the trip and I think they probably quite enjoyed having us along, even if my marginally more unorthodox souvenir shopping included a rather lovely old fashioned, second hand bike, which I think they thought rather unnecessary!
Sometimes it is impossible to put into words the jumble of feelings and things that make up happiness and pleasure. In this case it was a mixture of:
- immense pride not only in the runners but in the children whose scraped knees I have cleaned and whose tears I have wiped and who were transformed from haram scarem children into poised, composed choristers who sang angelically with assurance and confidence day after day;
- a bubbly sort of feeling that you only get when you see children really enjoying themselves and discovering new things;
- the warmth of the welcome from everyone we met, host families, members of the congregation at the Sunday service, even the waitresses and the man who tried to explain how to pay for the car parking, everyone was kind, helpful and so very, very friendly;
- the unbridled appreciation of the audiences;
- the wonderful weather which made every day sparkle;
- spending time with friends over a long leisurely dinner;
- immense gratefulness that I had been allowed to be part of something that has given me such wonderful memories and brought forth new friends.
With all happiness comes a little sadness for you cannot have one without the other, you need the valley to give greatness to the mountain. As the tour drew to a close, we stood on the aft deck in the late afternoon sunshine wine in hand surrounded by laughing girls and waved goodbye to the Netherlands. It is the runners’ last year as choristers and unlike some of the younger girls they (and so by default, we) will not have the opportunity to do anything like this again. I savoured every last moment and gave thanks that I was given the chance to do it at least once.
Sometimes it can be quite hard to write about being happy. Not because you are not happy, but because circumstances and the immediate world around you are not and those moments of happiness in between the sadder times feel almost like a betrayal.
Closure is a dreadful word and I loathe it, it implies an end where an end it neither required nor wanted. What is needed is release. Permission to move on through the door not to close it. I had to go through a door, physically walk through a real door as well as a metaphorical one. I had to reclaim a place of sadness and return it to the place it had been before.
I hope I have taken the first step towards doing that and not just for me. This is the view that greets us as we come down over the hills. This is the view that tells us we are almost there, that we have left the noise and bustle long behind us. As I stood there the sun came out and I felt a sense of happiness and permission to move on.
Spring is on its way and it has been heralded by Hooter commencing the production of these beauties. The hens have been laying for a while but geese are more particular and it would seem that she requires just the right combination of light and warmth before she will lay. However, from now on in, we should be getting one of these every day for the next couple of months.
I love eggs of all varieties, but I do love a goose egg and have been known to eat a whole one all by myself (!) They are very rich and have obscenely high fat and cholesterol levels so that is an exceedingly rare treat. Today I made cake, substituting two of Hooters finest for the five required by the recipe and I am most content.
You know the feeling, every weekend for the foreseeable future is busy, the bits in between the aforementioned weekends are taken up doing the stuff you would normally have done the previous weekend and getting ready for whatever you are doing the following weekend.
Life has been a bit like that recently. My entire annual social life has been condensed into March and while I am delighted to have a social life, I was beginning to feel a little stressed about how I was going to fit everything in. I have got a lot better about going with the flow, channeling my inner Julian of Norwich, accepting that whatever happens, or indeed does not happen, it will all be fine, but every now and then I look at the calendar and go “AAAAAGH!”
So I was completely unprepared for this weekend, going away with a group of girlfriends for our annual sleepover crop. I hadn’t printed any photographs, I hadn’t sorted out paper or tools. All I had was some knitting and a book. I couldn’t find the time to get ready, there was always something more important that had to be done and the days were slipping away. Then suddenly an unknown force galvanised me into action and at the eleventh hour I was super organised and ready to go.
And I had a ball. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, even if all you can manage is five minutes with your eyes shut in a quiet room, rather than a weekend away, it is time well spent, everybody needs to recharge their batteries. The washing will wait go and take a couple of minutes to do something just for you. You and everyone around you will be so much better for it
Yesterday I had to go to the post office to send my niece her birthday present. Consequently I have some new yarn. Anybody who is not a knitter will think this is a complete non-sequitor, but the rest of you will understand completely how a trip to the post office can yield some rather lovely yarn even in a town totally devoid of any proper yarn shops at all.
Deep in the covered market, buried behind the enormous and rather bright machine washable balls I found this. Pale, soft and perfect for this seaside throw. I skipped back up the hill. For now I have a new project ready and waiting as I complete the toe of my last sock, and better still I have a whole weekend away with friends for scrapping, and knitting and chatting and reading and walking and writing and I am so happy.
At 6.30 this morning it was fairly dark and very cold. The frost was thick on the ground and I remembered to warm the car up before we headed off to the station to drop the dancer off for the school train and the runners back to school (after a night away) in time for Song School. Return journey to pick up River and take her to the vet to get her ears checked only to discover that she is apparently going through a phantom pregnancy. Oh great, a Newfoundland intent on building a nest!
The rest of the morning was spent deep in paperwork so I was quite taken aback when I went outside to walk the dogs and discovered how light and bright and warm it was. The light was fantastic, bright and springlike and full of promise for the year to come.
It was too warm for my jacket and I needed sunglasses. The hens were dozing in the hedgerows, the ducks were following each other around like sheep or the lost boys from Peter Pan in an endless game of following the leader, but Honker and Hooter were on top form. They knew it was spring and they were out and about hissing and sticking their tongues out at everyone, including a bemused River.
I love it when a day turns out to be something you don’t expect; when ice turns to sun and suddenly it’s great to be out and about, especially when you need sunglasses on 1st March.