It’s a grey day, -1 outside, with breath misting and birds looking expectantly through the window, waiting for me to break the ice on the old green plant tray that serves as a bird bath. The mist sinks in the valley, freezing everything it touches. Wildlife hunkers low, a wren flitting in and out of an old pile of logs, left to rot last summer in the hope that small things could find a new home there.
I’m attempting to ease back into uni work, having had a lovely 2 weeks entirely off, and attempting to convince my brain to kick into gear with the temptation of copious amount of coffee from the local roasters. It’s not going that well, so instead I do a bit of ‘admin’, stare blankly at some papers, and then give up and go and talk to the guinea pigs instead.
The pigs live in the office in a big indoor cage, and are very enthusiastic about shouting for food whenever anybody dares to darken the door. It’s great fun working in there as they range from asleep to vociferous and back to sleep again. Many an hour spent writing accompanied by various snuffles and squeaks from underneath the hay.
The new year slipped in unobtrusively, although an enthusiastic amount of fireworks echoed down the valley at midnight, sound ricocheting around. I saw the new year in with Twitch in one ear and Kate’s livestream at The Last Homely House (with my mum also watching from a few miles away) in the other, lumped on the sofa with the cat and Mr One Empty Shelf. A small, but comforting end to the entity that was 2020. The week since has been quiet, but with little hints of joy as bulbs continue to push up from the frozen ground, and buds swell on tree branches.
I’ve been slipping and sliding about on little walks, having received a new outdoor coat for Christmas. I spent the last few years in a gilet, however having a coat with sleeves has been a bit of a gamechanger and I feel like I’m walking around in a duvet. It’s rather luxurious.
This afternoon has been spent darning socks, a darning needle borrowed from my mum and sent through the post, as are many things currently. So now Mr OES has a pile of hole-free socks with a range of clashing, garish attempts at darning just-about-affixed to the toes and heels.
I’ve also re-potted some geranium cuttings taken from a lovely deep red geranium rescued for 50p from B&Q’s ‘poorly plant’ section, which enthusiastically came back to life and turned out to be the most beautiful colour. It is now flowering away in the greenhouse, despite the cold. Fancying a few more of these to brighten up the conservatory, I took some tentative cuttings in November. 3 out of the 5 have taken, which I’m pleased with, and now they all have their own little pots on the windowsill.
Other nights have been spent organising and over-ordering vegetable seeds, which I just can’t wait to plant. Hurry up spring…!
So, life ticks on in a quiet way. We’re in another national lockdown here in the UK, so there isn’t much opportunity to do much at the moment. So I walk, and sow, and do all the little things to keep time moving forwards, little by little.
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