Sunday, 26 December 2010


Dear Weather Gods

Please send a thaw.

I am fed up with not being able to poddle around looking after my own livestock - and although Ma and Sister Natalie are doing a sterling job, I am really conscious that it is pretty much taking up three hours of their day to open up and defrost water and feed them ... then defrost water mid-day ... then feed and defrost in the afternoon ... then shut up and empty drinkers in the evening.

I am bored with sliding around as I walk.

I am bored with Leo being nervous about ice and snow underfoot - due to an injudicious screening of 'Polar Express' at nursery, about which I have had a mild word.

I am tired of being trapped at home with two toddlers who are bursting with energy and need to go out.

I am sad that we have run out of raw milk and the children are therefore on the homogenised, which is making them snotty.

B and I are both fed up with semi-regular defrosting of the water pipe in to the house with either the heat gun or the hair dryer, when it freezes overnight.

And finally, I am completely fed up with two cats who refuse to go outside for their toileting habits and therefore needing to clean out a stinking cat-litter every day.

So I would like warmer weather soon, if that is okay with you. I WILL miss some things:

The sense of it being okay to be at home and doing things with B and the children.

The cosy sense of being curled up by the fire.

The crunch of snow underfoot.

The sense that we have everything we need and no need to go out.

The being all together at home that we have experienced in the last fortnight.

I thank you for these reminders that it is family and the day to day turning of the wheel that is important. And I promise I will try to remember that if you could warm the weather up a bit.

Yours most respectfully,


Friday, 24 December 2010

... and at last

Mince pies made, mini banana muffins made, kitchen cleaned of thin coating of flour. Tree brought in and put up, ginger biscuits hung on, felted berries hung on.

Overexcited children put to bed with an empty pillowcase each. Cider mulling in the kitchen. Fire burning in the woodburner. Good smells. Home-made angel at the top of the tree.

I hesitate to say it, in case I tempt the fates; but I am content.

Friday, 17 December 2010


Felted balls for tree decorations, felted soaps for presents. Gingerbread for tree decorations. Boxes with jam and charity-shop books for presents. Snow. Thinking about getting a tree. Excited children. Spinning and knitting. Fire burning in the hearth. Ice on the windowpanes, cosy under the covers.

Early sunsets. Bright night skies. The Milky Way turning like a wheel above me. Clarity. Moonlight on snow. Crunch of snow and ice underfoot. Nenna fascinated by her footprints. Ponies on the hill obscured by flurries of goose-down. Holly on the sofa at Ma's. Chickens walking like Hitler on the cold ground.

Carol service in the church next to the house on Tuesday. Bells. A sense of continuity and peace.


(With thanks to a throw-away comment that colour it green made on a thread on downsizer last week about discovering Yule being the two weeks each side of mid-winter, all by herself).

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

i feel, i felt, I am felting

Mostly, these days, I feel like I am drowning in toddlers.

Gradually, sneakily, though, I am getting a small amount of brain-power back. I squirrel it away when it's not being used to calculate what needs un-smearing next. Or to mop things or people up. Or find things that have been posted or otherwise hidden. Sometimes in ones pants or the pants of ones sibling.

And when I have saved up enough, I can spend it.

I can blog a bit. Or I can read. Or I can talk in words of more than one syllable about things that don't involve Bob The Builder, to people who are more than three feet tall. I have taken up spinning again - my new project for the winter is to spin a fleece and knit some things out of the spun yarn. Then, come the spring, hopefully I will be good enough to be able to sell yarns and experiment with dying them.

I think that one of the contributing things to the brain-gain is that I have accepted that it is simply not possible to do things of great import, or urgency, with two dwarves hanging off your legs. The trick is to make the most of what you CAN do.

So at the weekend, I fought my almost overwhelming desire to run away and hide somewhere in the middle of Mongolia until January; and we made some Christmas Cards for the family. The last few years I haven't 'done' cards for family and friends. It's been a huge weight of guilt, crushing me down in to seasonal oblivion. This year, I have admitted early that it isn't. I Have Decided. No cards for friends. Only for close family.

We made six. It was great fun. B had to have a bit of a lie-down afterwards with some brandy - he has never done any Making Things with children before and was expecting actual outcomes, rather than having to pick bogies out of the Pritt Stick and refereeing who could scream loudest about scissor-possession.

I am now revving up to do some wet felting with them - making Christmas Tree decorations. The wool arrived today and I will report back when we get there.