Thursday 17th November
I'm tired this morning. Woke up with a start as a cat leapt over me. It's freezing. Patterns of ice on the skylight window. Downstairs, the grill won't go on as the mechanism on the gas bottle outside is frozen solid. A kettle of water sorts that out and we have toast and jam in the gloaming. I go upstairs and take photos of the ice melting, the moon is still huge and hanging opposite the sun in the duck egg blue Winter sky. It aches.
I shower earlier today, I'm losing patience with these DVT stockings. My legs are marked with them when I take them off, and don't look like they belong to me somehow. They look skinnier than usual - not that skinny is a word that could be properly used on my legs - nevertheless, that's what they look like. Plus tanned, for some reason. My hands too, don't look like my hands. Don't feel like my hands. They feel more delicate than usual, the fingers smaller somehow. Hollow. Probably just the cold. I put Weleda rose lotion on them before cramming them back into the spring loaded stockings. I do notice that they make me feel stronger when I wear them, my legs feel wobbly and fragile when I take them off. Best of all, they give the greatest heat out here in the freezing cold. Oh and they stop me having blood clots, which I suppose is the best of all.
I sit in the living room for a while and listen to an audio book on my iPod as the school preparations go on around me. Holly comes and sits on me. She's not well and weighs nothing at all. I'm worried about her and give her a sachet of squishy cat food. I fight off Sitka who's mad for it.
The music other people play is always fascinating, more so if I find I like it too. It reminds me of them and my time with them in such a vibrant way. I'll remember sitting in the kitchen, both of us typing, Arvo Part blaring from the living room, thinking, this is nice. Comfortable. Serene. I'd never heard of his music before, it's quite beautiful, like the sunshiny Winter day. I copy it onto iPod. Musical memento.
Just a heavy frost today, still sparking in the shadier parts of the garden. There is no medicine like Nature.
A chum comes mid morning, she was a physio so I can ask her about the weird pain I had yesterday - the one that felt like a blood clot whizzing up from my left groin to my left underarm like one of those suction tubes that old offices used to have for passing communications. She says it's not a blood clot or my muscle, I'd know all about it if it was, it's adhesions sticking and unsticking as I move. The underarm pain is referred pain. Like feeling heart attacks in your arm. I just sat too long in one position, that's all. She has a look at the wound and it's very clean and healing well. I looked at it in the mirror that morning, it's hardly visible at all and smaller than I thought it would be. Only ten days later. Bodies are amazing.
I invite her to join me in a wander around the garden, there's a heavy frost today and just the thought of slipping gives me the heebie jeebies. More importantly, it's lovely to have company. We talk about making glass beads, men - obviously - caesareans, children falling out of tree houses, hysterectomies and being 44. It's her 44th birthday next week, they are having a big bonfire to celebrate, I hope I can go, there is so much on in the countryside. Tonight is the film club, I'm not going, too soon to sit for that long, and will wait for the Harry Potter expedition next Friday instead. This Friday, after netball, the hall has to be decorated for Saturday's quiz night and Saturday afternoon is the at home 30th birthday for the haircut mum. It's just one big social whirl out here.
We walk past two fairy rings of toadstools, sparkling with the heavy frost and are so inspired by all the beauty that we decide we'll have a painting day the week after next. Go mad in her bright kitchen with watercolours and inks. I can't wait. It strikes me that this is like living in a Jane Austin novel. Taking a turn around the garden, what news today and don't leave the room or you'll be the one being talked about. Not in a gossipy way, it's just easier to be on intimate levels out here. All I need is a Darcy on the horizon - knowing my luck it's highly likely to happen - not allowed to have sex. Jane Austin right enough.
We come back from our glorious walk, rosy cheeked, my tiredness gone. I make lunch, a rainbow sandwich, then dates. Then read and listen to new music and Kate CD2 again, and again. So like the atmosphere out here. I go for another walk, to stretch, stand tall and stop the painful adhesions.
I have more company. Nut joins me on the tour, yesterday it was Holly and I wonder if they've made an arrangement to accompany me. It's nice to have them skipping and jumping along beside me. Nut has a very sexy nose. It's jet black. Her mum, Nootka, also my bed buddy, is tortoiseshell ginger, and has a pink nose. Nature never clashes. Even tulips have stems of different shades of green, the perfect green for the colour of the petals. Springtime in my head, but not yet, am quite content to stay under Winter wraps, waiting for the newness to come. Gathering strength and new music.
I'm getting to know which cat is which, and now can tell the difference between Ash and Sitka. She made friends today, banging her forehead off mine and walking along the keyboard until I stopped typing and stroked her head.
Suddenly it's hometime from school and the light is dimming. How can the day go so quickly, in a book, a walk and a laptop? Plus several cups of tea.
At dinner, the surprise birthday skirt is wrapped in pink tissue paper, but not before it's tried on and whirled around the kitchen for a while. Then they're all off to the movie club for '21 grams'. The weight of a soul. It can feel a lot heavier at times.
The sage and I plant a hydroponic hyacinth. Delft blue. Then I take photos of the moon through the dark ice on the skylight. It's magical.
My Hazel plant arrives from over the court and a leaf falls of after we water it. A one-leafed Hazel stalk, but it's so symbolic for me. Sweet gardener planted it. That's part of it I suppose. But I like that it's sparse, stripped bare, because next year's buds are clearly visible on it. Lucky seven of them. Waiting.
Gathering their power.