It isn’t a word really. But a scrubulous weekend is what I had.
I returned to muggy days and sea mists
and scrubbed ten windows, three double sets of glass doors, and a conservatory. Both sides.
The seagulls were eyeing up the gleaming panes, sniggering to themselves. So it seemed a good idea to get in first.
I was a bit surprised by these lacy ones.
Now I am back in the attic nest with a lot of books about icons.
And I have missed it.
We trekked slowly over the ankle-breaking flint cobbles, which at this beach are usually an unlovely shade of orange. The sea pinks’ sprightly defiance is always a welcome sight.
Returning, the falling tide made the upper edge of sand available to us, saving our ankles at the cost of having to nip suddenly up the shingle for the seventh wave.
I indulged in a few minutes’ smugness; the jokes about the Epistle of Barnabas don’t seem to have done much harm.
There was a certain amount of complaining going on today. I grumped round the grass with a struggling mower for the third time in a week (that’s how bad it was) and grumped at the slugs that have had a go at the baby rudbeckia. There was also a fair bit of Flufferscussing as by some inspiration she managed to deposit in any doorway I was about to walk through. She did some cussing of her own as I refused to let her sit on the sofa.
By the pond I found this poor tiny relic. Surely not a victim of predation, as even its little paws are still attached; maybe caught out by the icy weather we had a few weeks ago, and freeze-dried on its way to the water?
I settled for half an hour on the paving, pretending to be a tree stump, and watching for little plips and swirls.
The more fortunate newts were fossicking about; always difficult to know how many, but I saw one with a pale spine sprinkled with freckles, two with yellow or cream stripes all down their backs, one olive brown with leopard spots, one plain olive with a fine dark dorsal stripe, and one almost black and nearly invisible, plus a couple of juveniles.
Newts don’t seem to have red-eye problem so much as golden eye problem when the light reflects.
This is not what newts are meant to do. Assuming it was another corpse, I scooped it out, upon which it leapt into action and squiggled off my palm. If not moribund, it must be one of Nature’s eccentrics.
Well. If you choose to live in a house with a turret, and you choose to fly the union flag, you could at least choose to darn the edges from time to time. Unless of course the occupant has chosen to make a statement with a wholly ironic, postmodern union flag. Choose your story.
And it was raining.
The rivers are well up with the continuing rainy weather, and my attention paused as I crossed this rushing water. It’s the first time I’ve seen one of these bridges with declarations by padlock all over them. As a symbol of personal love, I could only find it depressing, and it didn’t do anything for the line of the footbridge either.
Elsewhere, I watched a fairly senior cleric hit a two feet tall chocolate egg with a claw hammer. Hmm.
A shallow fall and a slow thaw through the morning. The car consented to be scraped without undue fuss, and we ventured out.
Inland lay mostly black and white:
Outfacing, the sea red with clay.
I wimped out of walking. The air was raw.
I took the car to pick up a bag of coal and then on to stretch its legs. The roads were still dry but the sky was thickening steadily. Close observers will note that I clung to the car’s interior.
The land was bleached of its colour by the cold and darkened to dun by the flattened light.
“This season’s daffodil, she never hears …”
and it’s all been one too many even for the Christmas rose. As for the primroses, the images of their shrivelled and blighted flowers are just too sad.
Keeping water liquid for the birds required multiple visits with jugs of hot water. Seagulls came down in a mob on the breadcrumbs, and were so famished that they wouldn’t fly away until I was standing among them, able to physically touch them. Hitchcock, anyone?
The small garden birds did have time for a bite and a drink before dry hard snow began to sweep in, blown hissing down the road like sand, in vicious gusts. It was a relief to know all the nearestsanddearests were in their respective residences.
Currently working from my old laptop, as slow as treacle (and cold treacle at that). Buffeting and banging outside, and the sound of sleetiness; not sure what will be lying tomorrow, but it won’t be cosy.