January was rubbish. It rained so much I thought I might have to bring the animals in two-by-two, before I remembered all the chickens died (natural causes, honest*) so there’s really just the dog. Oh, and the feral kids. At least there are two of those.
You know its a bad month when the most uplifting occasion is a funeral. My aunt passed away peacefully and surrounded by love, on New Year’s Day after a tragic battle with dementia. Her funeral was beautiful, life affirming and inspiring. My cousin’s husband summed her up wonderfully in a poem entitled, “Quietly Remarkable” and left me wondering if I might have time to learn new skills like Aunty Judy constantly did. I think silversmithing, stained glass, stone carving, needle point and building schools in impoverished African countries (seriously, this woman was amazing) are perhaps a bit beyond me but I might at least learn a new crochet stitch.
Three solid weeks of relentless downpours nearly broke me. A significant low point was being woken in the small hours to a gentle pitter-patter sound, not of feet (which is common) but of bloody raindrops. Inside. Our bedroom.
We fixed the situation temporarily with towels and have now grown quite accustomed to the sound, much the same as one does with traffic sounds in a city. Its almost soothing.
There were some high points. Weirdly, I thoroughly enjoyed my six-year old’s birthday party especially as I learned from previous disasters and outsourced the cake. That afforded me more time to magically transform a bog-standard piñata into a fire-breathing dragon to fit the ‘Knights and Princesses’ theme that was demanded at the last minute. I could barely watch as the kids took turns at bashing the bejeezus out of my work of art but it held fast and refused to break. Things were about to get ugly as frustrations grew but the day was saved by my mate’s husband who is also our friendly local policeman. He whipped out his retractable baton, wielded it like Zorro and severed the beast cleanly in two. I wept silent tears over my artistry while the wee shites scrambled around for the chocolate coins** that spilled from it’s cardboard belly.
Luckily I had the foresight not to even entertain the idea of Dry January*** (I couldn’t deal with the irony) and was able to numb the pain of indoor puddles, wet dogs, David Bowie, damp logs and dear old Terry Wogan with plenty sauv blanc, cheap cider and malt whisky.
*Their days had been numbered since the wee bastards had stopped laying but fortunately mother nature stepped and kindly dealt with Steve, Daphne, Velma and Scooby. The fireworks on bonfire night finished off poor old Bunty.
**50p a bag, post-Christmas. Winning.
***a ridiculous fad in which participants avoid any kind of alcohol for 31 whole days.