I slept soundly last night so I had no idea whether or not the storm hit us badly. In fact, other than my bay tree falling over despite its brick ballast, there seems to be rather less debris around than there was after the previous storm (when my back garden acquired several plastic cartons, some bin bags and various other bits and pieces. If anybody wants some plastic crates, please let me know – they’re under the trampoline. Or at least they are at present. I guess if the winds continue then they may continue their journey further long the road).
I drove the car down to David’s this morning so he could take the children to school and then get to work. As I went outside the first of the church bells were striking 8 a.m. – I could swear that as I was walking back I heard another set striking. Rather than a deafening riotous clangour every hour on the hour, Brampton’s clocks politely take it in turn to strike the hour, starting (I think) with St. Martin’s Church clock, as seems right and proper: it’s the largest, oldest and most central church.
The sequential striking of the hour does, however, mean that you can’t be sure exactly what the time is. This is something I am quite comfortable with as the clocks in my house, at school, at nursery and in my workplace all tell a different time. You would think that perhaps in this digital age timepieces would be far more accurate: I’m rather glad they’re not.
Mind you, my time-keeping was something David always criticised me for. A stickler for promptness himself, he said I was always ten minutes late for everything. I know time-keeping afficionados will think that this is rude and inconsiderate. It’s not intended to be: it’s just that there’s always something I think I can ‘just fit in’ or ‘just finish off’ which will still give me precisely the right amount of time to get wherever I have to go. Very often this works perfectly: sometimes it means I am just a little bit (well, ten minutes) late… but it does mean that whatever was bugging me to be finished will be finished, and you will – or should – have my full attention once I’ve arrived.
The nursery clock is one I’m particularly fond of as it always makes me feel that I’m not quite so late as I had feared, as I dash out of work (I rarely leave work on time, but usually about ten minutes late…) to fetch Edward. Fortunately he can’t yet tell the time.
As I walked back through Brampton I was musing over how much I like the first week or so of the new year. Christmas and the New Year can be relatively hectic and I certainly feel that I’ve eaten too much and drunk too much alcohol: my stomach is showing the effects and large meals washed down with glasses of wine do not currently appeal. I went to see some friends last night and to do some singing and they were rather apologetic about the supper they provided – a piece of quiche, a piece of pizza, some potatoes and a pile of salad. Actually it was perfect, particularly the salad.
But in addition to that this is the one time of year when you really feel you can catch up on things. The pile of random papers on my desk has reduced and my ‘to do’ list is somewhat shorter (and feels more manageable) than it has done for a while. Things feel relatively controlled.
And I don’t have the children this weekend, so once I’ve written my Nordic Walking feature and done a bit of pitching, I shall get out for a couple of runs and perhaps even start some decorating. I’ve even – finally, hooray! – now got my child/working tax credits sorted, so I can sort out the mortgage and other financial matters.
Life feels relaxed and full of possibilities…. time for me to go to check out my internet dating site!