In between days

Sometimes I get stuck. I can’t quite settle to anything new, flit about about from distraction job to distraction job, avoiding anything too tricky. Well this was me a week or so ago. I was between kiddiwink visits (Lachlan had just left, Ishbel yet to arrive) and the weather had taken a colder turn, so forays into the garden were few. There seemed no point in fighting it; I decided just to let the mood take me.

I spent many contented morning hours staring out of the kitchen window letting my coffee go cold. There is currently a psychological battle between the robin and the sparrows for custody of the fat balls. Effective teamwork by the sparrows is giving them the edge and my poor robin is thoroughly puffed up with indignation but, as yet, unwilling to take on three contenders at once. One morning, Foxy the lab from next door, with no thought for his impact on this avian Cold War, barrelled round the corner and attempted to occupy the bird table (which unsurprisingly fell over). Unperturped Foxy then consumed the dripping soaked crumbs and seeds before tanking off to wreck enthusiastic havoc elsewhere. The presence of this common enemy did not bring harmony and love to the (reassembled) bird table but it certainly introduced an air of caution.

After breakfast Lyra and I would have a desultory wander round the fields, usually gauging the weather entirely wrongly. On one trip I came back steaming and puce, festooned like a cricket umpire with various layers round my waist, on another I oozed back soaked to the skin. The longest burrow is full of rabbits at the moment so Lyra spent a great deal of this time with her head down various holes. The rabbits are canny though, as soon as her head went down, they popped out five doors along and ran for the wood. One day, to ring the changes, we popped over to Selkirk and walked with mum up the damside to the cauld then back by the river. Interestingly, the winter heliotrope growing there is white rather than pink and does not smell of Mr Kipling cakes. How very disappointing!

Afternoons took me to my Garrett, where I amused myself making handbags out of old trousers (because that meant I didn’t have to get on with the half finished quilt) and catching up on The British History Podcast. (I have made it now almost to the Norman Invasion. I am warming somewhat to Harald Hardrada, picturing him as a young Rutger Hauer, William the Bastard appears to have been aptly named, but the stand out person I had never heard of is Tostig Godwinson (brother of Harold, decidedly mad and bad and certainly worthy of a cameo by the late, great Alan Rickman…)). I was reasonably pleased with my norman/saxon fuelled handbags, which are, essentially, prototypes for a bigger project for some other rainy day. I managed to work out a lot of logistical issues. In the meantime, the prototypes have been found homes. Ishbel has volunteered to take the denim bag off my hands for a trial run – though she fears it may be a bit small (is she planning to transport cadavers in it??). The brown one is now the designated dog poo bag and treat receptacle for days which are too hot for a multi pocketed gilet.

Finally, in a burst of administrative task avoidance I even cleared Lachlan’s mess (three bags of waste paper and snack wrappers, garnished with assorted other random items, plus £12 in change – which I kept) from my desk and reclaimed my workspace. I rather peaked at that point and the admin had to wait for a good few days to pass before I picked up the pen again. However, I am now reaping the rewards and typing this blog in luxurious comfort (and pitch darkness as I can’t be bothered to get out of the chair to hit the light switch).

And all this while, when I was frittering and footering and marking time, spring was trotting gaily along. (Frogspawn levels are at an all time high and there are promising flowers on the blackthorn. ) Thankfully, like Glenda the Good Witch, Ishbel arrived and brought the sun and the spell was broken. It has been all go ever since…

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