A dryish white season

As we waved off the last visitor of the festive season the members of Team Ruthven all felt a rest from Bacchanalian practices might be in order. Approaches differed. Keith declared the commencement of “Dryish January” and then promptly took Lachlan to the pub for a last hurrah. Mum and I took the moral high ground and had only one small glass of red wine and an entire packet of twiglets. In penance, for the next few mornings I dragged Mum and Lyra on jumbo dog walks and spent many hours wielding the new fork in the garden. Keith stoically humphed logs around and shredded the Christmas tree and Mum, when not being route marched around muddy fields, threw herself into power ironing. Lachlan, sagely, took himself back to Edinburgh where I understand that he and his flatmate have spent the last few days devising luxury toasties with a new, state of the art, toastie machine. This evening we all reconvened to compare notes and, in the true spirit of Dryish January™  (no drinking unless there is a good reason) Keith and Lachlan have gone to the pub and mum and I are enjoying a dryish white wine.

The reduced alcohol intake, alas, is the only thing about January that has been dryish. We have hardly had a day without rain and the rivers, streams and ditches all around are lipping full. We took a walk by the Tweed in Norham today and Lyra was bemused to discover the middle stretch of the lower path has become a supplementary duckpond. What is usually an almost mill pool still stretch was whorled and rippled like oiled endpapers, with the rise of the meniscus picking up the blue of the sky and the dip the gold of the fallen leaves on the far bank. The current was fast and furious and a host of ducks scudded past heading for Berwick, like it or not.

The first aconites and snowdrop are appearing in the garden so the race agains time to cut back and weed the beds so that my enjoyment of them is not contaminated by a plethora of chickweed and dandelions has commenced. I will, of course, lose but with mum billeted here whilst her burst pipe is sorted I am in with a better chance than usual. Honestly, she is already fussing about being in the way and the truth of it is that we will be clutching on to her by the knees to stop her escaping. There never was a better weeding elf….And Lyra speaks very highly of the sneaky treats first thing in the morning.

Hmm, first thing in the morning.. This is more of an aspiration than a reality for me so far this year. I am still in holiday mode and can be found festering with a coffee well past ten. In my defence, there was quite the kerfuffle late last night when the cats brought a bird in then lost it. Keith and I spent ages trying to get the poor thing out of the bathroom. It flew off valiantly in the end but there were a lot of feathers and what looks like a good chunk of tail on the bedroom floor this morning so I fear it may list to port a bit. That said, I did hear a bit of crunching late at night so perhaps those were the remains of a less fortunate friend. It’s all rather red in tooth and claw at times……….

But I digress, I do rather need to reclaim the mornings. I have things to do…..

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