The kindly smirr

A gentle smirr of rain has been hanging in the air all day today so I have been gifted a cast iron excuse to keep out of the garden (where I have been labouring in stakhanovite fashion the last few days). As always, initial excitement at the boundless horizon of possible indoor activities caused a circuit failure. After switching myself off and on again with extensive coffee and random bits of “phone news”, I decided to delay a definitive decision until after walking the dog.

We headed for the Hirsel woods, thinking this might still be dry. (I had, somewhat over-confidently, eschewed the wellies). Along the side of the track there are still a few piles of storm Arwen fallen trees. The pines are now inscribed in braille with long regular rows of black buttons, fungi I think. By contrast, the beech and birch, both fallen and still standing, are all spotted with painterly daubs of silver and green lichen. By dint of wandering off the path to investigate, I was what we might call “muddish” by the time we reached the three way footpath dilemma point. With little to lose I tossed the imaginary coin and we turned left into swamp like conditions. Ah well…… The wild garlic is several inches through now and adding a vibrant green backdrop to the remaining snowdrops. Lyra snuffled along happily and I was musing whether she was attracted by the aroma when she paused to deposit several widdlegrams. It appears that the canine telegraph has top notes of allium these days. I immediately recollected Auntie Sybil’s sage advice that all foraging should be done above waist height and commend this to you all… We were just finishing off with a spin through the grounds to admire the naturalised crocus when we ran into a rather distraught woman who had lost a pup in the woods on the other side of the lake. We walked on promising to keep an eye out. As I patted the car keys for luck (my new tic following the recent great “lost and found” incident) I noticed the dog whistle hanging off the chain. I turned to offer it to the lady but she’d disappeared and so, thinking of a few sweaty moments when Lyra was a pup, we turned and took a detour round the lake, stopping to whistle every now and then just in case. No dogs alas, but I did spot the first violet of the year.

The sun is now starting to peep out below the brooding clouds but it is too late to lift a spade in anger. Is it too late to start anything else though? I fear I may have frittered away my opportunities by dithering. The placeholder cardigan I was knitting whilst I worked out what the next knitting project should be was finished a couple of days ago so I can’t default to that (see below – I think it has a bit of a Mr Chekov from Star Trek flavour) Inspiration for the next one still remains somewhere out of sight, possibly in another dimension. My new reading glasses (proper ones with the right prescription which is significantly stronger than the ones I’ve been using) are on order and it seems silly to attempt any sewing or painting before they are ready – I might as well be able to see what I’m doing! I will probably resign myself to making a cake, though I really shouldn’t as, after a benign period of weightlessness when the batteries ran out the bathroom scales are back in bullying mode. I had hoped a couple of days of long tramps over the fields in howling winds with the hound and much digging would have moved the needle a tad, but no. They are adamantine in their disapproval.

Maybe a small cake.

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