Before the storm
I'm writing this, as usual, far too late at night, with the wind beginning to rise and the rain spattering against the windows and a podcast playing in the background in which my #2 son is telling an interviewer about his early years and the pathway that led him to his current position and it's amazingly distracting and not a little illuminating. But the day began, because it's a Thursday, far too early for comfort as once again I faced up to the fact that I had to go shopping. Before I went out, however, I had to take a photo of the beautiful pale pink northern sky - sort of NNE, really, with the dove-grey of the hills and the glassy calm of the Firth on the one side and the supermarket car-park lights, still on, on the other.
Good lord, this podcast is revealing - I didn't know half of this stuff about my son!
The shopping done - including a mid-aisle rant at three hapless wenches without masks, all claiming exemption on the back of the one who actually sported a badge - I managed to finish breakfast and clear it up before we had a phone call from the swain who was to come and install our Government-imposed linked alarm system (smoke, heat - that sort of thing.) Himself had already had the discussion with the owner of the electrical business, who foresees the local A&E crammed with elderly people who've fallen off chairs or ladders while trying to silence the alarms which have to be stuck on the ceiling and switched off by pressing a button. Our house has high ceilings ... we added a wi-fi switch. Anyway, the chap came, put them where I told him to, and left. Relatively painless, but irritatingly nannyesque.
The afternoon saw me in another ritual outing - foraging for greenery for the church Advent wreath. By this time the bright morning had declined into a grey afternoon, temperature 5ºC, and my bestie, my partner in crime, hadn't been able to meet before 3.15pm, so we didn't have long.The area we frequent for this seems to have suffered in the past year, with several of the small paths overgrown with brambles and some of the trees dead or dying back - perhaps in the dry summer? So there was a shortage of the small furry foliage that is so lovely as a cradle for the candles, and we had to hunt for the dangly things that are our trademark decoration ... I think it'll look a tad different this year.
We returned to our cars as darkness fell and the first rain began to spatter down among the branches. By the time I had driven home it was really wet, and I had felt the horror of driving in the gloaming when everyone else is driving in the opposite direction with their beams full on and you keep wondering if there's a kerb on the left or just a ditch...
And now I'm listening to Ewan still, talking animately about teaching and his experience in helping schools all over the world to reach their potential and I'm thinking: how can this be? I must be really old ...