Across the road, Mrs Bancroft's Christmas tree is wrenched from its bracket on the wall above her front door. It is saved from rolling down the road by the cable of lights to which it is still attached. It's the second time this festive season that the blooming thing has tried to do a runner. You wouldn't believe the foul weather we've had since Christmas Day.
This morning, Arty and I leave Mr Grigg in bed. My cold is on the way out, although it's lasted nearly a month, and now he's got it. It's one of those nasty viruses that leaves you feeling weak, annoyed and grumpy as anything. Clearly, then, the best place for Mr Grigg to be is under the covers.
The sky looks pretty dark as the girl and I venture up the road, splashed by White Van Men whose vehicles roar through puddles at way over the 20mph speed limit. I swear out loud at these thoughtless drivers but then remember I'm just behind the vicarage. Luckily, the wind takes away my words. I hope the vicar didn't hear me.
In the field, the heavens open and we're pelted with hailstones. It's relentless. The dog yelps and I yelp. We squish around the fields as fast as our little legs can carry us and then head down through the fast-flowing ford and back to the warmth of our house where Mr Grigg is waiting with a lovely cup of tea.
I give the dog a good rub down and then go upstairs to peel off my sodden clothes. My legs are red raw from the hailstones and the biting cold. Even my knickers are wet. But how lucky I am to live in a nice warm house where being soaked on a dog walk is just a temporary inconvenience.
After the rain, here's to sunny winter days and a promise of spring.
To fill you with hope, I leave you with the mighty Dhol Foundation, who gave the darkness a good talking to on the shortest day on 21 December at the second Bridport Winter Solstice Festival. I could do with this joyous reel on a permanent loop inside my head to get through these dark days.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x