Friday, 29 December 2017

After the rain

The wind whistles and whines through the window, rattling the house and all who within her do dwell.

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.
Here's to a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Christmas is coming to Dorset

In the fields, the skeletal trees march along the hedge to tell us winter is here in Dorset.

There are children snaking their way up, two by two, to the village hall for their last rehearsal before their Christmas play tomorrow.

Cars, vans and lorries have to stop, just for a moment, to let the embodiment of our collective future walk across the road to the steps up to the village green. It's a lovely sight - the children, I mean, not just the halted traffic.

In the hall, the festive decorations have already been put up. And around the village, there are spruce trees above front doors, ready for the big switch-on at the weekend when the honours will be done by the vicar to a live soundtrack of Christmas carols before everyone packs into the pub for mulled wine and mince pies.

Choir practice is taking place for the church carol concert in a few weeks' time and the shop has had its Christmas shopping event. There's been a supermoon hanging low in the night sky. On TV, we've had The X Factor final and Strictly's is just around the corner. And I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is in its last week.

But there's something missing. Ah yes, here it is. The Christmas Cold. Not quite the flu but nearly as bad. And I'm full of it.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

I see the moon, the moon sees me

So there we were, enjoying France at its liveliest when someone pointed to the sky. The moon. There was a great chunk missing from it, a...