A dreek day. Green tea with jasmine inspired by my Dad. Making a list of what must be done in my fancy-schmancy LEUCHTTURM1917 copper foiled notebook. Watching the wind bash the conservatory doors to and fro.
Today I am lining the drawers of my new/old walnut dressing table with floral paper fragranced with roses and hanging scented sachets among the clothes hanging in the his and hers matching wardrobes we fight to open with little brass keys. I have bedroom furniture! Clunky, brown and deliciously old-fashioned – just right for this high-ceiling room with its cast iron fireplace and picture rails.
Soon I will paint away the red beneath the chair rail with something creamy so the room will no longer be grounded but will become something more akin to that I consider floaty sanctuary. A light space broody with shadows and the sprinkle of the pattern the doilly dotted lampshade throws on to my ceiling. Crystal decanters gathered on the dressing table. A pot of English Ivy wandering around the mirror. For whimsy and better air quality in this sacred space. A Jo Malone candle still in its box – a blessing for when the room is finally finished.
I am, as always, cold, I have forgotten to take my tablets. My head full of the boy who lived just up the hill from here and who at only a year older than Finn, burned to death in a barn on Sunday. Sometimes news stories creep under my skin and mercilessly scratch at my veins. Sometimes I am every child’s Mother and endure the horror of losing them even when they are not mine to mourn. For me it is always a symptom of my own melancholy. A warning sign that perhaps a return to anti-depressants might be key to thriving again. Sometimes we forget how to love ourselves don’t we? Sometimes with all the will in the world we fail to cope.
Now I am getting in to the car to escape these four walls. A trip to the nursery for the beginnings of my garden. A detour to my favorite fishmonger for Morecambe shrimp for tonight’s Jambalaya. Perhaps a coffee sipped alone. Or a wander round the library in search of a book that might dig through this relentless anxiety.
My hair is too dark this time. My ever-complimentary son tells me it looks like a helmet. Like a Lego-Ladies wig. Did I tell you how much I love him? How I have watched him playing with my sister’s little boy over the past few days, astonished at how gentle he is? How instinctively nurturing? He is all of these things and abundant with the kind of compliments that spike my silly heart, quickly followed by a wonderful, patronising kiss. How then do they grow up? How do the roles reverse? How is it that I find myself only an inch taller than him and wondering how one Mothers a little person suddenly bigger than oneself?
Oh and did I tell you that there is a line of daffodils poking there heads up along the front wall of the house? One of the kind of gifts a new home keeps a secret until the time is right. Daffodils for my Mum. A house filled with them, carried in by my sister to stand nodding their happy little heads as I fill the sink to wash yet more dishes. Beaming at me from the breakfast table in the faraway room.
Dishes, daffodils and shrimp. Lego hair and English Ivy. This then is my today.