Today. January


The wind is battering at the windows. The heating is on high and the dog curled up in a ball in front of the pretend fire. Today the house is a twinkly Christmas card. Curling at the corners and ready for the recycling bin.

I am worrying about snow. People who know about my ludicrous phobia keep texting me and taunting me. It’s on it’s way they say! As if Father Christmas was on his way back and I am not suitably excited! This outrages me. It puts a stop to my gallop and as I am getting so very good at galloping again, the very last thing I need is six inches of the white stuff to stand between me and my ventures in to the wild! Or Southport. Or Manchester. Or even round the corner to the Post Office for a pint of milk!

This then is January. If you know me, you will know that I often wander about telling whoever will listen, that January is the best month because it is so very clean. A crisp, white, blank slate of a month. Dancing with possibility but so very still and contemplative at the same time. But my January this year feels a little muddy. As if I am whizzing around a hamster wheel with a duster in my hand. Too fast to swipe it through the dirt long enough to make an impression. Too giddy to much care.

There is so much yesterday here in this house. I muddle about packing it in boxes that may never be collected and shoving so much stuff in to the loft it is quite possible the ceilings will fall down on me while I sleep. What is left behind seems grubby. As if it is crying out for love again. For a lick of paint.  The kiss of a paintbrush. And instead I am in the kitchen baking biscuits. In bed, in a fluster of holey, cosy, snubby blankets, laughing into my phone in the early hours. Standing shivering in the middle of a field as Alfie does laps around me. Living. Eating. Talking. So much talking! Alive again.

This then will have to be the year of the paintbrush. There is no avoiding it. Fresh paint and new carpet.  An armchair for the gap. Everything I own placed high enough to avoid the clutches of this mad dog. A mirror hung back where it used to hang. The putting back of what once was. The re-establishment of my own certainty.

And in the meantime this lovely chaos. This muddy re-invention of everything I used to be. My very own dusty January…

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8 comments on “Today. January

  1. I take it you aren’t moving now? In December it sounded like moving was a real possibility. I’m glad someone likes January. Once the last of the festive tinsel has been swept away, I want nothing more but to hibernate until April.

    Ali x

  2. Daniela on said:

    You’re the first person I’ve ever heard say that about snow. I live in dread of icy streets and horrible commutes whereas everyone else in the entire world seems to suddenly be ridiculously happy. It’s as if they all attended a class when they were young teaching them how not to fall on their faces which I missed. I wish you luck also with the painting I just know 2015 I’d going to be a magical year.

    • Dawn Gilmore on said:

      I’m the same as you. Even in my 20s I would shuffle about like an old lady if there was even a trace of ice or snow. I try to will myself to walk normally but I just can’t because of my fear of falling and breaking my leg.

      And it terrifies me to drive in the snow.

      I’ve lived my whole life in snowy places so it’s not like I’m a recent arrival to such conditions.

      I have a great fear of falling and hurting myself and lying there for hours till someone finds me frozen.

  3. Dawn Gilmore on said:

    Oh dear, you wouldn’t want to be here in Massachusetts. We just got walloped with over 2 feet of snow. I hate the stuff. I plan on not stepping outside for a week.

    I can’t imagine getting milk at the post office. Here they are government owned and soley for the purpose of mailing things, buying stamps, and getting your passport. Do post offices in Britain also act as grocery stores?

    • Margaret on said:

      Hi Dawn, all the main Post Offices in towns and cities are for stamps, passports etc, but sub-post offices in villages and on the outskirts of towns sell all sorts of things and are privately owned, so the post office part is a sort of franchise I guess.

      • Dawn Gilmore on said:

        I see. We have sort of the opposite in my town. There’s a convenience store that has postal services in one section. It’s manned by store employees not official postal workers but I guess they have a contract with the government to be a satellite post office.

        This one in my town is the only one I know about so I have no idea if this is a common thing or not.

        So instead of going to the post office for milk, we go to the store to mail a certified letter for instance or rent a postal box, buy stamps, mail stuff.

  4. Margaret on said:

    Hi Alison, there is nothing so therapeutic as clearing, cleaning and painting is there? I’m so happy that you feel in a place to do it. We are in the process of clearing out and tidying up our little loft and I feel as if a weight is being removed from the top of my head.

  5. Lynn Dirk on said:

    If I didn’t know better (and I don’t) I’d say you gotta lil crush going on these days. If it’s true, aint love grand?