Can someone press the off switch please? I swear its been raining for longer than I care to remember and frankly I’m in the mood for Spring. Oh wouldn’t Spring be lovely right now? I simply cannot wait until I can sip my first cup of the tea while I say good morning to all the little buds forcing their way through the soil. I do so like a little garden-wandering in my nightie.
But today the sky is falling down. The lawn is mushy and the rain dripping down the windows. I have got a chicken roasting for dinner tonight and after a busy morning doing all the teeny odd-jobs I have needed doing around the house, my very own handyman, Dad, is now asleep in the armchair and the only noise here in my candlelit living room is that of my fingers clattering across the keyboard and the sky clattering on the conservatory roof.
Days like this are peppered with cups of warm Bovril and fights over the cosiest blanket. I take socks on and off because my bodily thermostat is no longer to be relied upon and the rest of the household seems perpetually chilled to the bone, while I wander around muttering about the outrage that is enduring simultaneous hot flushes and the spattering of goosebumps upon any flesh I care to expose.
Though it may be true that hormones are rendering me somewhat dramatic, it strikes me that life feels particularly berserk right now, as we find ourselves in the middle of unprecedented viral crisis and owning copious amounts of loo roll seems like the only solution we are collectively capable of coming up with.
Some of me wants to feel hysterical about the whole palava. In fact hormonal Alison positively longs to be out among the hoarding masses tearing people’s hair out in pursuit of paracetamol I don’t particularly need. But the rest of me, she who swaps heads like a menopausal Worzel Gummidge, knows that the answer is always keeping calm and carrying on.
And so today I am looking for comfort in all the right places. In towels warm and fragrant with lavender from the tumble dryer and books stacked inside my kindle for a game of literary bingo when I finally climb into bed. This one and this one. and oh, this one (though I feel a bit worried about this one, if truth be told!). In a candle that makes me swoon burning on the cabinet in the bathroom and stacks of bedding so neatly folded in the linen closet on the landing. I am so very much enjoying having Dad here. All my favourite man-people together each evening. Puttering through the days while Dad hangs badly behaved curtain poles and makes a ludicrous racket smashing windows that need replacing. Smiling down on all of them like a benevolent aunt when they gang up on me and find strength in the numbers needed to laugh at my general ludicrousity.
Ordinary bliss. Little somethings to remind us that we have each other in the combined pursuit of calm in what is probably the closest we have been to chaos in my lifetime.
So yes. Switch off the rain. Press pause on days like this so I can treasure them for always. Remind me that life can do its worst outside but that here in this creaky house, there is chicken warm from the oven ready for a hummus crust. There are three types of tomatoes in the fridge ready to be roasted and a quilt hanging over the radiator in the bedroom so at bedtime it will be a hug I can snuggle under.
There is all of this and more. Perhaps it is only when life itself seems to turn on us that we can truly recognise the halycon. Perhaps now is just the right time to pause and feel blessed. By love. And roast chicken. Family and warm radiators. By hope and gratitude and all the teeny, tiny joys I want to stuff into a bag and run away with.
Ordinary bliss. Halycon days. Chaos and calm. And Spring. For even at the end of the worst of Winter’s, there is always Spring.