It has happened. I have become one of those miserly sorts who won’t put the heating on despite the fact that my blood is turning blue and I am wearing the pale feet of someone already dead because I cannot tolerate slippers. Or anything on my arms for long, so that the moment I walk in to the house I find myself stripping off the layers until I am back to the freedom of my black vest, the one that the milkman (I am obsessed with our little munchkin milkman aren’t I??) looked up at from the step below me and declared, “Ooh, hello Lovey, you have got a feather on your titty”. A feather on my titty!! And instead of being appalled and declaring my very own #metoo moment, I told him that  my Mum is a thing of white feathers and she likes to settle close to my heart or that it could be that I rarely sit down without clutching a cushion to my chest and one of them is scattering its filling everywhere and anywhere, because life is like that isn’t it? Even feathers refuse to be contained.

To which he responded, “£8.63 this week, Lovey”. Apparently nonplussed by my doorstop philosophy.

But yes. I think it has happened. Despite leading it a merry dance, I do believe middle-age has me in her grip. And what a cruel mistress she is, at once rendering me grey around the temples and having me wander around muttering about the seasonal hike in the gas bill.

Today then. The first frost of the season. Rumours of a big cat, The Beast of Lancashire prowling around the village. Marg, Ste’s Mum coming later for something I will conjure up in the slow-cooker, a glass of wine and the soaps. Finley, dear, sweet, gorgeous Finley, apparently vegetarian this week, but only he assures me until Friday, because he wants to test his willpower. To see if he can live without sausages and the slices of roast beef he consumes the way the rest of us devour custard-creams.

Plans to be made. Because suddenly there is something happening in every gap in my calendar and if I don’t get organised the days of permanent fluster will have me in their stranglehold all over again. So a day in Chester, watching Murder on the Orient Express, too many hospital appointments to count, a weekend in the Cotswolds soon, a 21st Birthday meal, home-work for the counselling course I am thoroughly enjoying, a lovely litany of Pep-Talks scheduled, a night out with my oldest school friends. And life. This weekend with our boys. Christmas shopping! Finley’s double bed to be set-up because he is now ten foot two and will start to suffer from goldfish-bowl syndrome if the situation is not addressed asap. Time carved out for Ste and I. My festive book to be published. So much still left undone I must catch up on now I am feeling whole again.

For it is true. After the rampage and the rage there is calm again.This too does pass. The blinkers worn throughout my own deeply personal storm removed so that I can see with the kind of logic and reason uncompromised by hysteria. Though hysteria, it has to be said, much preferable to the kind of malaise that has so very often petrified my very soul in the past.

Now. A preposterous combination of high-protein farmhouse bread with lashings of rose jam. A cafetiere of Indian Monsooned Malabar coffee. Gregorian chants playing around the house. A few more pages of How Hard Can It Be? (Answer: really rather difficult apparently!). The stooped dance of she too tall for the sweep and brush that must be dragged around these hellish laminate floors if one is not to be declared all manner of slovenly disgraces. Another feather on my titty.

Later. Leaf-raking in wellies ready to pounce should the beast of Lancashire be a panther more lost than I. A midday bath. A restorative, warming nap after a night of torrid sleep. Writing. Cooking. Puttering, wishing and a-hoping. And family. Above all else, family.