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…