There is a cold lurking in my throat. But that’s ok because today there is fire lurking in my belly. For this I know for sure: on the other side of death there is a fierce need to live. To be alive with every ounce of one’s being and to stuff each day with as much life as is humanly possible…

I read somewhere that to keep on doing the same thing and expect at every turn a different outcome is probably the first sign of madness. Darlings I have been doing the same thing for eleven years! I have lived in this teeny little house for fifteen years! I haven’t changed my brand of butter (Clover) or teabags (Tetleys) or toothpaste (Colgate) in twenty years (though why I should consider this significant I just can’t imagine)! I have lived small. And I have done it quite deliberately in order to feel safe. Tis a dangerous business changing your teabags don’t you know?

But if safe is silly does a person have to throw caution to the wind in order to feel alive? Should a person seek a new line of work? Put the house up for sale? Give up on men altogether and join the convent? Try PG Tips?? Readers I am flummoxed. One mustn’t be hasty after all. Twenty years may not be quite enough time to decide whether Colgate is indeed the finest of toothpastes. Or whether eleven years blogging your life away is enough time to decide whether the writing life is really for you.

One is obliged, I do believe, to give things a chance: for isn’t it true that it is quite possible to muddle your way through life without really experiencing the things you have chosen to make permanent fixtures in your world?

Yes that’s it in a nutshell. I have just sorted my very own dilemma in the space of a paragraph! One of the blessings of writing is that I never quite know what words I will tap on to the screen: almost as if writing was a physical entity flowing through my fingers. Something beyond my control, yet more authentic than anything I could conjure up deliberately.

This then is the revelation I have just uncovered: change does not have to be sweeping. One does not have to throw in the towel on a life hard won, but can instead start with what we have and commit to improving it. There isn’t, I do not think, any need to start building on another plot, if the existing foundations are already solid. We just have to say this is enough, and start to appreciate all that we already have.

Case in point: two weeks ago I had brown hair. Granted there were a few strands of grey sprinkled through the front, but it was brown and all it needed was a wash in brown dye. So in a fit of I need to be alive and life is too short and brown is dull I allowed my naughty little sister to colour it and now I am mortified to say that I have scary red permanent patches all over my once brown head. A glossy head of brown hair was enough! I didn’t need red hair! I just needed to match the grey to the rest of my head and I would have been happy, but clearly this is what happens when you allow yourself to be talked into things and take it in to your silly brain to run a little wild!

Lesson learned Dear Hearts. I love my house. I love my blog. I love my hair. Hells bells, I even love Clover butter.

I just need to learn to love them a little harder.