Rainy days and Mondays

The harder the day, the more love we need.

Today, my Monday selection is The Carpenters – a strangely popular band round these parts. Steve might love a bit of Five-Finger Death Punch and Down, but these are one of those bands we both just love regardless of our ‘usual’ tastes. The Carpenters will ALWAYS remind me of Emma Taylor. I think we must have listened to them for ages. I wish I remembered more about being a teenager – it’s true when people say ‘will any of this matter in 20 years?’ – because I don’t remember even a quarter of even the most amazing or the most difficult bits. But I remember lots about Emma’s house – it’s one of those places that was almost like a second home and I remember her home almost as well as I remember my own. I can still remember the smell of it.

Emma’s Mum worked and quite often we were unsupervised. We didn’t get up to very much. I think we spent time perfecting pancakes (and getting flour all over the kitchen, which I don’t remember cleaning up, but I hope we did!) making potato salad and trying to find out what was going on in Alexia’s room. Alexia is Emma’s older sister, and older sisters always have cool stuff. Emma always seemed to, too. If Emma left me with anything, it was an enduring love of the Carpenters, Audrey Hepburn and the memory of her dad singing Jim Diamond songs in the car when he took me home. Emma’s Dad is right up there with my Gramps in my book of lovely men. She’s a good message as well about how fortune favours the brave, and how if you keep working, success will come. She’s about the only person I know who’s broken into any kind of media without a little assistance from a friend or a family member. Publishing, TV, Radio, Film, if you don’t know someone, you’re nobody. Now she goes on shoots in Dubai.

Despite it being Monday, it’s not rainy here. The skies are blue. Spring is on its way. I was wondering where our carpet of snowdrops were – they make me think of our spaniel, Saffy, who went out and lay down among them and went to sleep and never woke up – she died this time last year. It feels like an eternity has passed since then. She was such a lovely, lovely dog. I’m sure she’s ache and pain-free in doggie heaven, sitting by the side of someone lovely who needs a lovely dog to love.

And yesterday, just when I was wondering where the snowdrops were, I looked out of the window, and there they were. It feels like an eon since I wanted to go outside.

Much love, too, to the chicken ladies who have come into their own since the snow melted. They get more confident with every passing day, will come running and are now laying a couple of tiny little eggs every day. Bless them. One of them has a crooked beak (Mavis) and I love her a bit more than all the others. Like Steve says, all I need now is a goat with wheels for legs. Hmmm. I am a lover of all things rejected and sad.

Monsieur Noireau is not sad, however. He has had a little venture into the garden, though it’s all a bit overwhelming. He has a lovely daily routine now involving having the mads straight after his breakfast. I love it when dignified cats get the mads and race around like kittens. He jumps on Tilly, much to her utter confusion. He plays and catches balls rolled to him. He is a very wonderful, very handsome boy – he likes cuddles and sitting on laps and he very much loves shoving his nose into the crook of my arm, or my armpit. He loves sleeping next to me and he is a very charming cat indeed. Down here on misfit farm, he rules the living room with his majestic presence.

Tilly Popper had a haircut and now looks like a little shorn lamb. She looks so little.

I’m also loving my finished leg-warmers. I shall post a picture later. Really, they’re more like gaiters, designed to stop breezes going up my trousers. I don’t have Much Love for a trouser breeze. They match my cardigan. I even did them in the same stitch. I’m far too co-ordinated.

I’ve also (almost – almost!) finished my three big projects I had on since the new year – so 8 weeks of long hours are mostly over and I can get back to writing GCSE guides. I’m finally getting some reward for my September efforts – my e-books are taking off and my other website gets a lot of hits – despite how little I’ve worked on it. I’ve had lots of lovely feedback too. Why is it though that it’s the one troll who stands out and I can’t get out of my head?! Maybe this half term I can get on with a couple of my other ones. Whilst my three big writing projects are finished, I’ve still got teaching and I need to get planting, otherwise the garden will be bare. So, I can look forward to this week, planting, a bit of time for myself, a bit of rest, maybe even a bit of reading (I’ve been reading the same book since Christmas. I got so tired of only reading the same two pages then falling asleep that I’ve started again…)

Hooray!

My Monday poem is from my favourite teen film, The Outsiders, and I learned it off by heart – along with a few other bits of poetry, it’s one I can still recite.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf’s a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down to day

Nothing gold can stay

– Robert Frost

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