Weather: it is what it is. I love the shadows created by the sun and the feel of it on my face; I love the wind whipping up the sea and watching birds ride the updrafts along the cliff edge; the thrill of spotting a rainbow; the mesmerising cloud formations; the rain sweeping in and watering the garden. And I love that I can see more weather living here and get out into it on long dog walks. In this crazy, high-tech, man-made mess of a world what I love most about it is that we can’t control it.
A recent Office of National Statistics study has revealed that people in middle age are the least satisfied with their lives. Christina has written about it here and there was extensive coverage on Radio 4 recently. I fall into this age group but I’d say that right now I am the most content I’ve ever been. I am extremely fortunate in many respects and I know that many people have big, serious issues to deal with in their lives but, for what it’s worth (and I’m probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs), here are my 10 Remedies for Gloom:
1. Get a dog.
2. Walk the dog as often as you can. If you can’t get a dog, walk anyway.
3. Do some other form of exercise too (yoga, running, kick-boxing, whatever).
4. Grow plants. Properly look at these plants. Notice their beauty.
5. Read books. Lots of them.
6. If you fancy a piece of cake or a chocolate biscuit, have one (just one).
7. The same goes for a gin and tonic. Or a glass of champagne (perhaps two of those).
8. Spend time with the people you love and who make you happy.
9. Make something (a cake, jam, a jumper, a quilt, a massive sculpture in cheese, anything).
10. Do something nice for someone else.
Before Imogen whipped herself up into a fury on Sunday (if we’re naming storms we may as well have fun anthropomorphising them), David and I spent a few hours tidying up in the garden. We cut back the raspberry canes, weeded the beds by the greenhouse and mulched them with compost. There are two empty-ish beds (one recently vacated by gooseberry bushes) and we’re mulling over what to plant. I’d like one for flowers to cut and bring indoors and I think we’ll plant more herbs, salads and beans but it’s still in the planning. Whatever we manage to do in the garden at this time of year is a bonus and it lulls me into thinking we’re on top of things before the rush to keep up when all the plants are growing like mad.
In other news… You may recall that I had some rather lofty intentions at the start of the year. Um… Well… I’ve not done much (apart from in the garden). I’ve managed a basic chain link crochet thingy, I’ve thought about decorating schemes for the front room and moved the furniture that’s waiting to be painted, but I’ve decided to scrap the idea of getting a new job for now. I periodically decide to get a ‘proper job’, rejoin the ranks of the permanently employed and enjoy a little security but these bouts tend to be short-lived. I applied for a couple of local jobs in January, nothing to do with anything I’ve ever done before, but didn’t get anywhere. Oh well. Never mind. I do love my independence, long walks and being able to wander out into the garden during the day, so I’ll hang in there with the freelancing. Phew.
Right. I’ve got a poorly teenager at home, so I’m off to check he’s ok. We’ve had a few fallings-out recently but his teenage force is temporarily crushed by a stinking cold. He’s a poppet when he’s not well.
Hope you’re having a good week.