Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Starting as we mean to go on...

Anticipation.  Excitement.  Wonder.

I don't know why I have such feelings bubbling away inside my soul as I timidly take a tip-toe into a whole new chapter of life.

Maybe it is the adoration of the new beginning and the knowledge of the blank canvas that is 2014, with it's pages sitting patiently awaiting to be written.

I was unusually awoken this morning.  Not by the normal blessing I receive of the chattering of the beautiful baby by my side, as she wakes with the light and greets the new dawn with merry chirps and gummy grins.  Instead my pleasant slumber was rudely interrupted by mother nature thrashing out a tantrum that many a three year old would be proud of.   The wind was fierce in temper and she ensured her wrath was felt by all around her.  Giant trees bowed down to half size in her presence, and bins quaked and quivered as they felt her powerful gusts encircle them.  The rain increased the voracity of the attack.   Giant pools of water accumulated where directed, creating mini-rivers scurrying down paths and driveways, fighting without fear all that dared to remain in their way.  Once green fields couldn't escape being targets of the onslaught. Soon they themselves were obscured and unable to take breath under the body of water that enveloped them, with nebulous skies looking on with an alleged pride.

Welcome January 1st 2014. 

As I gazed upon those aforementioned skies, I realised that the rainfall would not be reducing any time soon. We could hibernate away and pretend we were oblivious to what was going on around us, choosing instead to cosy up under blankets and tending the fire, enjoying the warmth that ensconced us within its arms.  Or we could allow nature to emit it's power upon us directly and take a walk, a long two hour walk, with the dog.

Of course we did the latter, and the dog loved us for it.  She's a springer spaniel.  Mad, a complete fruit-a-loop who doesn't appear to allow a bit of not so nice weather to dampen her spirits.  We set off, pushchairs at the ready for the younger ones, knowing that they would both be completely locked away from any damaging elemental force.  The deluge that was bestowed upon us was great in pressure.  Each lashing of rainfall whipped our cheeks seemingly in the form of a cat-o-nine-tail.  Over and over again the harshness was felt, but we battled on, up hill and down, through flood water and puddled mire.  

And we loved it.  

It felt fresh and cleansing, it felt blissful and invigorating.  

I was pleased that I hadn't succumbed to the feeling of  that 'look at the weather' doubt that so often ensures that plans are cancelled or rearranged.  As we strode out with purpose, at times it unbelievably seemed our bedraggled and battered state was forgotten.  Chattering as we marched onward, we became so engrossed with topics such as forensic science, our solar system, Sir David Attenborough, and travesties of justice, that our wet clothed predicament didn't seem to matter.  We talked about the crime system and the police force, our dreams for 2014 and the fact that Callum had walked over half way with his wellies on the wrong feet!

We made note of the wildlife not hidden away from us.  Birds that  flew across stormy skies without a moments hesitation, the occasional bright green caterpillar seeking out shelter from a leaf overhead, and a tiny mouse scurrying across our path as if desperately in search of food and dry shelter, scared witless at our presence despite our oh so careful footsteps.  

As we neared home we were greeted with waves and smiling faces from within passing vehicles, and a chat with our gorgeous neighbour with whom we made plans for a future natter over a coffee.

I was reminded that my life is pretty darn awesome.  I was reminded of the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis, the distant hills, the old cottages and farms, the changing scenery playing peek-a-boo from behind the great masters of the landscape - the fabulously old and seemingly all-knowing oak trees with their twisted and knotted limbs.  

I don't believe that I shall ever tire of such surroundings.  Sadly the rainfall dictated that no photographs could be taken of our stroll today, disappointing perhaps, but the worded memory is now recorded on this posting for years to come.

Once home we all rushed to strip off our wet clothing and seek out cosy onesies and dry comfortable attire to wear for the rest of the afternoon.  We lit the fire and settled down with drinks that warmed our hearts as well as our hands.  Tiegan got out a book, The Diary of Anne Frank I believe, and snuggled with Eddie the kitten beneath a furry blanket on the sofa.  Chelsea flitted between two books, Conversations with God, and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, whilst Taisia flicked through the Three Billy Goats Gruff and made up her own version of events.  Joseph retired to his room and played Fifa 12 on the XBox.  He is currently manager of Exeter City I believe.  Callum sat by the fire and we casually talked whilst I ensured Amara was well fed and freshened up.  

Later on in the afternoon we played a couple of games.  The first, for the benefit of Taisia, was the simple 'Hungry Dogs' game, which is along the lines of the old favourite Hungry Hippos.  

I fondly remember playing Hungry Hippos with a girl in primary school during a 'games day' on the last day of term.  The girl, Carla Davies, emigrated to South Africa a few days later and I often wonder what life held in-store for her so very far away.

We also played a giggle-inducing game called "Five Second Rule" - I believe Argos have this for a much reduced £11.99 at the moment.  Basically you have a board, a timer, and question cards.  You have to read a card and answer, naming three of the things requested.  For example, we had cards which read "Name 3 countries beginning with A", and "Name 3 bridges in England".  Other cards request the naming of 3 items which you polish, or 3 girls names beginning with T.  

Of course, many of them are stupidly easy, but with those tiny metal balls winding their way down the timer to the count of 5 seconds, and well, it's easy for panic to set in and mind blackout.  In order for Taisia (aged 3) to be able to take a turn we created questions for her.  For example we asked her to name 3 colours, or to tell us 3 of her favourite TV characters.  We were very easy going on the timer, ensuring that she wouldn't fail in her answering as she was trying so hard to join in and grinning from ear to ear.

After dinner we settled down to watch Natural History Museum Alive on Sky 1.  We all enjoyed it a huge amount, with lots of ooohs and ahhhs from the little ones as they sat transfixed by the coming alive of various creatures.  

I'm signing off now to do a bit of crochet before bedtime.  January 1st was a success, let's see what January 2nd has in store.


  1. Ooofttt
    Such descriptive writing ... I swear my cheeks are stinging!
    Sounds like you all enjoyed a fabulous day ... we love playing board games but rarely do now as it's not often we're all home at the same time. But it's a family tradition to play games at Christmas, (something I fondly remember doing when I was a 'littlie'), and this year we received 'Logo' which is great family fun.
    Lurrrrrrve David Attenborough - hard to believe he's 87! - will look forward to the re-run on a freeview channel as we don't have Sky.
    Did some crochet myself tonight ... forgot how much I enjoy fiddling with wool. Started a baby blanket and made a wee stuffed owl - she just needs a face but will have to wait until tomorrow lol!
    Time for bed methinks ... nighty night.

    Max's Craft Creations

  2. I hope your all ok and won't get flooded again.

  3. Lovely lovely post, Wishing you all a happy new year :-)