Halfway through January (nearly) and so halfway through my version of winter, we have certainly been experiencing a fair range of winter weather down here in Somerset. I have been laid up with a seasonal chest infection, keeping warm in the house and not venturing out into the cold outdoors. It was very pretty to look at, but very cold indeed. Temperatures of lower than -9 are not often met with here in the south-west. My Dad’s tree fern (hardy to -15) is looking very sorry for itself. Day after day of haw frost was pretty while it lasted, but once gone, the punishment taken by plants and birds is evident. The birds hungrily consume anything put their way. The collection of terra cotta pots in the back garden are sadly fractured. As for Mary, Joseph, sheep and Inn-keeper, left out in frost and then subsequent downpour of rain… poor things , they’ll be needing more than a dry out in the boiler room I hazard!
Our Vicar has worked valiantly all week to keep things ticking over and act as sick nurse to me. Consequently I am up and about and beginning to be able to do things once more, although still very weak and tired, and troubled by a cough.
Our villages are full of people who have been ill/are ill/may be about to be ill. The latest fun and games seem to be people having falls whilst convalescent. Staircases seem to be the most dangerous spots – we must all be light-headed after illness.
Other annoyances have been freezers breaking down, central heating ditto – just at the coldest part of the year – and always the elderly or housebound affected. Isn’t that just life?
I am daily adding to my list of recipes for dealing with cattarrh (what joy!) as people give me their version. If I eat much more fruit I’ll turn into a fruit bowl.
Listening to the news, our little lives seem very protected and our trials quite small. Mind you, in the middle of the night, one can feel quite alone and frightened. We’re not always equal to what life throws at us. Perhaps our real strength is realising that and being prepared to just do our best.
By the way – isn’t it odd that the weather in Ambridge is several days behind the rest of us?
I hope that the next week or so bring us nothing we cannot deal with. All over the world communities need to work together to do whatever is best in their situation. In all our struggles about our own, let us not forget that we are part of a whole world and that we need to remain alert to needs wherever they arise.