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We have hit the long haul with winter. When endless dark days and nights prevail. Storms, wind, mud and water.


Ah, but there are green shoots. Lurking under ancient trees, we see the green stems of daffodils popping out. The occasional grey squirrel scurries across the old graveyard. Ivy, in one of her winter jumpers, gallops through gravestones to find the brave squirrel.


Remembering the snow in December that was thick and long-lasting. It suffocated our plants in the outside area. The Japanese maple tree was not spared; it is an upturned fork. But the crunch of snow under our boots meant child-like squeals of joy.


Slowly we blend into the village when we walk Ivy: wellies, knitted hats and no jarring colours. Yet, all attempts to fade are ruined by Ivy when she spots another dog peacefully walking and she erupts into an AK-47 barking frenzy. We mumble under our breath “sorry, she is a madam, but she is a really well-behaved dog”. The usual saga. In summer, I am going to get us T-shirts for when we walk Ivy, saying “sorry about the noise”.


We avoid the news on telly. No change in strategy there. Too much is repetitive and avoidable. Instead, we are glued to British series when not reading. This is our comfort food. Add to this, tea, soft lighting and naps. We must have been hibernating humans down the evolutionary line.


We do long for the blue sky. When it comes, it must be caught quickly. It also means it is extra cold with no clouds to put a lid on the dash of heat that may remain. Last weekend we found seats in the sun outside a coffee shop. Like lizards, we sat there immobile soaking-up the weak sun rays and it felt glorious. Vitamin D, inner warmth and outside air are a combined remedy for jaded minds.


Knowing that seasons will change, bringing with it the chance to open shutters, windows and doors. Opening-up the grey minds to look beyond.