Not being funny or anything, but I fucking hate February. And this one's turning out more vicious than most. The real freeze combined with the pay freeze = less money just when you need more. The end of January wasn't quite beans on toast, but only because I had a Significant Birthday and allowances were made.
And I never quite got back into my (already not much more than desultory) exercise routine - weekly yoga, weekly-ish swimming, bit of cycling round the place - after I had that chunk cut out of my foot. It's a dangerous thing for the middle-aged to lose their routines. Disaffection spreads, and so do midriffs.
A wise woman looked at the two of us and suggested snowdrop therapy. We looked at each other and figured it was worth a go. And so it was that we bundled up late on a frosty morning and headed over to Welford Park
A note for the under 60s: you will stand out like a sore thumb. But it is a remarkable place and I thoroughly recommend it. Snowdrops do their thing for a scant month of the year, and to dedicate your whole grounds to them takes serious class. Which they have at Welford Park, as well as lots of soup, cake and jam. Oh, and sausages
. It's like a day trip to a pre-war universe.
I also got to play with the camera on my new iPhone, which is basic but which delivered some pleasing results
But I was also wearing sunglasses (it was sunny, but also a bit hailing) because I had a headache. And I have had a headache, on and off, for the last fortnight. It's probably a virus, and the case of dark, dark red Australian wine that my dad sent me for my birthday* probably hasn't helped.
But there have been days of lying in a darkened room, necking codeine and clutching my temples, shouting at people I quite often want to shout at but normally manage not to, and general low-to-medium grade misery. I went to the doctor, who took some blood to check for various terrifying brain conditions, but said that it was probably indeed a virus and would go away in due course.
In the small bursts of energy I get when I don't think I'm dying of a terrifying brain condition, I have been doing spring anticipation activities like planting garlic, darning jumpers, changing the bed (not something that can be contemplated while there's no chance of line drying) and cleaning the oven.
And, like the birds and the bees, I wait.
* The last two bottles left are both called Willy Willy
. I think there's probably some Freudian reluctance stopping me opening them. But I expect I'll get over it shortly.