First of all to yoga class where the wonderful Patti smooths us out and calms us down and makes my shoulders a little less like a block of wood. I imagine that all the driving we are doing up and down to see my father is not helping my shoulders but as I can't do much about that I can make a big effort to stretch out my shoulder muscles. I try to tell myself I will do the exercises at home by myself but it is surprisingly difficult to discipline oneself to do it and impossible to do any yoga exercise at home half as well as I do it under Patti's careful and sympathetic eye.
Then shopping, baking and a little wander about in the gently lengthening day.
Trees and hedges are still bare and stark but there is something about the quality of the light which says it is not too far from spring. The sheep will be out in the fields in a little while but for now they are lower down closer to the farms.
I sit on my newly covered window seat to check my phone. How long have I been planning a proper seat here? Oh just the nine years or so. No idea what took me so long.
A message comes through from my daughter in law thanking me for a little jacket I have just knitted for youngest grandson. He is so round and smiley, like a baby from a picture book.
Outside the snowdrops are out. It must be nearly time for the annual and anal snowdrop count. Every year it proves to me that my snowdrops are indeed spreading and running their rivers of snow out across the garden. I don't feel anal enough today and the wind has a keen, cold edge to it that sends me scuttling inside.
In the kitchen it is warm and full of the glorious smell of baking lemon cake. There are tulips on the table, a gift from some lovely friends who came to see us earlier in the week.
At the moment Ian is reading "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande, a Christmas present from me. You may feel this is something of a morbid present but I don't. I heard the author give one of the Reith lectures and admired his honesty, intelligence and compassion. Here is a review if you want to know more. The book examines our attitudes to ageing and death and looks at how the ending of life matters. Is it the awareness of our own mortality that sharpens our perceptions? It is a truism I suppose. But somehow today, despite the losses of the last year or so as both my mother and Ian's father have died and despite the ongoing difficulty of my father's illness and decline, sitting on the window seat I found myself suddenly profoundly content, feeling the pale winter sun coming through the window, the tulips bright in the vase, the scent of the cake filling the room. Life is good.
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
― William Morris