It's January, and it is currently pissing down with rain. Ah, England, and your endless weather. We're getting off lightly down here though. The North of England seems to have been almost entirely submerged by floods, rivers bursting banks, lakes overspilling, drains backing up and exploding thousands of gallons of filthy water into the streets, and of course "localised flooding."
Localised flooding is a concept which scares the bejeezus out of me, It basically tells us that regardless of any and all flood precautions you might take, the water WILL GET YOU. It might come up through your toilets and sinks, (see backed-up drains above) or through an air-brick, after you carefully sandbagged the front door, or, most alarmingly, via a re-invigorated underground spring, deciding to emerge through your kitchen floor.
That happened to a neighbour in our village a few years ago.
We live within sight of one river and several smaller streams, all of which are currently in spate. Thankfully we also have water meadows a little way downstream, onto which, as is intended, the rivers spill when they get too full, thus preventing all the houses being submerged. This is why it's a bad idea to build houses on flood plains.
Mr WithaY was sent a photo by a mate Up North which shows her in an inflatable dinghy IN HER KITCHEN, bobbing about on water which is almost as high as her worktops. Gah.
We have had (I think) three frosts so far this winter. There are daffodils already in flower, wasps and bees are still flying about outside, and the roses in my garden are still flowering. I have to take the decision to cut them back, but it seems such a shame when they are flowering. It's almost certain that there will be a month of icy Siberian weather in March or somewhen, when we least expect it to make up for this unseasonal mildness now.
I have a new Thing for 2016. I decided that the single biggest obstacle to me doing fun stuff is my own procrastination. I used to be creative in a big way, making re-enactment kit and so on, and I realised that the reason I was highly productive was that there was always a deadline to be met.
"I must get these shirts finished for May Bank Holiday."
"I promised to get this singlet to them in time for the banquet."
"I need to make fourteen fancy dress costumes by the end of August."
Once Mr WithaY and I stopped doing re-enactment, both the reason for making so much kit vanished, as did the timetable I worked to. Last year I bought half a dozen silk saris from eBay, washed and ironed them, and they have been neatly rolled up in my fabric basket ever since. I was full of vague plans to turn them into summer dresses, or shirts or something. So far, all I have managed is a pair of curtains and a cushion cover for my study. Not good enough.
The new Thing, then, is a sort-of mantra in my head. It is JFDI, which as you may already know, stands for Just Fucking DO It. Crude but effective, it means when I think about doing something, and go a bit wishy-washy, I just think "Oh JFDI" and then get on with it. So far it works beautifully.
It means that we no longer have a three-month-old heap of ironing looming balefully at me, my clothes have been sorted and thinned out and taken to charity shops, and I am working my way through my study in preparation for a big reshuffle at the weekend. I am going to move my sewing table to where my desk is at the moment, under the window, and thus have more light and a view for when I want to sew. My PC can sit on the other side of the room where there is less natural light, but now that I am not poring over lengthy Serious And Important Documents for work, I don;t need the desk under the window.
Small but important changes.
It's also an opportunity to chuck out a ton of old junk which has drifted into corners and onto shelves over the last few years. Oh, and properly clean the floor.
Onwards and upwards, people. JFDI.