A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Hooptedoodle #118 - It's still out there somewhere

08:19, 21st January, East Lothian, Scotland. Apollo awakes.
I understand that yesterday - 20th January - is generally accepted as the Most Depressing Day of the year in the United Kingdom. I'm not sure who said so, but intuitively that makes some sense - winter fuel bills, a bit of overspend at Christmas, lack of sunshine (and whatever vitamin that means), cold, blustery weather, and nothing much to look forward to but a couple more months of the same.

Well - ever the rebel - I found yesterday splendid. After a few days of pretty severe storms and horizontal rain, suddenly it was dead calm, and it was sunny. I got a lot of tidying up done in the garden - sorted out the woodshed, restacked all the logs. I got rid of the Christmas tree, which had  been blowing around the front lawn like an idiot. Refilled all the bird feeders, which were going like a circus all day - I even filled the big seed feeders at the edge of the wood at the bottom of the garden, and one tiny coal tit spent the morning flying backwards and forward between them, unable to believe his good fortune. I know how he felt - the calm and quiet were the biggest surprise; the day before, Sunday, normal conversation in our garden had been very difficult, because of the noise of the waves beating on the east-facing beach at Scoughall - more than a mile away.

Leaves were swept, ivy cut back - I even ventured into the wood to deal with some enormous brambles, which were attempting to push the roof off my garage. If I'd had an elephant, I would have washed it - that is the sort of day it was. This morning I may go for a short walk to inspect my born-again woodshed, to enjoy the clean floor and the faint echo, which hasn't been present since - ooh - maybe this time last year.

Last night had a bright moon, and the owls were in evidence. This morning the sun came up again - that's twice in a row…

My photo (from the upstairs bathroom window) shows Apollo just revving up his chariot somewhere behind the Lammermuirs - the town of Dunbar is about 10 miles away, beyond the left edge of the picture - more like a million miles. OK, it's just the dawn, and I'm normally too preoccupied or too grumpy to pay attention, but I am grateful.

If today is like yesterday, that will be terrific. If this is 2014, then bring it on.

10 comments:

  1. "Ever the rebel"? Rebels don't do gardens or bird feeders...the rebel tamed maybe? I am jealous of your owl though. I have not seen our local owl this year. Thanks for the chuckle.

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    1. Fair point; the alternative - scratching my butt and falling asleep over the same old book - is probably nearer to true rebellion, but doesn't feel like it. My dear friend(?) Louis points out via email that working in the garden in January is a definite symptom of depression anyway.

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  2. That's a lovely photo, though for a brief distressing second I thought I was looking at an approaching forest fire.
    A man who cares for birds like you do can't be that much of a curmudgeon, at least not on the inside. :)

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    1. I can't understand where all these birds go at night, or where they are in stormy weather. I mean, I know where they go, vaguely, but there's MILLIONS of them, man. That bothers me a little. Do you think they are happy?

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    1. Cheers, Rafa. To some extent, I put the picture here just so I can remember it during the blizzards in March.

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  4. That all sounds perfectly lovely to me. I took advantage of a blizzard with its 4G cm of snow today to declare a "snow day" even though I don't actually go to work anymore and spent the day watching old movies. But last week with all the previous snow miraculously gone 2 months early, i spent a marvelous warm sunny day in the woods with a chainsaw cleaning up windfall etc and feeling virtuous and alive.

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    1. That's exactly it - virtuous and alive. Man fights back against Nature - the bringer of entropy and untidy woodsheds - in a friendly way.

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  5. Well, I haven't got a wood shed and nothing to cut back, but I have finally shifted the last of the leaves (where do they come from?!?) and replenished the supplies for the local wood pigeons (they've intimidated the other birds). By contrast, although I acknowledge it's a job out of the way, I am unmoved. As a remedy, I've printed off your post and stuck it on the wall by the computer. Whenever I need to feel virtuous and alive I'll read it and see if it does the trick. It's likely to get some serious usage . . . ;O)

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    1. I should maybe stick it up next to my own fridge - today we were back to the deluge. Because it was Burns' Night, we had a takeaway curry from the excellent Indian restaurant in the village and a bottle of cold pinot grigio. A man's a man for a' that. I said I was a rebel.

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