Colds, whistles, buttons and plywood.

January seems to have gone on for ever. It’s always a sombre month but this year in Westdean it’s excelled in dreariness. No snow, no floods, no hurricane force winds, no sun…in short nothing dramatic to complain about nor any joyful days to lighten the gloom. Just unrelenting melancholic low cloud, mist and cold. And to make matters worse everyone seems to have had the lurg, not helped by the local GP cheerfully saying ‘ah, you’ve got the 90 day virus’. So venturing into the garden for anything more than opening the greenhouse door or getting logs in for the fire has been a non-starter.

Luckily we’ve got Taz (the dog not the postman) to cheer us up (Taz the postman is always cheery despite his shorts and frozen knees). He (the dog, luckily not the postman) is also more cheerful now that he’s had his - how can I say this delicately - I won’t bother - his balls removed. Not that he was happy on the day itself…we’ve never seen a dog so miserable, but then, I suppose so would I have been. 

But now that he’s recovered he’s off to dog training lessons and that’s where whistles come in…one blast for sit, two blasts for wait and three blasts for come back you little bugger.

Staying with us for a few days, granddaughter Bay was mesmerised by Rosie’s collection of old buttons. I suspect most grandmothers have a button box though I doubt that custom will last much longer as haberdashery, sadly, is a dead duck for today’s young.

Having been disparaging about January’s weather it was actually quite pleasant today so I trotted into the garden to see what’s what. The oranges in the greenhouse are looking almost edible, the hellebores are blooming, the garlic and broads are poking up and the snowdrops and bulbs are, I reckon, about a fortnight ahead of last year.

But what about plywood? Have a look at this:  It’s our son Sebastian’s latest passion, alongside his cycling. His wife Gemma climbs rocks but her real passion (Sebastian apart) is making curtains and blinds        Creativity, you see, is not dead after all. Hurrah.