In the last few days, we have taken our first steps into this whole new year before us, returning to work, school and day-to-day routines after the suspension of business as usual the end of December always brings.
Over the last week I have enjoyed the settling back into the normal – the dark evenings at home with dinner cooking and the rats clamouring at the cage door to join in; the mornings curled with them on the settee, drinking the first coffee of the day and watching light ebb into the world outside; the peace and solitude of the barn after work, horses ushered in early; the warmth of meeting with friends for catch-ups at the end of the day, fingers wrapped gratefully round hot chocolates in glass mugs; the brand new notebook open on my desk at work; and the easy reading of book after book in wrapped-up lunchbreaks.
Today, in our little corner of the world, we are not only metaphorically stepping into a new and untouched world stretching ahead, but physically too, surrounded as we are in a bright white blanket of snow.
I love living somewhere where the weather is unpredictable and changeable, where rain bounces off the ground, wind rattles at the barn roof, the sun rises crimson, when the mood takes it, and clouds cast shadows across our days. There’s possibly no weather I love more, however, than the slow tumble of snow to the ground in a peaceful swirl, and the hush that seems to arrive with it, suspending everything else as it falls.
One of the things I love most about snow is the way it changes everything, adds a brightness that otherwise doesn’t exist – you don’t even have to open the curtains in the morning to know that snow has fallen, the light of the room is so completely different, unique to these few days when everything around us is changed by nature.
This morning, slowly and carefully stepping Charmer out for his day in the field, we only had the first hint of it – icy ground, frozen water buckets, a light dusting on the tracks and a white in the sky.
By now, we are surrounded, and have spent the morning watching the flakes fall from the office window.
As I write for the first time in 2017, and first time in a good few weeks, I do have a new (and appropriately snowy) face to introduce to this little blog.
On Christmas Eve we welcomed home a new member of our little animal family, Marley, a gorgeous pink-eyed champagne dumbo rat. We were not expecting to add to our brood, but circumstances had changed for the lovely girl we adopted Reuben and Perry from back in November and she needed to rehome Marley too, who had previously lived with our boys, and asked if we would take him on.
It wasn’t something we could possibly have said no to, and as it happened he was the easiest new acquisition we’ve ever had by a long shot, clearly remembering R & P well and happily curling up with them within ten minutes, no re-introducing required! With us too, he’s been a gem, he’s a total softie and absolutely loves a cuddle.
Our old man Ty is continuing to live alone for the moment, not managing to settle down with any of the others, but enjoying his time out with us, and his limited contact with the others in their neighbouring cage.
Reuben, Perry and Marley are very settled in their new group and forming an increasingly playful rabble on their adventures round the living room at night.
As we step onto the new path ahead of us, I am looking forward to time with all the pets, enjoying both the crisp snap of winter and the first hints of spring, and writing and reading here.
Hope you are all having a good week. X