Sprees Of Storm And Spending


foreground of a willow arch, twigs sticking up like wild hair, background of stormy sky

12/2/22 Saturday
Another Saturday not on shift: got my yellow Welfare garb on again for a colour belt grading. Parents and carers are not allowed in the building. I stand on the door to remind them ‘Graders only past this point.’ I do let folks in to use the toilet though, that seems the civilised thing to do.
Afterward, we go to Homeleigh Garden Centre to make dream plans for hedging and edging. The lure of seed packets costs us £40. Having a land budget makes us feel rich, and scared. It can only be spent once. Dreams are worth a risk. We are cold from our shrub browsing so we get pasties for lunch and eat them in the car, which is parked opposite a row of daffodils and purple crocus. This evening I make an inventory of seeds, then we feast on leftovers, we let Dog have lamb bones to munch.

13/2/22 Sunday
Regret giving Dog the bones. Mr cleans up the carpet, then makes coffee. It’s just before 7am, there’s a swoosh of wild weather in the dark, raindrops on the window panes catching the lamplight.
As though the sun had decided to stay under the bed covers, daylight arrived fleece-soft and grey.
On my commute I view the sea, it is sage-green, dreaming under blankets of mist. One gorse bush reaches its thorn-legs onto the road, tap-tapping, ready to scuttle.

14/2/22 Monday
Take a lunchtime walk, braving the flooded subway from Asda car park. Ahead of me a little lady laden with bags sits on a bench to rest and smoke. A seagull sidles up in hope of food but she only sits and coughs. I have a feeling like they are familiar with each other- as I pass the gull hops out of my way before returning and the lady is smiling at it, a relaxed, hello again sort of a smile. I have my beak-bright yellow coat on, she smiles at me too. In town, I scan the charity shops: two handbags, one scarf, one book, one pair of jewelled sandals, two pairs of curtains, all purchased.
A £14.50 spree! I am bedazzled, as though these are all surprise gifts.

15/2/22 Tuesday
Measure the bargain curtains (£3.50 a pair) and to be safe bag one up to take with us. Pop to town, to Threads, to find blackout thermal lining and pencil pleat tape. This adds £47 to the cost but will make enough curtainage (I made this word up and stand by it) for all four front windows. Rush home to break the spending streak (especially being as we’re in Threads and it’s a trove of colour and texture and Things To Make). 
Rain pounds the tinny roof of the Okehampton Table Tennis Club where we teach every Tuesday evening; we can hear the river rush by. We had to bring Dog with us, making her a cosy bed in the back of the car since her incontinence is not compatible with attending class like she used to; turns out it’s not that compatible with snoozing in the back of the car either. All the bedding, luckily, is washable. 

16/2/22 Wednesday
At work, I get the disco lights going, Care client has her keyboard playing loud. She presses the demo switch and between the tunes and the spiralling lights sends herself into a splendid doze.
Back at home, Mr has the sewing table set up, he has been thinking about how to remake the bargain curtains from lightweight tab tops to draught-stopping track tops. 
I cook lamb chops while Dog, who has been fed, paces the kitchen to see if there are any spare. I have put some cauliflower leaves in the lamb pot to treat her with later. 
The wind roars across the valley: here be dragons, says I. 
Dog huffs.
I want the lamb, she says, not leaves, not dragons; dropping herself down at my feet, sighing. 

17/2/22 Thursday
Last night, we fell asleep listening to the tail of a storm; this morning we wake to a calm sky, striated and pretty. Only one playful spring breeze and the noisy birds are stirring. We sit in bed listening to birdsong, and the ones that can’t sing too. From here I view a wren in the thin pine branches, the size of a flea, and a pigeon on the polytunnel, no bigger than my thumbnail. 

18/2/22 Friday
Our plan to visit the land is postponed by weather- yesterday’s zephyr grew into Storm Eunice, carrying an impressive red warning from the meteorological office. Schools are closed, emergency centres open. We will have to take this seriously. But first we drink coffee and are entertained by a pigeon’s unwieldy landing in the ivy hedge, and the flight path blips of a magpie. One roof tile hangs from our house corner- they drop like guillotines, we will give that a wide berth should we leave the house. Cloud mountains swoosh past like sped-up film, then the sky is ghost-grey, and no birds fly. 
Midday report: three roof tiles have hurtled onto the driveway. Vehicles parked out of range. Sunny and stormy like the weather is enjoying this rampage.
Mr is making a curtain.
Evening report: Weather is calming down. We are dog sitting the LoveMe Labrador- she arrives with nothing as the shops were shut, so no supplies had been purchased. Old Dog is annoyed but soon settles in, for being annoyed takes up energy. I make them both a gourmet supper, with a side salad of cauli leaf and red cabbage, because why not?
We miss the land and wonder how it has fared- is the stable still roofed? Is the hollow trunked oak holding up? Is our dead hedge walking?
The curtain is finished, it looks cute, cottage appropriate.
Old Dog slumbers on the sofa. The LoveMe Lab lies her head on my chest. 'We'll buy you some food tomorrow,' we tell her, 'it will all turn out nice.'
Tails wag and all is well dear readers; budgets, weather, dogs; it will all turn out nice.

Background: cottagey living room, stripey curtains. Black labrador snoozes in an armchair, Brown and white spaniel lies on a sofa, looks huffy.

Comments

Steve Cromwell said…
Looks like the dogs found great places to bunker down in the storm. And curtainage is most certainly a word, or at least it is now. Shakespeare made up words, too, so you're in good company.
Lisa Southard said…
Writers need licence to invent :-) Our dogs need cosiness, and supper- they care not about curtainage, the only words they need relate to walks, food, and whether they are allowed on the furniture.

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