The end-of-winter blues

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Spring, spring, when will it be spring? Trish and Zola at the Parc Florale

Lord, I’ve been feeling fed-up lately. 

Work seems to be a treadmill and I’ve had no time to do the daily walk that keeps me sane, the weather’s been bloody awful, my computer is dying on its little rubber feet, I’ve got conjunctivitis and eye strain so I haven’t been able to go swimming, my dog’s got congestive heart failure and my cat’s got thyroid cancer, the DH is feeling overwhelmed and depressed and on Friday I finally got sick.

I’d managed to avoid it all winter by avoiding ill people and obsessively washing my hands (with an auto-immune disease, I can’t be too careful – I wear gloves when I shop and wash my hands before and after unpacking the shopping etc) but when I took the dog to the vet, the receptionist was full of cold and I think I must have picked it up from there. I hit my bed at 4.00pm Friday afternoon with the shivers, nausea and a blinding headache, and didn’t get up till the next morning. 


But heck, no wonder we are tired. We didn’t get a holiday last year because of our cancer cat, who need dosing every day, and I think we are just feeling worn out. We haven’t had a break since November 2011 and barely a day off either – we usually do a six-day week and often a seven-day week. I can’t remember, I really can’t, the last time I had any FUN. Just pure fun. And oh I am sick and tired of being COLD. Ack. I fucking hate winter. This is my 49th and every damn one of them seems to get harder. 

It didn’t help that our last load of wood, from a new supplier, was hopelessly unseasoned and isn’t giving out much heat, plus which it created so much tar we had to get the chimney swept mid-winter, which is unheard of. The bedroom temperature’s been as low as 9 degrees (teach me to live in a medieval shitpile instead of a normal house like a normal person), the kitchen is about 10 and you can see your breath in there. Every day is a task of donning ski thermals and fleece layers asap and spending the day hunched against the cold, all of which is do-able when you’re feeling well, but doesn’t feel so do-able when you’re unwell.   

Still, all is not lost. Yesterday I worked like a dog to get work out of the way, and today we finally – yay! – managed to get out to the Parc Floral de Haute Bretagne. I really wanted to take the dog to the sea, which he loves, because I don’t know how long we’ve got him for, but he knows the park and I think it was enough for him right now. At least he seems to be coughing less on his new diruetics. 

Oh la. Let us be thankful for small mercies. My swimming mask has arrived, so I can now risk the pool again, thank heavens (I couldn’t get a mask round here for love nor money – I was told they wouldn’t be in stock before April – how the hell is a swimming mask a seasonal item?), and the Abufène the doc put me on in the hopes of fixing these hot flushes does, fingers crossed, seem to be working and I am finally getting 5-6 hours sleep a night, which feels miraculous after 3 or 3.5 hours had become the norm. 

And my new Macbook Pro is on its way and might just get here before this one dies. And the days are getting slightly longer, just a couple of minutes a day. My David Austin roses have turned up (this year, deep crimsons of Guinée, Etoile d’Hollande and Crimson Glory (Climbing), and even in the chopped-back Parc, the odd camellia and witch hazel were giving just a hint of promise. Oh, and the the new Lands’ End Stadium Coat was the perfect garment for walking around in an icy wind – lightweight, waterproof and totally windproof.

OK: rant over, but finally, finally, are we seeing the end of winter? I hope so, because right now, I have really had enough. 

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