How bin ya? (As they say in these parts). Well I wish I could say that I've partied as much as the UK government or experienced as much adrenalin as Prince Andrew in the week since my last blog, but I can't. The past seven days have bled into each other; a blur of work, eating, screen time, sleep and repeat.
My sleep has been troubled this week and I've certainly had no need for an alarm call - a woodpecker has ensured that I've been wide awake by 6.30 every morning. We sleep with the window open most evenings (Lotte's escape route, plus I like fresh air), so this has eased the sonic flow of woodpecker drilling into my ears. Did you know that woodpeckers drill not just for insects, but to make their nests - essentially hollows in tree trunks? Even more impressive, when you consider the impact of drilling wood on a Woodpecker's tiny bird skull, is the fact that many of their nests could easily accommodate a duck!
On the subject of birds, Robin's were always referred to as "red breasts" because the first recorded use of the word orange as a colour name in English was not until 1502 in a description of clothing purchased for Margaret Tudor.
I discover all of these little gems during nocturnal reading sessions.
Winter has really delivered this week and courtesy of sleep deprivation, icy roads and a pressing deadline, I haven't gone far. These photos were taken around 10 paces from our front door earlier in the week.
I have also grappled with a rather weighty issue - my hair. It probably needs a trim, but the length is giving me more versatility to try out new styles, like this twenties hairstyle (inspired by the forthcoming Peaky Blinders series and my love of the era's fashion), involving Dutch braids, a small plaited bun and multiple hair partings.
There! Apart from my scruffs and the unglamorous bathroom selfies, I'm all ready for the new roaring twenties.
This week's additional screen time has largely been devoted to completing the script I've been working on.
Last year I made a promise to myself to submit it to the annual BBC Writer's Room Open Call. It's really been more of a challenge to myself; a case of "I've started, so I'll finish", rather than being borne out of any expectation of being identified as the next Jed Mercurio. However, when I realised on the morning of yesterday's midday deadline that our internet was down, I confess to almost having a little cry. A screenwriter on Twitter attempted to come to my aid, but fortunately, my prayers to the cyber gods were answered and at precisely 11.58 am I hit the SUBMIT button, spotted the acknowledgment drop into our inbox and promptly headed out into the mist of the National Trust managed Kinver Edge. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants!
Thursday was quite simply magical. The beguiling partnership of a hoar frost and rolling mist set the scene first thing, but unusually the mist didn't dissipate as the day worn on. Instead, the sun broke through in spectacular style, sending sun beams from the heavens and shards of light in amongst the trees....
picking out pathways, foliage and spider's webs...
We were so in awe of the ever changing landscape,
that we spent around two hours soaking it all in and chatting with other walkers and photographers, marvelling at the vista,
And so, to this morning, 14th January, the day of my birthday and yet another wintry wonderland awaits...and a Covid positive test result for our son (but let's not dwell on the C word). Here are a couple of shots from our glistening garden.
It's also Dave Grohl's Birthday (Happy Birthday Dave! I know you'll be reading) and National Dress Up Your Pet Day. I don't fancy my chances of separating Lotte from her pizza box, do you?
On this day in 1514, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery and in 1978, the Sex Pistols performed their final show at Winterland, San Francisco.
And there ends the history lesson.
Hand on heart, I am really loving this season, but that's not to say I'm not looking forward. Finally and tentatively, I feel like making plans in 2022 and the first date on the calendar so far this year is in May, the day I plan to run away with the circus - Giffords Circus to be precise. It's an enchanting, nostalgia-steeped village green summer circus with a supermodel and rock star fan base. We went a number of years ago and I've been desperate to return ever since. This year, Vix and Jon will be joining us.
Tickets aren't cheap, but they are worth every penny. So if you find yourselves in the Cotswolds area from April to September, grab a ticket while you still can. Here's the link Giffords Circus | Experience the magic of Giffords Circus and brilliant artwork courtesy of Joseph Avery.
Hope you've had a good week. See you soon!