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It’s been a frustrating old week here…

I won’t bore you with the details, except to say, that, like many other carers, my day is never improved by having to deal with people who haven’t done what they said they would, can’t manage to make appointments for tests before the appointment with the consultant to discuss the results and want us to have ‘assessments’ when we already know that they don’t have the services we need.

But you can take it from me that I needed a big dose of positivity so off I went to two of my favourite authors, Fiona Ferris and Jennifer Melville. Neither of them are self-help exactly, but they’ve come to my rescue again and again when I’m not sure whether to cry or scream but don’t dare to do either in case I find that I can’t stop.

Both of them write about the little things you can do to make everything more fun, and Jennifer’s ‘Cosy Up’ and Fiona’s ‘How to be Chic in Winter’ are both a wonderful distraction and a very necessary reminder of all the things I can control. I like Jennifer’s acknowledgement that we aren’t designed to want to rush round in bad weather. We’re genetically programmed to want to snuggle in, keep warm and eat fat and sugar so we have readily available energy. (Often described as chocolate or biscuits which are my particular vices.)

So I’ve snuggled and cosied up and finished repairing the quilt I made for my Mum. I made while visiting her while she was in hospital and it was on her bed when she died and it's about as un white as you can get. It's also been pretty much loved to death but the seams have all been reinforced and embroidered now and every day I worked on it helped me find happy memories of her.

.When the world was at its darkest and nastiest I snuggled under it with a book and blocked it all out for a while and it was a massive help because for a few minutes I could feel her love and confidence that I would cope with whatever life threw at me. Because, as she often said, I didn’t have much choice. What I could choose was how I reacted to it, so I am GOING to have a good week come what may.

The storms seem to have passed and it’s cold and dry so I can wrap up warmly and get out for a walk. Or better still, lots of walks so I can enjoy the chocolate chip shortbread that’s cooking in the oven with a clear conscience. The bulbs are coming up in the garden and the lovely new solar lights I spent my Christmas money on because they’re always reduced in January are sending out a golden light that reminds me that winter will be over someday.

And today, here in Dorset, marks the first day when the mornings get lighter. Okay, it’s only a minute, but by the end of the week it’ll be four minutes lighter in the mornings and from then on it’ll get lighter faster and faster. So of course it’s going to be good, and I hope you’ll find ways to make it good too and that the world isn’t so flaming annoying sometimes for you!

But there's still a lot of good in my world so here’s a nice picture of people out in boats in the Harbour. Soon they’ll be heading out on adventures and I can too in the warmth and comfort of my own home. And then I’ll share them with you, and I’ve got some wonderful new characters who deserve nasty things to happen to them after this week… Don’t worry, their identities will be changed to protect the guilty!

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