I have been moaning about the weather this week, because the gales that have killed dozens of people across Europe have made it difficult for me to get to work (okay, so clearly it could be worse).
It took me an hour and forty-five minutes to get to work the other day, just travelling across Cambridge, because a series of accidents, combined with more people in cars because of the foul weather, resulted in gridlock on the arterial road from the centre of Cambridge to my office. It made me grumble that I may as well be working in London – though of course people actually commuting to London were even more ensnarled, with lots of trains not running at all as a precaution.
Though freezing conditions and possibly snow are forecast next week, today has been a reprieve. A blue sky morning motivated me to cycle to work, which gave me the natural high I’m using to get through the winter. To make me feel even better in a sadistic kind of way, I discovered courtesy of ABC online that parts of South Australia are being flooded by record rainfalls – and that’s in the middle of summer!
That knowledge staved off any pangs of homesickness I had lurking inside me. I’m also buoyed by the anticipation of another overseas Australia Day, which I enjoyed thoroughly in Canada, and intend to celebrate with equal enthusiasm here.
It looks like we’re not going away for Ian’s birthday after all, because after booking delays prices skyrocketed, so we decided on a bigger, better ‘joint birthday’ trip in about six weeks. The upside is we will be in Cambridge for Australia Day, so can rally our Aussie friends together and celebrate with the amplified nationalism one develops overseas.
It’s so windy here today the hedge is almost getting blown to pieces, bits of leaf are smashing against the window like disoriented birds. The tall, dense trees in the park look like they’re being strangled, their tops shaking violently, while the willowy ones are reaching over, holding on to their fronds.
It’s not yet wet, but the dark grey sky suggests it will be.
So far I’ve managed to escape seasonal affective disorder, that lethargic and depressed feeling that accompanies a lack of sunshine. The exercise I get cycling and walking everywhere despite the weather keeps my mood up.
There are limits though.
On Saturday Ian and I made our usual trip to the market to stock up, extra important since we’d been living on the dregs of the kitchen since returning from our holiday. It was pouring outside, so Ian was hesitant, but I convinced him to rally against the weather.
We set out each with an umbrella in hand, and tried to juggle bundling fruit and veg in bags with one hand while holding an umbrella in the other. We got wet.
After two hours of steady rain the water had soaked through my boots into my socks. Finally we had a brief reprieve, when the rain settled back to a light spray, like in a glasshouse, so we folded our umbrellas and stocked up both arms with bags, trudging home. I pulled off my boots and collapsed on the bed.
I’m a trooper though – Rosie and I had agreed to go sales shopping, so I got up, put on a different pair of shoes and set out again into the foul weather. The sales wait for no woman!