These are the days when Liv tries out her recently learnt skill of sarcasm at every opportunity. So this morning, loudly: “What a surprise! Imogen being cross at breakfast!”. (Mouths exaggeratedly across the table at me “Being Sarcastic”).
These are the days of “wintery showers”. Last night’s snow lay crisp and firm this morning and the whole world feels quiet and cold. It’s my favourite kind of morning. We wear our welly boots and inspect the other footprints on the way to school, the paw prints, the tiny (dancing) bird feet.
These are the days when it’s hard to sleep, the days of winter bugs and sniffles that won’t go away, the days when someone in the house is sick. These are the days of reading past your bedtime, tucked up with a hot water bottle and Inspector Gamache. These are the days when Imogen likes to sneak in like a ninja in the early hours and nestle her curly head beside mine.
These are the days of listening to Kate Winslet narrate audio books. The Far Away Tree. Matilda. These are the days Kate has upped the expectations from our children at bedtime – “Do the voices!”. These are the days my daughter notices that my Highway Rat voice is the same as my Pharaoh voice (which is the same as my Mr Wormwood voice, of course).
These are the days of Deep Questions about Life. Liv is talking about apples and death as we wait at the traffic lights for the green man. The Garden. The Serpent. Eve. “Is it true?” she asks me. I pause. “It seems true to me,” I answer slowly, “because we want the wrong thing sometimes, we take what isn’t good for us.” These are the days of questions that cannot be answered at traffic lights.
These are the days of porridge, every morning, to warm the cockles of our heart. (“I have 21 hearts,” Imogen declared this morning. “I actually do. Stop laughing.”) These are the days of comfort food. A big pot of curry for dinner, or a chippy. These are the days when the hardest thing about reading Inspector Gamache is not the suspense of who the killer is, or how worried I am about the Inspector (a lot), but how hungry it makes me. I want to be at Oliver’s Bistro by the fire with a café au lait and a roast beef and horseradish croissant. It is a kind of torture to read these words on a winter night: croquet-monsieur, crisp baguette with paté, coq au vin, mound of frites, crème brûlée, chocolate mousse.
These are the days of snow and sarcasm and sniffles and snuggles and stories. These are the days of hibernation and craving comfort. These are days when it can be hard not to take the apple. These are the days when we need to be nourished instead, to look at bird tracks in the snow and to try out our sarcasm at breakfast.
What’s filling your days this winter?