November Review: Calpol & Damp Leaves
Here’s my review of the first of the dark months…
November and the first of the Nasty Winter Bugs hit the household. Piglet first, then the baby. A gruesome cough and a temperature. Nothing spectacular but it wiped them out for over a week. Being stuck at home with two poorly little ones makes for a looooooong day. I was getting a bit bogged-down in the stuckness and feeling a bit sorry for myself. Then, one evening, I was doing Trix’s bedtime and I sniffed her wee head and it smelled of calpol and milk, and her hair was so fuzzy soft against my cheek, and my heart melted. I want to remember all that forever, and the way she reaches for me in her sleep. And I want to remember the smells of November-with-little-ones forever: calpol, damp leaves, bonfires, playdough.
Feeling better after a bug seems to be euphoric for Piglet. When he was mostly mended, we did a big walk into the woods to Kingfisher Corner (no kingfisher, though, although we did see the dipper). He was absolutely bursting at the seams with reckless energy. He wanted us to repeatedly dump piles of leaves on his head (which we did with glee), and he threw himself over and over again into a pile of compost. We had a flask of coffee and ate iced buns that Piglet & I had decorated to look like toadstools and I felt 100% happy. I keep having these wee bursts of happiness that are so overwhelming they feel almost physically painful.
November has been full of misty mornings. Ghostly starts, bright days. We’ve had the first of the frosty mornings, too, although it has been a weirdly warm November overall. One Sunday we had our Sunday lunch at the picnic bench in the garden, no coats on, and a confused bee wandered past. The last few days have been much colder, with proper hard frosts. Our fancy new air-source heat-pump hasn’t been working for the last 11 days and the house is bloomin’ freezing. I have to work hard constantly to check my privilege otherwise I would moan non-stop about the heating being broken. I told Ross I thought I was going to die of cold this morning when I got out the shower: such melodrama. Must be hardier. Must be more grateful. Breaks my heart to think of parents who can’t afford to heat their homes this winter. Must do better, government.
It is dark when we get up in the mornings, and dark again by 4.30pm. Less than a month to go until the shortest day. I’m excited to get out the twinkly lights, light the advent candle, and have a festival of light to get us through the darkest month of the year.
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