Only mad dogs (Monty) and mad Englishwomen (clearly Margot) would leave the house just after 6am for a trek through a muddy wasteland. A full moon this morning made me feel even more crazy than the villagers already think I am. Mud mud mud everywhere. I do promise dear Reader that I won’t bang on about the weather but we are beginning to feel as though we ought to have bought an ark rather than an old cottage leaking under the pressure of days (weeks….months…..need I say more) of torrential rain. Our sitting room ceiling has had a soaking and the bay window has the added glamour of being covered in a tasteful blue tarpaulin to allow for some drying out. Fat chance! With yet more rain on the cards, the wet dog and I have been forced to venture out for early morning walks as these days, Poppy (a demon of terrible twos), has taken to refusing to walk for more than 100 yards before sitting in the middle of the road, screaming to be carried. All efforts to sit in a backpack have fallen by the wayside as she is now far too big for it and before you suggest it, dear Reader, getting her to hitch a ride in the buggy is a battle of wills which only the steeliest of grown ups could face. I have more than a handful of times carried her on my hip for a mile whilst Monty pulls us along but quite frankly, that idea has now been binned as completely impractical too. So walking in the dark before dawn is the only option the poor hound and I have left for now. Donned in my finest garb (muddy boots, black beanie hat, one of Jerry’s old jumpers and even muddier jeans), I look a magnificent sight first thing in the morning, I can tell you. The headlamp strapped to my head is an added style bonus (thanks Juniper for that Christmas pressie). Usually I am up to the woods and round the village before being spotted. However, not this morning. A voice called out good morning from a muddy field (another mad Englishwoman with headlamp on tending to her horses in the field across the road) and I was forced to hold a conversation with no make up on and looking the picture of country glamour. Note to self: Do not scare locals first thing with your ‘just got out of bed’ look. Some things are better left unseen.
I seem to spend my life looking like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards since we moved from town to country. Gone are the days when I used to look into the wardrobe and find a pair of shoes and matching handbag for every outfit. Footwear of choice these days? The ever practical WELLINGTON BOOT. Can be worn for any occasion I don’t doubt, dear Reader. Lordy……just realised that I might just be morphing into Barbara – can’t remember the last time I wore a pair of heels (or shoes come to think of it) that weren’t covered in mud.
Jerry and I even trek to dinner parties in wellies – I say trek, more like stumbling on and off roadside verges yelling at the sight of headlights along the lane or wading across fields in the dark with a dodgy torch panicking about being eaten by foxes, badgers or the mythical village mountain lion. (We still haven’t got the hang of not being able to call a taxi to get us home. Why are there NO taxis in the countryside?) Perhaps my new wardrobe saviour will be these little beauties from Rollasole? Love the idea of having a pair of stylish flats curled up in my handbag (more likely the pocket of Jerry’s Barbour) ready to wear when I reach my destination! How did I not know these existed? Maybe I can persuade Jerry to buy me a pair in every colour…….