Winter windup….

Does anyone else agree with me about the weather?

I mean I know it’s been pretty miserable. The wind hasn’t stopped blowing and the rain hasn’t stopped raining. People have been without power for days over Christmas. They’ve been flooded out of their houses, there’s the possibility of more flooding to come. And lets not forget the cold weather coming over from America….

But has it really been as Armageddonly, world endingly, life will never be the same againasly, bad as the media is making out? I’m not sure it has. And I’m not sure how good it is for us to have this constant stream of bad news drip fed to us like Chinese water torture.

I began to feel uncomfortable when I heard someone on the news before Christmas saying that ‘hundreds’ of homes had been flooded. Now I know ‘hundreds’ is quite a lot of homes, and for the people who have had water pouring in through their front doors it must be an absolute nightmare. But when you think of the total number of houses in the entire country, then hundreds isn’t an awful lot. But from the way the news was being delivered in the hushed tone, prepare yourself for the most appalling news you’ve ever heard style that newsreaders these days seem to think is appropriate for everything from suicide bombings to lost dogs, you would have thought that the whole country was under water.

So then I heard that these were the worst conditions in TWO DECADES. Yes that’s right…. TWO DECADES. Now if they’d said TWO CENTURIES it seems to me that there would be good cause to feel a bit anxious. But TWO DECADES. That’s twenty years to us ordinary human beings. And twenty years doesn’t feel like that long to me. After all I’m coming up to three lots of twenty years old in a few years time. And lots of big stuff has happened weather wise in the years I’ve been around – the big storm of 1987, the winter in the early 60’s which I was very young for but can remember because we were snowed in for a very long time. And for people older than me, of which there are more than quite a few, there must be all sorts of major weather events that make what has happened these last few weeks seem…. well just in the grand scheme of things seem not quite as earth shatteringly life changing as the media would like us to believe.

I mean it was only in October last year that I read that we were all set for the worst winter since the Ice Age. And now there are all sorts of gloomy mutterings about the ‘Polar Vortex’ coming over from America. It sounds like something out of Doctor Who. But you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s just a fancy new name for something that’s been around for ever but now that it’s called something else…. now we’ve really got to start worrying about it.

So, as I say it’s not good for us. All this doom and gloom, and just you wait for what’s coming up next, makes us feel anxious and miserable and stops us living in the present and enjoying life as it is now. Take my dear lovely mother in law, who has been worrying that the world is coming to an end. For someone who has lived through a lot more hardship than a few days with the lights out it seems unfair to me that she should be worrying because of all the stuff being thrown at her by the modern news machine.

So I know it’s not a new idea but let’s sit back and look around us and start focussing on the good stuff that’s happening right here and right now. Because there’s always something.

Winter Berries
Winter Berries

I’m offering the sunshine this morning, and the colour of the berries on the trees, the bliss of getting between just laundered sheets in bed last night, the fact that I’ve nearly finished all the work for the start of term next Wednesday, the poetry of David Whyte who I’ve just discovered. And that’s just for starters.

If anybody has got any suggestions I’d love to hear them. Because I think we need to start redressing the balance.

So here’s to good news and the things that make us feel positive about life.

And a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!