We don't do pancakes. Difficult to believe it's two years since my failure to be pleasant. Both relate to Lent which I first read about in Roderick Strange's, great name for a vicar, Times article Credo. I did help an old lady out of her passenger seat on Victoria Street in Holmfirth. She didn't thank me and walked tall and straight-backed toward the bridge.
Lent is about renewal which I associate with the garden and the lambs up on Cartworth Moor. We've also come to link it with an annual visit from two gardeners, John and Irish Liam. They spring clean our Montana, Wisteria, Laurel and Leylandii. We've planted ten trees since moving in (2004), so doing our bit whilst not affiliating with the Westminster green elite who want to make our lives miserable. The Laurel is 12 feet high and 20 feet long. It sings; not just a haven for birds though, but a major hazard for a middle-aged gardener who doesn't do ladders any more. "I have to confess, it's a great relief when you've come and done the garden." "It's a great relief when I've done that hedge," replied John. Mind you he does it well enough with a long extension to his power trimmer.
Despite the wet and the chill, the early flowers, buds and shoots are out, along with a few weeds. Even daffodils we didn't know we had have appeared in the wild patch.
This year we are also emerging from a modest dark winter moment. The knee is less painful and I can stand from sitting without lurching across the room. The doc says I have to take pills for some thing I don't know I have - blood pressure. There's more to the list, but it doesn't improve on being recited.
No need to be somebody I am not. Faithful to a spiky past but trying not to dwell on it - it is simply there. Then there is Lent and we've made it through another winter. No point in contemplating a world without me and the childbride in it.
Driving through Honley on my way to the doc this morning, I noticed a chimney sweep's white van with a banner headline which suited all my feelings for that post-winter pre-medical moment, 'Up Yours'.