I left it in draft, feeling slightly better for having expressed my deep gloom and anxiety in words, and without passing them on to other people; I don't know about you, but sometimes talking to other angry, upset, scared people doesn't help at all, and just amplifies my own misery. And as these grim periods will, the feelings of despair faded.
"This too shall pass" (which I once heard said in Gaelic, sounding utterly beautiful) is one of those immensely helpful phrases to keep in mind when I'm feeling low, because of its profound accuracy.
Later, I deleted all that I had written for my blog, and wrote a more positive account, about the haven of home, the reassurance of domestic life, Four Horsemen on the horizon rather than at my elbow.
I even put some cheerfulness into the next post, with photos.
And Blogger ate it. Didn't leave a scrap to show I had ever been there, glooming and unglooming over the keyboard for over a week.
Oh drat. Start again.
So here are some photos, without the previous accounts of my fluctuating emotional state to accompany them.
Looking round my home this morning, on a dark wet day, I wanted to show what was comforting and reassuring. This is what I saw:
The Gardener, cheerfully painting an ugly (not old, not original) black beam in the small cramped kitchen, whose ceiling now looks higher for its beam being changed to a watery grey-blue. He had earphones in, and sang along (tunelessly, as one often does with earphones in place) to something unidentifiable; tomorrow he will do the final coat and then move on to other pressing painting jobs.
Cats glued to their heated pads, sensibly avoiding venturing out into the rain, whiling away the hours until dinnertime. What a life.
Cups of tea and slices of buttered home-made Blacksmith's Tea Loaf for elevenses. I baked! I haven't baked for ages, and had forgotten how much I enjoy it. This is one of those tea loaves that improves with keeping, and on day 3, was just right.
A little set of cleaning tools ordered for Baby E. He loves to chase the broom or the vacuum cleaner at home, and is a high-speed crawler; if you are the one doing the sweeping, you find yourself overtaken and your efforts seriously hampered by a small but determined 'helper'. He's going to love these.
They prompted me to find a very old photograph of Baby E's own father, aged about two, also 'helping' his Grandma as she scrubbed the tiled hall; he preferred to sweep the pavement:
Christmas presents, mostly books; I can't share what they are, but they are serious and informative, offering a wider and more balanced view of what is going on in the world than the biased reports of our hate-filled media. I think the recipients, serious and well-informed themselves, are going to be pleased.
And so the day went on, placidly, purposefully, and really rather productively. I didn't set foot outside at all, as dark, wet and windy is not my ideal weather, but I sorted through cupboards and trunks, found the Christmas decorations - and the lights all worked! - and the gift I had put away safely (i.e. forgotten where I'd put it) for my sister, whom I will be visiting in a week. The Gardener walked the dog, I made dinner, and we lit the wood burner. Cats forsook their heated pads to join the dog in front of the fire; we toasted our toes. We had a FaceTime call with the family, Baby E pressing up against the computer, fascinated by the small on-screen image of his Grandpa, and we all looked forward to Christmas, when we will be together, here.
I feel better. Home is where the heart is; my heart is always in my home. I know the Four Horsemen are out there somewhere, rattling their ghastly weapons and threatening to ride forth, but here in our little haven of a half-painted cottage, today was pretty tranquil, cheerful and - dare I say it? - almost optimistic.
Hoping you all have something or someone to help you feel grounded and secure in these uncertain times.