And just as I was in danger of sliding down the slippery slope of January gloom, my guardian robin popped by to nod hello, there was a knock at the door and the postman greeted me at the side gate with an armful of parcels.
Needless to say, two were for The General who is generally the recipient of a stream of widgets and gadgets and thingummy jigs for one of his tippy-tappy electronic boxes. And who am I to grumble, for he is the IT department for my little cottage, and I am most exceedingly grateful to him for his competence and expertise.
But joy of joys, one brown paper parcel was for me, and it brought a smile to my face, and a spring in my step, as I had quite forsworn the guilty pleasures of parcels in the post, and little yarny, stitchy presents to myself in the light of our reformed circumstances.
Would you not have been excited to rip off the brown paper and find these most fulsomely Cathish contents? And I have dearest Bekimarie to thank for such a parcel of fun! Beki has started the New Year with a swing, and has challenged herself to do all sorts of amazing and wonderful things in order that 2010 can be a year of achievement for her - and nineteen days into the new year she is crossing things off the list in quick succession. Do go and congratulate her (just click on her name above) on her industry and initiative, for I am sure that she puts the rest of us to shame - me in particular with my basket of nearly-finished items which grows by the day in an incomprehensibly Topsy-like fashion. (Not to mention the cupboard of things yet to be started.)
My Cath Kidston Home Ideas Journal is going to be a very stylish, and I think kind, way of constructing a decorating and maintenance to-do list for the Head Chef when he shortly has time on his hands whilst I am busy putting the world to rights. I have had a bit of a thing about ring binders and stationery ever since I was an even smaller person than I am now, and this has so much space for lists (and more stickers!) and little Cathish coloured wallets to put things in, and squared paper and lined paper, and room audits - I feel quite overcome with the potential of it all. The Head Chef is going to be so busy putting all those ideas of mine into practice.
And I have some red spotty Cath tissues to match my red spotty executive briefcase (which I forgot to bring home from work today), and I can take my fairy cakes to work in red spotty cake cases, and be the envy of the workforce. Cheery redness, indeed!
I have hung my very stylish heart up in my B&B sitting room (won't you come and stay, and admire it?), and I might even let them have a sniff of my Be Thankful candle, but I think perhaps it would be a good thing for me to leave it in the packaging and put it by my computer, in case I ever forget to be thankful for all the blessings I have.
And last but not least Beki sent me one of her lovely pincushions (if you would like one, you can find them in her shop here), and it was all enclosed in a little bag of birdy fabric - the special things in my life are always heralded by robins. So, Beki, I am so thankful for your generosity, and love the beautiful things you have sent me to brighten a grey and drear and bone-chilling day - a cornucopia of Cathness and redness to warm me to the core.
Blessings seem to be flowing my way at the moment - several kind people have given me awards and tags and all things nice, which I will get on to very shortly.
And one last little blessing - I was sitting looking out of my window at the robin sitting on the wheelbarrow, a little robin who is sure to visit whenever I need cheering up. Robins are, of course, messengers from heaven, as are angels. A very good and wise friend of mine, who knows about these things, told me once that if you are in need of help, don't turn away that stranger at your door, because he will be the stranger answering your prayers.
So I smiled at the robin, and surveyed the garden and the orchard, and wondered how we were ever going to be able to manage it all, and knock it into some sort of shape, or even make a living out of our precious land. And then the phone rang, and an angel spoke. Now you may jest (especially if you are a General), but the caller was a stranger wanting to learn about permaculture from us, in return for his labour on our smallholding. I think perhaps my prayers have been answered.
So thank you Beki, thank you angels and robins; and I hope you, dear readers, have something in your life to be thankful for, too.