Cherry blossom is plucked, whirled and mostly glued to my car by clumsy rain splats. Everywhere is petal polka dots. The wind is dizzy. The sky, choked up with phlegmy cloud. Cat runs in before the door has finished opening. She looks for her food bowl like a hypoglycaemic. Dog runs out, flinging her tongue to one side. Her ears and my hair catch a blast of cold air, blow obstructively to vision. Dog is not slowed down, she leaps the gate as I am fixing my hood toggles. Under the waterproofs I am still dressed in pyjamas, I am pre-coffee, pre-breakfast, haven’t even washed my face. Some instinct has propelled me out here, into the storm of blossom.
This weather is set in. For a month, Farmer Landlord says. He brought rat poison, because they won’t get in the traps. I’m not sentimental about it, exactly, but I wish they had opted for a swifter death. It came to poison last time too, and one lay dead beyond reach in the roof space over the brewing kitchen. No one forgets a smell like that. This time, Farmer Landlord says, we shall have the roof panels up and clear it all out, and fix the gaps. Mr and I share a look. There’s several glass panels being climbed by moss, leaning against the outside wall. You’ll have a porch up, by the winter, Farmer Landlord said, about three years ago. To be fair, he did not say which winter.
When the rats come, and the cold creeps in no matter how tightly I squeeze the old blanket under the gappy door, I dream of living in a tidy cottage. A big garden, a neat shed, a camper van; life perfected.
Here I am though, petal bombed and watching the Longwools fluster, watching Dog dive for the stream, nothing but clothes between me and the natural world, and everything assuredly will be fine in the end.