It is a dirty day today. I am not impressed. But also, I actually am. After the day’s first tasks of getting everyone up and fed and out of the door to school and deciding to take the car (which I never do but it’s such a dirty day today) was successfully completed and I pulled into the parking spot, I paused. I was reaching into the back seat to get an umbrella and I stopped because I realised that I’d let myself be dragged in again. 

I could feel my heart speeding up and noticed that I remembered nothing of the journey in because I was thinking about the things my day would demand of me. Because I sent the night painting the new extension I had checked emails since yesterday afternoon. That would mean a whole flood of messages waiting for me when I got to my desk. I have trips to organise and a whole programme of mock exams to put together. And that’s the peripheral stuff: I also have classes to teach and coursework to feed back on and lessons to prepare. I am glad that I arrested the slide. 

I might once have let it take me and, way beyond not recalling my morning journey in; I would lose days and weeks and whole half terms to the blasted things that my days would demand of me. 

Well I was glad that it is such a dirty day because it made me pause and shrug off the way that I was setting about my attitude towards it. Dead leaves were falling in cascades and this November wind was shipping them up into a frenzy of twirls and flicks and pirouettes like they were desperate for someone, anyone to notice their final lofty seconds. I noticed and I went so far as to reach out and take one as it fell. Arrest its slide, if you like, and I’ll hold on to it. Let it serve as a reminder. 

All over the country the rain is falling. It is not a national emergency, they say, even if it’s a pretty big deal to the people flooded out. We’re lucky not to be by the sea or by a bigger river here and we won’t get the floods they’re looking at elsewhere, but there’s enough rain falling to cause a problem. It is reshaping the roads and changing the shape of people as they venture out and battle to hold onto umbrellas or keep hoods secure. But in other places the whole landscape has been altered by rivers that have burst banks and waves that have breached sea defences. In some places it’s falling as snow, and that feels far too early. 

During an election campaign it’s important not to take too much notice of what anyone says; in fact that’s probably best for the rest of the time, too. I’m just glad that I stopped myself this morning. 

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