I know fuck all about flowers, which I’m ashamed of (not really), but even I’m not completely oblivious to their beauty at this time of year.
The Princess and I have made a pact to go on a walk each day for my mental well-being. We share a symbiotic relationship in that I clear the dark cobwebs from inside my head, and that process helps me to remember to buy her food, not shout like a fishwife in the house in front of her and ultimately keep her alive. The Princess doesn’t like it when I’m stressed because like the rest of the family, she veers towards anxiety.
I’m secretly hoping that our walks will have other benefits for me too, like slimming me down so my body is swimming costume-ready for the summer, but I know for a fact that each minute in the sunshine is one-stop shopping in terms of health as it tops up my vitamin D tanks and the strength of my middle-aged bones.
She’s not the perfect walking companion, my dog. She might be my best friend but presently suffering from her own peri-menopause, she can be a bit tiresome on our walks. She needs to sniff at every blade of grass and exposed dog butt, and like her mother, her bladder is weaker than it once was, so she feels the need to deposit her scent on every aforementioned blade of grass, too. She hates cyclists and foolishly gets tetchy with big dogs, and has always found walking over drains in the road a very stressful experience.
But what all her fretting, circling and close examination of excrement and every patch of grass does do, is it give me time to smell the roses.
Working from home has many benefits – staying in your dressing gown all day being the main one; being able to eat all day is a close second – but it can also feel isolating at times, and when you’re prone to anxiety like us, it can lead to the dangerous path of craziness, where you never leave the house at all and end up permanently dressed in your wedding gown – a modern-day Miss Havisham.
But if I make that effort to venture out in public, to work my usually dormant, lazy leg muscles and actually inhale fresh air, I feel so much better about absolutely everything.
Even about the old man!
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that the very fact that I am now appreciating nature, and in particular different flora, must be one of the most symptomatic signs of my increasing age. I even stop to take photos, like these:
Back in the UK, when we lived in the country, Spring was marked by a minor shift in temperature from bloody freezing to freezing and the birth of lambs, but living in the city in a more temperate climate, the season is marked by the arrival of flowers, pockets of colour and alluring floral scents.
I am a SAD, middle-aged person and sunshine and nature, in all their glory, turn me on these days.
I even stop and talk to people in the street sometimes!
Now, where is that wedding dress…?