Well here we are on the brink of Imbolc, the ancient Gaelic celebration of Spring. Traditionally the goddess Brigid was invoked to protect homes and livestock, and Brigid crosses would be made. It is a great time of year for cleansing, reflecting on renewal and focusing your intentions for the season ahead.

It's been a very strange day for me. Paul left for work in the dark, the moon still bright through the trees, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I got myself some tea, wrapped up in a blanket and stood at an open upstairs window with the cold air against my face for an hour as the sun rose. It's something I've not done for years, and not in this house before, and it was wonderful. Slowly the single visible star faded as light crept across the sky. Birds started to swoop and chatter, and two long broken bands of cloud glowed softly red, then bold bands of sky and cloud striped the horizon: pink, blue, purple, peach, yellow. Gradually intense pink spread out across the clouds overhead, colour slowly bled into the garden and trees, and finally the sun presented herself. Having just read that 1200 people died yesterday in the UK, I was so awed and grateful to see this sunrise that I cried.

Later on I took part in the RSPB birdwatch and saw my first wren, happily hopping around our garden. How many times had he/she been there before, I wonder? I observed the courting ritual of a pair of robins, I saw a bluetit feed from a makeshift peanut feeder with hilarious enthusiasm, I watched blackbirds and sparrows and starlings through binoculars and really saw them. It was good for the soul.

Tomorrow I'll set up my new journal and year plan, and move forward with the next phase of life, and NixieMade. For today, it's been deeply gratifying just to watch.

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