After the most glorious Autumn with bright sunny days, vibrant orange and yellow coloured leaves, Winter has now arrived in Scotland and I am not in a very good mood with the inventor of low energy lightbulbs.Â They do not work and I want the old ones back.Â I cannot see a single thing in the dark mornings and trying to dress in clothes that colour coordinate is an issue that will probably last until the Spring. Navy and black look very similar when you are in semi darkness and it is only a matter of time before I leave the house with non matching shoes on.
It is dark by 4pm and I am convinced everyone is driving around with their high beam lights on. I am practically blinded every time I go out in the car.Â On top of this, the rain has become a little bit excessive.Â My wellies are a permanent feature in my car. We still have the snow and black ice to look forward to. I really will need to get up 10 minutes earlier to watch Action Man scrape the ice from my windscreen.
Of course no matter what weather is thrown at me, one look at the hills and all is forgiven. The tops are covered with snow like icing and as I drive in the mornings to work I have Stirling Castle on my right and the Wallace monument on my left.Â Being in Scotland makes me feel at times that my life is perfect. I am home.
There may be short days and more darkness than I would like but there is nothing but light and liberation in my life at the moment.Â This Winter has brought with it a new and long overdue stage in my life.Â I am now working full time after 12 years of motherhood and either not working at all or working part time.Â I practically skip out the door in the mornings after carefully applying my lipstick.Â I have an hour at lunchtime to go shopping all by myself like a grown up and today I went for a run. I smiled all the way.Â If I need to stay late in the office, I can, I am no longer tied to the 3.30pm school run and after school clubs.
No more temping. No more job hunting. No more rejection. I am finally somewhere where I am of value and people are investing time and money in me.Â The last 9 months of soul destroying job hunting has taught me just how important this is.
The key to my success of course is the one and only Action Man. Up until now he has never been in a position to help me with childcare due to his own very demanding work commitments.Â A gradual role reversal has developed in our house and I really think the change is suiting me.Â Working from home 3 days a week, Action Man happily walks the children to school in the mornings and picks them up in the afternoon.Â They have been happily making paper machÃ© masks and Christmas decorations.Â Television and the Playstation have been severelyÂ rationed.
I am slightly bewildered. This is the same man who this time last year phoned me once a week from Afghanistan while he was away for 7 months and the year before that while in America for a month on exercise managed one brief phonecall, claiming the connection was bad. This morning he phoned me from Sainburyâ€™s to tell me he was having a coffee. Lovely.Â In hindsight, military demands and the nature of his job seemed to take over everything for such a long time. I just accepted it and now I cannot believe I ever managed it.
So I am feeling lovely, completely liberated and today I had matching shoes on, but just one slight thing, he is missing the Army……