Mercury is not retrograde…

sparrow (6)

The sun is out, it feels like spring and the Christmas tree will be coming down today. I have always left it till Twelfth Night in the past, following the tradition in which I was raised. I used to add the French custom of the galette des rois too, when the children were younger, but though I might treat myself to an almond pastry for Epiphany, I won’t be baking the cake of kings this year.

The world is supposed to be largely back to normal today… Well, I was hoping so as my poor little car is still sitting five miles away in desperate need of help from a garage… which has been closed over the whole of the holidays. And apparently remains closed or incommunicado today. The lack of decent bus services over this same period has meant taxi fares eating away my resources getting to my son’s and back every day. I also note uncomfortably that I still get car-sick if I’m not the one at the wheel. I am shopping entirely at the little village shop, which may sell everything from mouse traps to light sockets, but which has a limited variety of foodstuffs and the frustration of not being able to get out and about is driving me nuts. That is the downside of living in a village.

I’ve been effectively grounded.

strawberries to come

The upside is that you have access to footpaths, fields and woodlands. You can walk for miles and never see a soul except the deer and pheasants. You can watch the seasons turn and see the first leaf of spring and the last fruit of autumn. But pushing cars does damaged spines little good and by the time you have been dragged down the street by an overexcited Ani, you’re not really up for much more walking. Especially when you feel like you are being permanently throttled with the spinal thing. I can’t even let her out into the garden except under supervision, as the fence blew down again in the gales … and of course, I need a car to be able to get the materials to repair it. Likewise to take the computer in to be looked at. So the holidays have been just a little frustrating.

I had planned a few local days out as I wasn’t doing anything over the festive season; visiting some of the places usually heaving with people… Christmas is the only time you get them to yourself. That went by the wayside. So yes, this is me moaning. I hate having my wings clipped! All those fabulous misty mornings… all the hawks that are literally lined up on fences beside the road… the wonderland of frosty dawns… and I’m stymied. I don’t like it one little bit.

foggy 015

By way of a holiday, therefore, I have watched a film every day. I don’t have TV, keeping up with the news via the computer. I do have a TV… it just isn’t connected to anything that gets TV, the satellite dish having gone missing when the scaffolders were here. My small stock of films is relatively limited… though recently enhanced by some hitherto unseen gems as my friend continues my cinematic education. However, the machine needs a firmware update and the player seems not to have a website for that… Technology is not being cooperative at present. And the first person to even whisper that astrologically, Mercury is about to enter the pre-shadow of another retrograde phase is going to wish they hadn’t…

To add insult to injury I picked up some rotten bug thing that hasn’t even allowed me to go cuddle my granddaughter.

fog 011

So I’ve worked on a new project instead, whilst promising myself a proper desk one of these days… one I can get my feet under and sit at with sensible posture… one that is not a conversion from the top of an old Welsh dresser and where my feet might actually reach the floor. This one is possibly not ideal with a duff back. My kneecaps rest on one shelf while my toes cling to another and the dog inserts balls on both which she expects me to throw. However, I digress.

The new project did not go well. I struggled with recalcitrant technology, fought my way through files, erased and reinstalled half my software… all to no avail. And the results, to my eyes, were pretty poor. Not what we were after at all. I wasn’t happy.

Yet, this round I have won. I finally managed to find a piece of software that didn’t require a functional flash player, bypassed the instability of the internet connection and didn’t even mind the antiquated graphics card… I started again and managed to get two whole pages ready to present this morning. And while it is far from ‘right’ the possibilities to have fun with it are endless.

Maybe I’m an inveterate optimist… or just stubborn…but I choose to see this as my mote of sunshine on which to end the week. There usually is one somewhere… even if you have to dig a little deeper than you’d like to find it.

frost 031

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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35 Responses to Mercury is not retrograde…

  1. alienorajt says:

    Sorry to hear about the bug and the continued car saga, Sue – but I love this post anyway! It’s great! xxx


  2. Ronovan says:
    Try these for the riding in the car when not driving. My son wears them as do many friends I know of, adults. They do work. Might be helpful.


  3. Wonderful images!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roweeee says:

    Love your photography, Sue and that first bird photo and the leaf covered in frost are amazing!! I don’t know about where you live but everything in Australia grinds to a near halt during all of January when life becomes a beach. That is, except for my faithful and diligent GP who rang me to say my lung xrays weren’t looking good and I need to have a CT. I think my lungs are running like your car.
    I often curse technology but am lucky my husband is a Mr Fix-it of both cars and computers. Very handy indeed. The other night I accidently cleared the memory card form the camera and later remembered that I hadn’t downloaded the Christmas photos. Yikes! Of all the photos to lose!! Well, good man that he was, he retrieved the lot downloading software to pull off his feat of magic.
    Good luck with the car and hope you’ll be mobile again soon. I have a boot on my broken foot inhibiting my activities but this has been somewhat of a blessing too. I really needed a break after the frenetic activities before Christmas.
    xx Rowena


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Oh dear, Rowena, you are having a rough time of it at present!
      I live alone, so there is no-one to wade in and sort things out these days apart from the dog, and Ani declines to get involved in car mechanics. Not that I blame her. I do most basic maintenance myself but this is beyond me and I don’t have the tools.
      Hope your foot heals quickly and that all goes well with the CT scan. x

      Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Shame about dogs. They’d be so willing to help with all sorts of household tasks if only they could. I have been very blessed that my husband could take some leave from work and has been on holidays, although it’s been a mixed bag for him. Hope your car is back on the road soon. Thanks for your best wishes. xx Rowena


        • Sue Vincent says:

          Well, Ani does her best… always helps with the laundry and bedmaking, whether I like it or not… and definitely does her best as a food disposal unit!
          I’m glad you have someone there who is able and willing to help. It makes all the difference when you aren’t well. x


  5. Susan Scott says:

    Hope you’re feeling tons better Sue but thanks for the amusing post – you certainly kept your sense of humour! Things will change – they HAVE to – they will – for the better.


  6. mikesteeden says:

    ‘The satellite dish having gone missing when the scaffolders were here’ – as an accomplished PI in a former life – and I’ve never got it wrong ever! – it’s obvious to me it was the milkman. Best of luck with that bug thing by the way.


  7. Darcy says:

    Oops. Not that it helps but it shows that my level of frustration makes me freak out at way less than you are dealing with! But it’s sunny out and I’m determined to shake off the depression today that’s plagued me this past month. Till tax time (cringe) 🙂


  8. Darcy says:

    ..and I wonder what the effect of M*(&) R)*(&& has since it was that way on my natal chart and I just finished most of my Saturn return …. arghhh

    Liked by 1 person

  9. noelleg44 says:

    Sue, you have certainly been facing frustration over the holidays and unwell and frustrated heading into the New Year is no fun. However, I must say you are weathering all of it with aplomb. And lovely words and gorgeous birds. I love, love your bird photos. Thanks for bringing some enjoyment into my New Year and I hope yours will have some soon.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’ll settle for the car, Noelle… that would make my world about right 🙂
      I love taking pictures of the birds… I have so many in the files now I haven’t shared yet!


  10. Éilis Niamh says:

    Hugs, Sue. What a frustrating and difficult week! I completely understand the difficulty especially of not having a car. It really changes your world. Hang in there, my friend.


  11. jenanita01 says:

    With you on the technology front, Sue. I don’t know why almost anything we want to do is so damned hard, or why we get so chuffed when we manage to achieve anything. If nothing else, I pray for a simpler year, my aged brain would really appreciate it!


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