I am sitting in the corner of the living room, between an old wooden cabinet my mother once rescued from a rubbish tip and a weathered cane chair, coincidentally also rescued from a rubbish tip, though I was the one who did the rescuing that time. Like mother, like daughter.
If you walked in my front door (shoes off please) and down the short hallway (can I get you something to drink?) you would find yourself in a light-filled room with floor to ceiling windows on two of the four sides.
At first you wouldn't notice me. Maybe the tap, tap, tap of the keyboard would give me away. Or it could be my irrepressible urge to giggle when I am hiding. Though I'm not really hiding, it only looks like I am. Legs crossed and tucked beneath me, perched between the cabinet and the chair, obscured by the lounge and the coffee table, you would probably spy my head bobbing along to a song that has been stuck in my head for days now, nodding it when I have written something I like, shaking it when I am unsure.
All the while my back is arched out toward the window like a cat so as to soak up every last ray of warmth from the sun as it makes it's way across a sky that cannot decide if it is grey or blue today. The winter is coming sooner than I had hoped and I need to fill these bones with a bit of fire.
Not much has changed in all the years I can recall. Always cold. Cold hands, warm heart...so they say. Before this sunny spot by the window, there was the fireplace at the cottage, the sitting room heater in the house where my husband grew up, the sometimes-working wall radiators in our little London flat. If there is an available heat source, that is where you will find me and I always remember the cosy spots. Queen of the cosy, I am. My crown, a woollen hat, my robe, a quilt thrown around my shoulders.
Growing up, there was an ongoing battle between myself and the family cat as to who could sit closest to the old gas heater. The cat usually won, he had claws after all. Though I was never far away, curled up hands to feet all feline like, laying as close as I dared but always secretly fearing for the safety of my toes. As it turns out, it seems the cat and I were not the only ones who favoured this most prized spot. Before children and before cats, my mother was the one who held court from the fireside, warming her cold feet through the winter months. Like most mothers though, she sacrificed. She gave up the throne once smaller hands and feet (that's me) and paws ("that bloody cat" as she not so affectionately referred to it) came along.
Thank you, Mum, for giving up your cosy spot for me. I would feel a little guilty for displacing you if only I hadn't inherited your icy cold feet. Like mother, like daughter.