It's snowing in Ireland.
This happens every year, and every year we flap, panic buy and hunker down as the country grinds to a chilly halt.
Schools close, businesses lock their doors and we huddle indoors unless starvation is imminent or,even worse, we run out of chianti.
Our Scandinavian and Canadian friends must shake their heads in disbelief at how quickly and efficiently we are rendered incapable by a bit of snow.
It's kinda fun in one way, as we get to play at being human squirrels, and have a little unexpected holiday from the usual mayhem of rushing about doing the thousands of Important Things we believe are absolutely necessary....until we're prevented from doing these Important Things and we realise that they're actually not that important at all.
But a curious by-product of our snowy lock-down is that suddenly I have an awful lot of time.
It's a bit mortifying to admit that I am horribly uncomfortable with this.
It's great to be able to read my favourite blogs and keep on top of the laundry (hell, I even go mad sometimes and talk to my children!!! The very thought!) but there isn't much going on to distract me from my mental chatter.
Really, no-one should be left alone with my thoughts for too long.
It's like a horrible interview between Hannibal Lecter and Mrs Beeton on a continuous loop, filled with all my domestic coulda, shoulda, woulda's and the dire consequences of being a less than perfect HausFrau and SuperMammy.
I love a healthy bit of Irish Catholic repression (I mean, what's a stomach ulcer if it means you don't have to deal with uncomfortable thoughts??) and using the busyness of being a full-time Mammy is a great way of making sure that Stuff stays safely buried.
And, yeah, I can hardly describe myself as a Catholic anymore, but I was hard-wired in my formative years to believe that suffering and martyrdom are good for the soul.
(Hmmm...good for the soul, but even better news for people who don't want to hear you whinging.)
So bring on the thaw!
I don't like navel-gazing...turns out my belly button's only full of fluff anyway, not splendid pearls of wisdom.
There's only so much cleaning and playing draughts I can handle before I strap some snow chains to my tyres and take to the roads.