Friday, 2 December 2016

For Libby



They say you blossomed
And as is often the case with blossom It did not last for long enough We’re left Bare branches against a black November As Storm Angus mingles tears with our own Lamenting through the long nights We gather Waiting for the skies to clear Waiting for Advent Waiting for peace on earth We’ll wait for a long time And maybe not long at all

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reconnecting with my body


Hello body,

It’s so good to be in touch again.

It’s certainly been a while. Thanks for hanging on in there while I neglected you this past year or two. Thanks for holding me together and upright even when I did not stretch you or relax you or move you in more than one walking-sitting-standing-sitting-sitting-standing-walking-running-for-a-train motion. Sorry for not dancing or swimming or filling you slowly with fresh sea air often enough. Sorry for never really being still. Somehow, even though you’ve gotten a little bashed by minor ailments, you kept going, you’re stronger than I think. I should give you more credit.

I hope I never ignore your needs for so long again. It’s easy to fool oneself into believing one can survive on the mind alone. But the mind requires a body to make its home in, requires blood and air to flow. Needs energy to fill all the the spaces. I forget it’s all connected.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Ten good things about being back in Brighton (so far!)

It's coming up to two months since leaving London. Not very long, still, in the grand scheme of things. Because life is life, there have of course been ups and downs, there always will be. It's the first time I've ever returned to a place and I'm finding the apparent sameness and the subtle changes both reassuring and alienating. I'm the same and different to who I was three and a half years ago. We've got to figure out this new relationship. But little by little the dust is settling, and I think I'm starting to feel like myself again. There's been moments when I wonder what the hell we've done, but there's also been more moments recently when I've thought YES, this is good, I'm glad to be here.

So in the spirit of keeping thankful, here's a few of the things that have made my heart happy and feel more at home.

1. Friends and fireworks


I spent fireworks night in London on a friend's amazing balcony, watching the tiny sparkles glimmer over the city. It was a pretty cool perspective with great company alongside. Those few days made me glad that I have gotten to know London a little, and I will still enjoy discovering more of it as I return regularly to visit friends and family. BUT nothing beats seeing fireworks up close, so the following weekend we trooped out in the mist and drizzle to see the local display on Shoreham Beach - where we're living at the moment. The smell, the smoke, the sound, the warmth of the huge bonfire didn't disappoint. And then our little Shoreham crew - hubby's brother and best friends who are pretty much all like family to us - stopped by for one drink at the local pub. Which turned into several more, and tunes on the jukebox and a little bit of mad dancing to the song we walked out of our wedding service to. And ended in ordering the worst kebab ever at 3am. A solid Saturday night. :-)

Friday, 18 November 2016

Life at 30: the kid question


I started writing this while at my sister's house, helping her out with her new baby as her husband returns to work. It seemed fitting. It's a post I've been meaning to write for a while, and may well echo many others out there, but I don't think you can talk about being 30 without covering this topic.

When people realise I'm not 19, and have actually been married for five years, they jump from thinking I'm a child to asking if I'm going to have any. When I tell people I'm a new auntie, several have responded by asking me about my family plans. As I mentioned before, any time I tell people I have news, their eyes immediately widen and look at my belly questioningly.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

30th birthday treat: my Arvon week of writing

On this wintery day that's feeling all too bleak for many, I'd like to tell you about the writing week I went on recently. Probably to cheer myself up more than anything else, but hey ho, that's the prerogative of a writer, right?

I want to tell you about it, because it was something I'd looked forward to for so long, a thirtieth birthday present from myself and many others. And if I'm not careful it'll fade too quickly from memory as my head gets crowded with yet another cold, worrying about how I'm going to start making a living, and possibly feeling a bit overwhelmed/shit-scared by this big leap we made recently.

So. Two weeks ago, I drove down to the middle of Devon, to a very very old white house in a phone-signal-less valley.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What's so bad about turning 30?

One of several birthday celebrations :-)

As you probably know, I turned 30 last month.

And I have really tried to celebrate it well. Nearly a month on and I think I've managed that with several different gatherings with different special people. Yep I've been a bit greedy and I'm glad :-) But although I've perhaps had more than my fair share of parties, I intend to continue celebrating and valuing this whole year.

Part of that celebrating is hopefully to write more. So I'll start by sharing some 30-related musings... starting with pondering a bit more on why turning 30 is often seen as a bad thing. These aren't academic essays, they are not fixed opinions, they really are just musings, from my point of view here and now.