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.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

One week in: Expectation vs Reality

So a week in and life hasn't exactly looked like how I imagined.

What I expected/hoped for:

Me, becoming all-of-a-sudden highly disciplined and self-motivated: waking up early every day, writing for a couple of hours, maybe going to a walk or run by the sea, meeting up with someone for coffee, and cracking through that big pile of life admin. Cutting right back on watching TV and using social media. Eating well. Feeling rested and energised and READY to become a world famous writer and photographer.


Me, fighting colds and coughs in several strains that don't seem to go away, blowing my nose through numerous toilet rolls because I keep finishing up the tissues and the washing machine has broken so can't wash the handkerchiefs (yes, I use hankies, they make my oft-wiped nose happier) and generally feeling quite sorry for myself. Getting up late and going to bed early, except when I keep myself up watching Hunted/National Treasure/New Girl/The Apprentice/Gilmore Girls...

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Oh the places you'll go...

This post has been a long time coming. A whole summer coming, maybe more. The longer I don't post, the harder it is to start again. Which somehow adds some pressure, even though no one's making me write this!

A whole lot in our life has (once again) changed and is changing. And no, we're not pregnant (because that seems to be the only news you can have when you're 30...)

I've put some bits and pieces on social media, there's a few people who know the whole story and have been walking it with us. It's tempting to try to summarise and analyse life as you go, and there's definitely seasons right for that, but this time I felt it was more important to concentrate on being present with each day, and on focusing on ending things well before leaping too quickly into the NEXT THING.

But now the "next thing" is beginning and it feels like time to tell the tale. Or at least some of it. Like I said, you can't box up life into neat categories. I don't think I can say all the things in the way I'd like to say them.

Anyways, enough of being cryptic. Maybe I'll just start with where I am today, and where I've been.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

London life 1

We've been here for three weeks. It might end up sounding like we've done a ton of stuff; the reality is that most of it has been working, pretty early nights and trying to make plans with people but realising they all have established lives and we're going to need to get ourselves more organised than last minute BBQ invites!

BUT I have done a few London things, and those few things have made me happy and glad to be here:

Listening to music at Campbell's Canal Cafe

This was where I wrote most of the last post; where I took a Zambian friend earlier this year having not seen each other since we were 16, and weirdly enough where I sat with two dear Brighton/uni friends many moons ago on a daytrip to Camden - only to find us all living in London now. Anyways, I like it a lot. Hubby and I went for a stroll on Thursday because miracle of miracles I finished work at a pretty reasonable time. We looked in to see if there was any music going on and joyfully there was a pair playing guitar and singing Brazilian jazz.  Washed down with a gin cocktail. Lovely. I plan to check out their Wednesday open mic night soon.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Next Chapter: London

So we have moved again.

I'm still pulling together the pieces of me that have felt both squeezed and scattered over the past few months, in the stress, pressure, uncertainty and tiredness of moving and a busy season at work and that commute and generally not feeling settled in the place we've been in since September.

So this is more of a selection of reflections that have stuttered out of me over the first two Saturdays in our new home, the first couple of day in ages when the clock and email and to-do list haven't ruled and my body and mind have had an opportunity to slow down.

I still feel a long way from myself, if that makes any sense. My thoughts come clumsy and half formed, eluding definition. But I'm trying to shape them into some form, trying to turn them into stepping stones out of one season and into the next, so that I don't get stuck in the middle for too long. So even though this post keeps subsiding into a shapeless jumble, I'll post it. Because marking the moments is important, isn't it?

There's photos too, because for the first time in ages last weekend I got to go out walking with my camera and no time limit. Last weekend, on the morning of a long long awaited opportunity for a lie in, I of course woke up at 3.30am (why???!!), couldn't get back to sleep and so after watching the remaining episodes of New Girl, I decided to get out in the early morning light and explore our new neighbourhood.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hope is:

Last weekend we took part in an exhibition along with other artists from Hertfordshire. The theme was Hope and the artwork was displayed in a gorgeous chapel in Harpenden. On the Saturday there were workshops and in the evening there were performances. I shared some poems, including the one below which I wrote for the event. It was such a great day, so inspiring and encouraging to be around hard-working, talented artists. And another reminder of how happy it makes me to perform my poems :-)

Hope is

Hope is:
The smell before the smell of rain coming
One hundred poems before this one
The silence of the morning creeping through an open window
Before the day crowds in

Hope is:
Gritted teeth and binoculars
Checking your inbox at 1am
A pinky promise in the playground - moons ago
Newborn skin