Life’s rich tapestry

Once again, it’s been ages since I wrote anything.  It seems I have to be in the right place to write.  When life becomes too busy or difficult, it seems that I cannot put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  I am now trying to remember why I started to write a blog and to reinstate the feelings that writing gave me.  I felt that this year was going to be the year for upward movement, but here I am at the beginning of February and nothing has progressed.  In order not to loose momentum, I am forcing myself to type up my book and edit where I think it needs it.  I thought, in my infinite wisdom, that if I wrote my book on my iPad, I could take it everywhere with me and add to it as I pleased.  The fun part about that decision is that I was writing it in a format that cannot be transferred to word on my laptop, hence, re typing the last 15 chapters. Luckily, I am a fast typer so it shouldn’t take too long.  Whilst doing this though, the story is not progressing and that makes me a little frustrated.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason I cannot find time to write, is there is not enough time in the day.  Even over the Christmas period when I had time off, the days still flew past with nothing achieved apart from cooking, cleaning and the laundry, so I am going to have a word with him upstairs and ask him to add a few hours. Do you think it will work?

So here I am again, making a deal with myself to write every day.  I may not be on a blog, but this or my book is going to be an added priority.  Surprising how cathartic just writing these few words has already been.

I must not loose my connection to myself.  I must follow my dream of finishing this book and getting it published.  The sequel is all in my head waiting to be let out.  I need to push forward and not let anything get in my way.  Is that easier said than done, I wonder?

 

Autumn memory

My little dog runs ahead of me as always.  She stops and looks back to see where I am, waits a while until I catch up with her and then off she trots again.  Her nose is to the ground as she scents for anything interesting and there is so many wonderful smells in a wood, in the autumn.

Again she stops and looks at me with her little Black and Tan face, Her white body finished off with a cropped brown tail.  Her tail was cropped as a puppy, before she ever came to me and as was the original fashion for a Jack Russell.  It was the perfect indicator for how she was feeling.

As with all dogs, she would drop it down if she was unhappy but it would not reach between her legs as it was too short.  When I first met my husband, he had a boat on the Norfolk broads and we always took her with us.  At first, she was unsure and her tail was as down as she could get it.  Then she discovered she could walk right around the boat using the gunnels and her tail raised a little until it was stuck out in line with her back.  Finally she realised that when we were cruising along, she could run round and round, bark at the ducks and swans, and become the mascot of the boat, as people looked, pointed, giggled at her and gave her lots of fuss when we moored up.  She loved the boat and her tail raised straight up in the air as soon as we got on it.

For all that she loves the boat, she hates water and will do anything to avoid it.  Our favourite time is our walks on land.  So here we are, on a cold, sunny autumn day.  I kick my way through coloured fallen leaves and she sniffs out the squirrels and rabbits that are prolific here.  Most of the trees are bare now  and looking at the ground, I see many forms of fungus.  There are toadstools as well as huge field mushrooms growing in and on the tree humus. It’s a perfect place for them.  I am also genuinely delighted to see a fairy ring.

Ok, I know I am a little old to believe in such things, but it really looks like one.  There, just over there, is a group of toadstools with the red caps and white spots, just like in all the fairy tale illustrations I have seen.  I don’t need a great imagination to conjor up fairies and pixies sitting atop each stool and talking about whatever it is that they talk about.

I stop for a while and have a closer look until Penny runs back and gives me a nudge.  I can almost hear her thoughts.  “Will you hurry up.  There is too much to sniff out and we can’t hang around here.”  So I follow and she runs off again, always stopping and looking back to see where I am.  Never going out of sight, no matter what wonder lay ahead.  She never leaves me.  We can walk for miles and she never tires, unlike me.  She doesn’t care if it’s hot or cold, along as it’s not raining.  She doesn’t run away to chase rabbits, to sniff them is enough.  Her need is to stay close to me.  She is my loyal little friend, my protector and companion.  Her love is honest, unconditional and delightful.

When it’s time to leave, I call her.  She stops and looks at me.  She turns back wanting to pursue her trail but I turn and walk the other way.  There is no need to worry as within seconds she bounds past me, ready to lead the way again.  The pattern continues.  Run ahead a while, stop, look back, wait for me, then run on, until we reach the car.

It’s nothing spectacular, just friendship, Autumn and a walk, but it’s a lovely memory of a lovely time.

 

Relaxing holidays

It seems ages since I last wrote my blog, but I don’t suppose it has been.  It’s been a very busy few days and finally today, Sunday, is quiet and tranquil.  I have spent all day sitting around the pool, writing my book. I know it’s work but the story is in full flow and I want to get in down in black and white while I can.  It has become more of a passion than a chore of late, and when I look back on previous chapters, I know I am going to do lots of  editing to get it to the standard of the writing I am producing now.

I have joined a couple of writers sites and finding  truth in the words, the more you write, the faster you become and the easier it flows.  It’s true.

This evening we have decided to look at our holiday.  Originally, we were going to go to Venice.  My husband likes to look at all the options, so a short holiday there became a cruise from Venice, going to Greece and surrounding islands, Dubrovnik and many more destinations.  Growing tired of waiting for replies from companies that don’t seem to want the business, we decided to stay in mainland Spain and visit Cordoba, Seville, Granada and then onto Portugal.  Having looked at those options, my husband has decided that 3 cities and sightseeing is a bit too much as he wants to spend some time relaxing, but doesn’t feel cities are conducive to that state.  I agree with him so now we have reverted to the cruise.

Maybe that is the best option for us because then we won’t have to spend hours and heated discussions about which hotels to stay in.  We will have a hotel on the sea, daytime trips as we want them but we can’t relax around the pool because it will be November.  No, scratch that, I want warmth. I want to go in September but there’s nothing available in September.  Ok back to the drawing board.

How difficult can this really be.  What happened to walking into a travel agent, flicking through some magazines and saying, “we want to stay there.”  The internet has made choosing you holiday so much more interactive and, dare I say, difficult.  The choices are vast and more varied and you can’t possibly stay in any resort until you have checked out the reviews on Trip Advisor.  Whereas we used to rely on the recommendations of a travel company, now we read with interest the opinions of the people who can be bothered to report their findings.

I can’t help but feel a little distrustful of those.  The people who complain bitterly seem to do so for insignificant reasons.  Obviously, there things that go wrong, but the main problems seem small in the great scheme of things.  Then there are the amazing reviews, which I find equally worrying.  I have stayed at some amazing places in my time, but never yet found one that is perfect.  Perhaps we just have people who are on the opposite ends of the optimist/pessimist scale.

Whichever it it is, our holidays remain stressful to book, always more expensive than we plan for, but once we get there, it is our attitude that makes it.  I ignore the niggles,  chose to have a great time, become culturally more educated and return home enriched.

Oh yes, where did we choose?  We’re touring.  Cordoba, Portugal and Granada.   Happy vacation everyone.

The Muse of the evening

It’s dark and 28 degrees.  The wind is warm and welcome.

Apart from a dog barking in the distance and the rustling of leaves,

it’s silent and peaceful in my little corner of the world.

The daytime brings a heat that saps your energy

and makes it so hard to concentrate on anything but the call of cooling water

There are geckos on the walls and ceilings of my little outside space

waiting to catch the Mosquitos and Moths that are drawn to the light

And the cicadas that sang all day have ceased their endless chorus,

No doubt resting up before tomorrow’s symphony begins again.

It’s time to reflect upon the day and plan for tomorrow

Today there were happy times, but also an amount of sadness and frustration

Caught up in the preparations for someone else’s wedding

Brought a share of excitement for their future and fulfilment of a job well done

Taking a beloved family pet to the vet serves as a reminder that all life is fleeting

And that soon in the future, that beautiful creature who has brought me so much joy

Will take a final journey from which there is no return

And with her going, my life will once again change

and a new adventure will begin.

I am reminded that nothing is permanent

And we are just a short while upon this planet

We have a finite amount of time here

and this is no dress rehearsal

How ever long we have, will it ever be enough

to achieve all we dreamed of when we were young

and believed a lifetime was long

There is no melancholy with my musing

just a determination to enjoy every last minute

For if I did not sit and think

I would allow tomorrow to slide past without note

I am thankful for today and all that came

and for tomorrow I will be equally grateful

For in that gratitude,  I find happiness, peace and hope.

 

 

 

 

A Life of Sundays

It’s Sunday, she thought as she opened her eyes.

Sundays, as a child, had always been mind blowingly boring.  Apart from helping to cook Sunday lunch and the long winded trip to church, the day seemed to drag on forever.  There was too much time spent in the company of irritated parents who couldn’t wait to get the kids back to school the following day.  A childhood full of disappointing Sundays.

Sundays as an older teenager and young twenties, was spent sleeping and recouperating from the crazy partying that seem to accompany that age.   If enough time was passed in sleep, the monotony of the day never broke through the drink addled haze.  If there was a boyfriend on the scene, the afternoons would find her lips glued to his or slouched on the sofa, watching a movie. Sunday was a wasted day.

When the children came along, Sundays were a crazy day.  There was little chance of a lie in as there was always someone ready to bounce on the bed, shout “Mummy, I’m hungry.” Or  “Mummy, look what she’s done!” Or a high pitched wail as someone got their fingers caught in the door again. The only chance of the day not being spent in a state of mayhem, was to take the cherubs out and let them run off some of their pent up energy.  Sundays were exhausting.

Sundays with teenagers was different again.  Time was spent standing at the bottom of the stairs, either yelling for them to get out of their lazy beds or trying to be heard above the sound of the latest music craze.  There was the inevitable “Is your homework done?” followed by the excuses as to why it wasn’t, the ensuing argument and the “I hate you.” stomp up the stairs and slam of the bedroom door, shaking the whole house off it’s foundations.  Sundays were spent praying for Monday morning to arrive early.

Then came the Sunday when the front door closed for the final time. The car packed with boxes, pulled off the drive as the last child disappeared to their own home.  After years of looking after so many people, nothing could prepare her for the devastation of no longer having anyone to care for.  Sundays were silent, eerie and sad.

It’s Sunday, she thought as she opened her eyes.  Today is a day full of possibilities.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the garden is full of flowers. There is music to play and art to behold, dogs to walk, books to read. What shall I do today? She smiled. I think I shall do everything I want to.  Sunday is my day.

A little night reading

She sat behind the heavy brown curtain.  It was a big risk to sit there and she was nervous, but the book pulled her in.

It was way past bedtime, a balmy summers evening and far too bright to sleep.  The light crept through the sides, top and bottom of the curtains, beckoning.  The words of the book under her bed whispered so loudly that she almost couldn’t help but slip from her covers and crouch down in the window bay.

She had no idea how long she had been there but the pins and needles in her knees told her it had been some time.  Mr Galiano’s Circus took her to places she could only dream of.  How lucky was the little boy to have become a part of this circus, to live in a caravan and move from place to place.  To see clowns and trapeze artists, to work with elephants and eat as much candy floss as he could ever want.

Her escape into the book was almost total until she heard a door open and then close.  She held her breath as someone climbed the stairs.  She knew if she ran back to bed, they would hear and the game would be up.  She held her breath.  Would the footsteps stop at another bedroom door or would they continue on to the bathroom next door.  Would they come into her room and discover an empty bed.

“Please go past, please don’t come in.” She whispered as a mantra over and over.

She could feel the panic rising from the pit of her stomach.  If it was Dad, it would be ok.  He would quietly but firmly tell her to get back into bed and go to sleep.  She would too, but knew he would be so disappointed in her, that the guilt would be unbearable.  Really though, it was unlikely that Dad would even bother to come into her room.  She didn’t really exist for him anyway.

Oh, but if it was Mum! Any minute all hell could break lose.  There would be screaming and shouting. The whole house would be woken and everyone would know that she had been caught doing something else wrong.  She knew the beating that would follow. The punishment always far outstripped the crime.

Time stood still for an eternity.  There was no air entering or leaving her lungs as she repeated her mantra.  “Please, please, please.”

The footsteps carried their owner nearer and nearer.  Why hadn’t she stayed in bed? Why did she always think she was going to get away with it?  Closer and closer. Then… The bathroom door opened and closed again and she heard the toilet seat go down.  She allowed herself a silent drag of air to fill her lungs and as quietly as she could extracted herself  from the window bay.  She tiptoed raggedly, on pained legs, across the room, book in hand and slipped once more between the sheets.  She stuffed the book underneath the pillow and prayed that she hadn’t been heard.  She lay in the silence listening to her heart pumping.

The fear only subsided when the footsteps descended the stairs.  She was safe for now.  Till the next time.

She lay in her bed on a balmy summers evening.  Fingers of light crept through the curtain and Mr Galiano’s circus called from under her pillow.  She crept from her bed to the bay of the window and pleaded with the darkness to stay away until she read at least one more chapter.