Sunday, 25 September 2016

The rhythm of life is a wonderful thing, possibly.

For those of you curious about the photos in my previous post: the boats are Dartmouth, but taken from the castle and looking upriver. The second picture, taken into the sun, is Prawle Point, and the last is Start Point - from the west (so taking the footpath that takes you away from the path to the car park).

Here we go again - September. No more reading in the garden till gone nine in the evening. No more waking to the song of the mistle thrush. No more playing in the river or hunting for wild strawberries. Soon it will be crumpets for tea and the shops full of sparkles.

I'm not, as you know, good at winter. And I'm not good at picking up the rhythm of life in the autumn. I love the anarchy of summer, the feeling that anything can happen any time - just because it's light and the sun is shining (some of the time). Now the schools are back the term-time routines have resumed and I am, unwillingly, picking up the threads again. The writing group, the book group, the choir.

I know I need these rhythms. However much I love the freedoms of summer life can't be like that all the time. I need to wake up and know that, just because it's Tuesday, I need to get up and get out on time. I don't have to like the discipline of it. But I know that, if months stretched ahead of me without any sort of routine, I might slip into complete lethargy and become the doddery old soul in the corner drooling into my tea long before the years dictate.

Which is why, reluctantly, I am embracing September. It is an opportunity - I know that - to be more purposeful. And I do my best to see it like that. Even so, I can't help feeling as I did at the beginning of every school year as a child: do I really have to do this just because it's good for me.

Yes, I do. (At least until January, when I can go AWOL again!)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

So, how was Devon?

So, what did I do on my holiday, then? Given what I get up to in the winter, surely there was a tiger or two?

It was - as Devon is - all very peaceful and uneventful. The weather was scorching one minute and stormy the next (one morning I woke to thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening ... which was quite exciting, as it rolled in off the sea) - and so I had a couple of days when I wandered about between the showers, and more days when I wandered along cliff tops and stared at the ocean. No tigers; no crocodiles; though I did see a seal.

And, when I wasn't wandering, I was reading.

Not a holiday to live forever in the memory, but an undemanding sort of holiday and exactly what I needed. And so here are some photographs taken as I strolled along the cliff paths - brownie points to anyone who knows exactly where they are.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

On needing a holiday to recover from the holidays!

What sort of summer have you had? I've had a great time - so, for those who are weeping into their beer and don't need to read of other people having fun - here's a spoiler: mine has been so wonderful I have to retreat to Devon for a week to recover.

It's not that I've had adventures. There have been no tigers or crocodiles or blue-footed-boobies. I've not even caught a flight to somewhere exotic (though I have bought one). If I unpick my summer busyness there's not been much that was exceptional about it.

Though, to be fair, the visit from Tika and Shobha was exceptional. It's not every week friends from Nepal are able to fly over to see me! So there was plenty of preliminary planning and general excitement and numerous changes of plan and finally some lovely days sharing the delights of Wiltshire!

I've also spent countless wonderful days with grandchildren. I remember, when my children were small, I had no idea why my parents should be quite so besotted and able to drop everything as soon as a small person appeared. Now - I get it. I don't have to worry about work and school and if they need new shoes or how I must remember to ring the plumber. Grandparents have the luxury of time - we can pick up the rest of our lives when they go home (after wine and a good sleep to recover).

But the summer has been even more than grandchildren and visitors from Nepal. I've spent four days at cricket matches - which doesn't sound much, but, when you include the planning, the analysis, and general exchange of views about Buttler vs Bairstow, it has consumed days.

Nothing truly significant? - grandchildren and visitors and cricket. But I've loved every minute of it. But now I'm knackered and need a holiday to recover from the holidays.

So I've escaped to Devon, to wander about by the sea and read books. If I had remembered to bring the thingy that connects my phone to my iPad I'd be able to give you a photo - you will have to wait till next week for pictures.

I do know how lucky I am, being able to take off like this. What do you do, when you need a holiday to recover from the holidays?