It’s been three weeks since I last wrote a post. When I started to write this post two children were upstairs shouting and the other was downstairs watching some rubbish on television… by the time I got round to finishing it, the following day, I had the house to myself and all was quiet.
I haven’t felt terribly inspired to write, do much singing practice, do marketing and promotion for either of those things, nor indeed be motivated to do much other than the day-to-day things I have to do, recently. I’m not depressed – I have moments of sadness and of tears and also moments of joy and I have three musical/singing projects to start work on – but I do sometimes just feel tired, and sometimes rather devoid of any emotion, or at least any emotion which takes any energy, whatsoever. I work; I look after my children; and I try to sort things out in terms of pensions, house, divorce… oh, and I must sort out my broadband and phone (landline and mobile) provider…
So what have been the highlights recently? Well, the children all got good school reports, which was great, and we had a lovely weekend down in York at the Royal York Hotel with my parents – thanks to my parents. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere where the service has been so consistently brilliant. The hotel staff gave the impression that nothing was too much trouble and that loud, bouncy children were no problem whatsoever (in fact when I discussed it with one of the waiting staff in the restaurant he said that a drunk stag-party reveller is worse as at least my children are polite). Bella rated the food as the best ever (and only days before she had been saying that Capernaum bistro in Brampton was the best ever – my cooking gets 7/10 compared with Capernaum’s 10/10, whereas the Royal York exceeded even that!). Maybe it’s Yorkshire (or York) people generally as the staff at Pizza Express were also lovely. Everybody seemed happy, and to be enjoying their work: perhaps the hot sunny weather had something to do with it. Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed spending the time with my three children and we all enthused about the hotel.
The weather has been incredibly changeable – hot and stuffy for a couple of days followed by chilly and rainy. Perhaps the most striking – and exciting – days were when we had thunder. Edward and I had been feeding the neighbours’ fish while they were on holiday and for several days the weather had been almost perfect: dry, sunny and warm without being too stuffy. Then it got heavier and thunder was forecast. I woke up one morning to an amazing sky: dark, dark grey clouds but the morning sun making the houses shine red-gold. I took a photograph, but it really doesn’t do justice to the incredible light and the contrast between the lowering sky and the brightness of the brickwork. Just moments later the entire sky had darkened, the sun had disappeared, the rain was pouring down and it was thundering… exciting stuff! (I love a good thunderstorm, particularly when we really need one when the air feels oppressive).
On another day when the outdoors was calling loudly to me, instead of being inside working I had cabin fever, and by the late afternoon/early evening I decided I had to go up Talkin Fell. Previously I have described how the sky was blue above me but that I could see a band of rainclouds in the distance: it was similar this time but the other thing that struck me, which often strikes me, on starting the walk, is how noisy it is. Not the urban noise of traffic and people and resonance from hard surfaces, but birdsong, dogs barking, cows mooing and the odd aeroplane high up but quietly clear. I suppose there’s not that continual hum of background noise you get in a city so the individual noises are that much more distinct.
Once you’re at the top of Talkin Fell it’s quieter, and I know I’ve described before that ‘top of the world’ feeling. This particular day I experimented with different settings on my camera, taking photos of the lovely white cottony flower thing (I have no idea what it’s called), which Phil Robbins used in the foreground when taking those fantastic photos of me on Caldbeck Fell. My camera has loads of different settings and I have used only a few of them, but I want to get more experimental – I’m hoping I’ll get some good photos when I’m on holiday in Italy in September. I particularly like the dark, almost black-and-white one, for this particular plant, though it looks better taking up an entire computer screen than reduced to fit in a blogpost.
Before I go to Italy we have the school summer holidays lying ahead of us. We’re well into week one (week three for Alex) and with any luck we’ll get some decent weather and be able to enjoy being outdoors – or perhaps, as we did today, enjoy being outdoors even without decent weather: splashing in puddles remains fun even when you’re 12, and Bella’s white leggings had to go in the bin as I could not get the grass stains out (even with multiple doses of Vanish) from where all three children had repeatedly slid down a grassy/muddy bank at Carlisle Castle…
My divorce has turned painful and costly; but even though I’m worried about how much it’s going to cost me in solicitor’s fees and whether I can really afford to go on holiday, I’ve blown my savings anyway on fulfilling a long-held ambition of going to Italy to learn Italian and then my birthday money from my Mum has been spent in advance on a holiday to Lanzarote later on. I’m hoping getting away in the autumn will prevent any autumnal blues or depression… and money always turns up from somewhere when you really need it… I can’t wait – it’s been 6 and a half years since I’ve had a holiday without the children and more than eighteen months since I went abroad skiing with them. Last time I went to Club la Santa on Lanzarote I was pregnant with Alex. I’m really looking forward to once again doing aerobics outdoors overlooking the Atlantic, and swimming in an outdoor 50m pool in November!
So however difficult things may feel from time to time, I have plenty to look forward to: and can’t help thinking that somehow everything has a way of sorting itself out for the best. Such a change from how I felt even only two or three months ago! Look out for news of my two new music projects on my ‘projects’ page before too long (and fingers crossed I also get more writing commissions soon).
Meanwhile from time to time… dolce far niente!