Getting back to things. Why is it that I fall out of the rhythm of life so easily? I pretty much had a month off writing, although I tell myself that is what ‘writers’ do, I am dimly aware that in order to be a writer, you have to write. I find myself making excuses when the kids are around for the holidays; endless pickups and drop-offs are not conducive to creative thought. Instead I turned to audio books, listening to stolen moments as I go about my day, always thinking about writing but just not doing it.
I returned to college yesterday to see my tutor and realised it’s not that hard to get back on the bandwagon, I just need to get on and do it. That old procrastination is always there in me and I now need to banish it. I have just over a month to finish the first draft of the book song with a couple of critical essays and hand in year one of my Masters! OMG. Remember when this was just a glint in my eye? Remember when I used to say ‘yea, I’m gonna write a book one day’ and everyone nodded at their screens and thought ‘yuh-huh, get on with it…’? I see that actually I had to get over myself and start studying and making this a priority and so here I am, at the corner of bucket list and academic resurgence central.
And the book – people ask what it’s about. I say ‘life’, glibly. It’s about families and marriage, adultery and love, mothers and fathers, adolescence and innocence. It’s about choices and envy. All sorts…
Meanwhile, it’s summer term, implausibly my son starts cricket and my daughter is playing rounders today. Being back at school works for all of us, although we complain and spend a lot of time looking forward to the next holiday. We are going back to Florida in the summer – again – and this makes me happy every time I think of it. I am reading a short story by John Updike where he observes how American friends move to England and talks about my country’s muddy, gloomy grey demeanour and how charming it is, how different. The funny stodgy food we eat. The Britishness of it all. And I think my equivalent is the Florida palm tree. Give me a fake flamingo stirrer in my glass, a view over some sun-kissed water and a fish taco and I am replete.
There’s a subtle hint at warmer weather and so it’s time to remove the layers of coats and scarves and venture out from winter hibernation.
We have now been back in our house for six months and so in daily life, it has become more normal, I absorb the choices we made and think: yes I am pleased with that tile or no, that wood has not darkened as I expected etc. I can say that given we took so damn long to renovate this house (2+ years) I did think long and hard about the choices and am generally very happy. The best investment was ceiling speakers which afford nightly kitchen music playing of all sorts; of course it was Prince this week. I was so sad to hear he’d gone; he was the soundtrack to my youth.
I am pleased with the bold white patio, the white walls, the white kitchen…if in doubt go white. But the best times are when the sun floods in on a Saturday morning like this and cast shadows across the floor. The puppy basks in it and I think back to the slimy, oil-leaking, ugly monstrosity that our house was and conclude it was worth it.