An Update

Hello internet friends. I hope you are all well and many apologies for my prolonged absence. The combination of college work (which ended in June), continuously being around family during the summer and NOT writing, has led to my difficulty in writing. It’s not like I’m out of ideas; it’s more like my confidence in being able to write anything fluently and entertaining has dwindled. I read somewhere that writing is like exercising a muscle and must be prescribed regularly. My writing is unfit and in need of some regular exercise. It’s also that feeling that if I wrote something every day, then it wouldn’t matter if something was occasionally mediocre. But now that I’ve waited for weeks to write anything then of course I have to write something MONUMENTAL.

Sorry to disappoint, but I feel just getting something down on the blog is a start in this juncture. Below is a list (because those are easy to write) of what I’ve been doing and thinking about writing (but didn’t) and plan to:

  1. I’m enjoying the long summer holidays with my son. This is an unpopular thing to say and it’s usually best not to admit it. Why? Because other people think: a. I’m lying or b. I have an easy life because I work part-time (I’ll give them that) c. I’m being the intolerable smug mum (nobody likes them) d. It’s more popular to say that I need wine to get through the holiday’s with children. This leads on to an upcoming blog I’ll be writing:
  2. I need to write a blog post celebrating one child families. I tend to steer away from ‘bigging up’ my life because I can see how wonderful it can also be to be single, partnered or with several children. This diversity makes for an interesting  world and it really is different strokes for different folks. That said, as I’ve been questioned, pitied and ridiculed for having one child in the past I think it’s right I get to celebrate what is good about my life too 😊 A little family wasn’t the original life plan. I had visions of large family gatherings around the Christmas table but this was not to be. Now that the judgemental fog has cleared around my family dynamics (by myself and others), I’m happy and satisfied with my lot. This summer has highlighted all of the reasons why (for us) it’s good to be a family of three.
  3. We went on a budget holiday to Edinburgh for two nights for under £100. We climbed a famous mountain (well, two big hills really); held artefacts from ancient Egypt whilst questioning an Egyptologist; visited Greyfriars Bobby (have you seen the film?) and the café where JK Rowling penned the first Harry Potter book. FYI they are cashing in on Rowling and so we bought a sandwich from a supermarket nearby! Most activities were free and myself and son had a lot of fun. I should write about it really, but my photos aren’t blog worthy and I’m inexperienced on the Travel Blog front. I’ll probably not write about it but if you’ve any questions for me please let me know.
  4. I realised how much I love Scotland. I also holidayed down the South Coast of England. It was lush and green and I could see their flowers were slightly more tropical due to the warmer climate. The hills weren’t as high and bumpy, the beaches weren’t as soft and sandy and the green didn’t seem so vivid as it does in Scotland (but that might be my imagination). I realised that of all the places I’ve been (apart from the Yorkshire Dales), there really is nowhere like home. More sunshine would be nice though!
  5. We’re skint. I’m watching every penny because my work has been more part-time than usual over the summer, with an average of 11 hours a week. My husband bought the MR2 convertible (car) to play with a few months ago and its taking a chunk out of our monthly outgoings. Having always paid for cars upfront, I’m not enjoying this debt. Which leads me on to the next thing:
  6. Children need to exercise more during the summer holidays and it doesn’t have to cost you anything apart from your time. At the beginning of the summer I read an article stating that the youth inactivity pandemic stems from inactive summer holidays. Children are recommended to have at least 60 minutes activity every day but the majority of children in the UK are not achieving anywhere near this amount. This worried me. I always try to ensure the children in my care play active games and get some fresh air every day. As I don’t drive (perhaps for another blog post) we walk everywhere. However it’s often raining and given the choice, my son would be glued to his Playstation. Myself and husband are both readers and food lovers and I’m trying to change it around a little and instil a passion for healthy living and exercise!   I am lucky to be at home with my son and can therefore have some control on his activity levels. I wanted to start jogging again and my son said he’d like to join me. I’ve had to think of activities that a free or cheap (see point five) and also enjoyable. This is what we’ve been doing: 5km walk/jogs twice a week; weekly 10-15km cycling trips; weekly swimming (free for children during holidays); putting (free with own golf club and ball) and tennis (also free in local courts). Additionally, he’s been out in the garden playing with friends and children I mind. I’m aware that next summer it is likely I’ll be working away from home and in this case I’ll be sending my son to summer club for a few days a week. This isn’t free, but as it’s run by the council it’s reasonably priced.
  7. My dad was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and was there for a week. We’re still awaiting tests and so far all we know was that a Polyp was mentioned. My parents didn’t get to go on their much anticipated holiday to the Italian Lakes. I’m supposed to be dog-sitting at the moment. I am telling myself not to worry and not google his symptoms. It’s difficult.
  8. I’ve been blogging for a year! I may write about that, but it might be a “what not to do” type of post, given my recent absence.
  9. I still haven’t worked out how to properly format text in WordPress. I realise that point six above is a very long paragraph and I know the number formatting above isn’t consistent but I’m unable to fix it – sorry.

That’s all for now. Despite being skint, I’ll be away for a few days next week staying with friends up in Aberdeen. In my previous life, I was a HR manager for an oil company. I studied for a post graduate degree in the evening and when I handed in my notice (heading back to home town and pregnant) I had just been offered a promotion which would mean more money, responsibility and international travel. I know my trip will remind me of what I could be doing had the other life continued, but I also know I’ll be glad to return home.

 

37 thoughts on “An Update

  1. The summer has sapped my ability to write as well. Mentally and physically – with the kids, they just do not give me the time to sit down to do something alone. I hope things with your dad work out well. Lately I have been thinking about the job I left behind with the big paycheck. There is good, there is bad – I miss the money but not the hours. I can get overwhelmed with the kids, but ultimately I am glad to be here for them every day. Safe travels!

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    • Thanks. Oh I understand what you’re saying. It’s just nice to get some time to yourself, isn’t it? You’ll be getting pulled in three directions, whereas I suppose I get pulled in the one direction which makes it a bit easier. That said, when I childmind I prefer a group so that they can play with each other. Then when you (hopefully) get some peace at night, you’re too wiped out to write! Then they go back to school and you miss having them around 🙂 I’m trying not to worry about my dad – we’ll see how it goes. Thanks again.

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  2. Nice to see you back. Hope the studies went well. I understand how difficult it is to resume a routine after a long break. As you say, writing is habitual — as with any exercise. But not everything you write needs to be made public. The overall feeling I get from your update is one of contentment, which is encouraging. Look forward to reading more.

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    • Thanks David. I’ve had an enjoyable summer and my boy will be returning to school soon. I’ve not been writing anything at all. I need that time alone to settle down to it and I’ve not been dedicating time to it. Hope you are well. I must catch up on blog reading.

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  3. Everything will settle down soon , I don’t write as much as usual because I have to be in the right frame of mind. I heard on the radio today that JK Rowling is the highest paid author, to think she used to be unemployed and writing in a cafe! Good on her I say. There is hope for us all 😉

    I know you have lots of talents within you they will come out when the time is right. Sorry to hear about your dad, try not to worry I was told recently that polyps are very common and can be in different areas of our bodies 🌹

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    • Your other talent is blossoming, and so you’ve been busy painting 🙂 I was talking to a friend who lives in Edinburgh and he was saying that his step-daughter went to some classes with JK Rowling’s child. He said JK Rowling was down to earth and pleasant.

      Yes, I’m trying not to worry about my dad until he gets the scan to see what’s going on. There’s been a lot of waiting for him this year and this illness doesn’t seem connected to the other illness :-/

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  4. Glad to see your words back again. There is pretty much an audience for anything off of that list. I am sure whatever you choose will be good. Hope your father is ok!

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  5. like your honesty here, don’t be too harsh in preempting what others might or might not think .. I enjoy blogging because I feel if mine doesn’t appeal you can move on .. so don’t apologise just be YOU 🙂

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  6. I completely understand what you are saying!! I have gone through such a dry spell recently, and it has been in part due to the fact that summer has been so busy and lovely, but really it has been because I haven’t been able to write. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make my writing the absolute BEST it can be. Anything short of that surely shouldn’t be published!! 😉 It’s quite stressful actually, and it takes the fun out of writing. 😦

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      • I agree!! I keep telling myself that I need to just write, regardless of whether or not I publish it. I hope you get back into writing too, because I really enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

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      • Thanks, you too. I’m in the process of opening another blog and moving stuff over that I’ll be happy to share with people I know. I’ve been blogging anonymously for a year and nobody I know has read it 🙂 My private stuff will remain on this blog, as most people I know would be offended haha!

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      • It’s interesting that you say that, because everyone I know reads my blog, but I wish some of them didn’t! I would love to have a private blog where I could write about some of the things that I’m too hesitant to share on my public blog. But I would lose all my WordPress readers, and would be starting over from scratch. I’m not sure have the energy for two blogs at the moment. Maybe someday though… 😉

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  7. Interesting reading. So different from my life in California. I saw that you liked one of my blogs and appreciate the interest you shared. Please pray for the people who have losing their homes in Texas due to terrible flooding from the hurricane, Harvey. They are enduring 30 to 50 inches of rain since last
    Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

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