Three weeks of (not) blogging…

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!





Ever onwards; always developing

Someone once described me as being like a butterfly – and later had a dream of me as the Ice Queen, fighting off his enemies.  Both beautiful images which I take as compliments, holding them dear and treasuring them in my heart (“Thank You” to the man who said them to me).  But they also made – and make – me consider myself: what do they say about me?  Obviously any interpretation is subjective – what they conjure up to me may be completely different for someone else.  The main thing that struck me was a sense of strength and elegance; of flying free; and yet of delicate beauty – of fragility.  A butterfly can so easily be crushed, and ice can shatter into seemingly glass-like shards, which melt away to water (another substance however which can seem so fragile and yet have such enormous strength).  But that is not to deny that there is an appropriate strength there.

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling recently.  I know I am strong; I know I can get through the bad things which have happened and which continue to happen to me; but I am also conscious of how I flew too high and crashed so, so far, and I feel broken; splintered.  Is that possible?  Is there anything wrong with flying too high?  Do we sometimes have to do that in order to learn the very lessons that we need?  Do we need to fly that high in order truly to become freer – to fly off the path we were on and perhaps crash land onto the one we were meant to be on?

Hence the previous post: I am trying to face up to my pain and to learn from it: and there are all sorts of lessons I am learning.  Lessons about myself (as a mother; as a friend; as a singer and creative person; as a lover); lessons about human nature.  By stepping back and examining myself I am also learning better how to look out at the world and see myself in perspective.  Although I could be accused of being introspective, that is helping me at the same time to be more sensitive to the world around me, and to look at the bigger picture, and I’m reading all sorts of writing by all sorts of people from a worldwide spread of religious and non-religious viewpoints.  Some themes keep repeating themselves: for example that we are individuals but we are all made of the same matter, and interconnected.  Whilst we are tiny specks compared to the stars, I love thinking of us all as star dust.  I also want to help others – not in a social worker sort of way as that’s not me, but somehow through using my skills as a writer, performer and communicator.  I want to help change the world: and it’s interesting that my daughter seems to have the same ambition, which she has acquired completely on her own, not from anything I have said to her.  Perhaps she, at 10, has a better sense of her ‘life path’ than I did.

I went for a walk up Talkin Fell again yesterday.  As I walked up through the woods the bluebells waved under the trees, a blue haze splattered with sunshine and shadows (the photos at the top show the bluebells in Ridge Woods as well), birds singing as a backdrop.  Up on the solitary top the wind was strong and in the distance I could see it was raining over Scotland and the Lakeland Fells: but above me there was a bright blue sky with just floaty wisps of cirrus.  The tiny exquisitely graceful white wild flowers were brushed by the wind; a lapwing and its mate called anxiously to each other and then flew up together to check that no predators (me) were approaching their nest.  For a time I sat, leaning against stone, and just soaked it all in.

Later my friends Jo and Mike arrived, on their way home from Orkney.  They took me out to dinner at the Golden Fleece at Ruleholme – we had booked a table as it’s practically impossible to get in otherwise, it’s so popular.  Deservedly so – the décor is lovely (I particularly like the maps on the tables, and we all liked the way there are different dining areas); the ambiance is comfortable and busy without being too noisy; they had about 5 or 6 different gins to choose from; the service is professional but friendly; and the food was lovely and cooked exactly how we requested.  However it is probably one of the most expensive restaurants locally, though it’s good value for money as the food is good and the helpings are generous.  The only disappointment was that there was not more choice of vegetarian and fish options (and in fact that is where Capernaum bistro in Brampton has a real selling point – but perhaps people around here are predominantly carnivores!).  A 16 oz Chateaubriand was 57 GBP (sorry – the pound sign has disappeared from my computer)… none of us had that…

Today was Sunday, the day of the week which I have always found the lowest point if I’m feeling low already.  I refined a promotional leaflet for Two Red Heads and… for Care Homes, and delivered a few by foot; a big pile of ironing is waiting (perhaps to be done in front of a film) and a pile of washing is waiting to be hung up.  My children used to come back on a Sunday: I won’t see them until tomorrow after school.  Something has to change.


A Medley

Edinburgh April 2016 (2)A friend commented recently that the Easter holidays seem to have been quite long this year.  I think she’s right – they’ve also been a bit strange as I hardly saw my children for the first week and then this week has passed a lot more quickly as I’ve been trying to work and do things with the children as well.  My parents have been here, and Alex was up in Scotland, so I’ve been working a bit but also took a couple of days off.

The first was to go up to Edinburgh with my parents and Isabella and Edward.  I hadn’t been to Edinburgh Castle for years, literally, and we spent several hours wandering around and clambering all over bits and pieces.  I’m sure there weren’t any cafes inside the castle last time I went and of course with children it’s almost obligatory to stop for a drink and something to eat.  The cafe stocked some freshly-squeezed fruit juices, which went down well, and a range of rather nice-looking cakes.  However it’s perhaps indicative of the age in which we live that what Edward and Bella have talked about most since coming back home is the Apple shop (as in iPad etc. etc.).

On Friday we then went to Glasgow, in part to meet Alex at the Science Centre, who was being ‘delivered’ there by David’s parents.  Cynthia has recently broken some bones in her shoulder and not been terribly mobile, so it was good to see her and to hear that the repair is progressing steadily: I don’t think she would have sat in the car for the journey a few weeks ago.  When we arrived and saw Alex it was lovely that Edward rushed up to him to give him a big hug – followed by Bella.  They do love each other really…

The children loved the Science Centre and I’ve promised them I’ll take them back again sometime soon.  The ‘explosions’ session in the lecture theatre went down particularly well with Edward, as did the Under-7s water ‘play and learn’ area, and there is loads of interactive stuff all over the place – including a whole floor about the human body.

We’ve also eaten out a fair bit – thanks to the generosity of my parents.  As we were child-free on Wednesday evening we headed off to the Golden Fleece at Ruleholme.  Last time we tried to go there they were closed: this time unfortunately they were full.  It’s great to see a local place so popular – I haven’t eaten in there for ages, but will definitely go back sometime as the staff were so friendly as well as being professional – we were told they were full in such a pleasant, polite and almost apologetic way!  So, having read on Trip Advisor that the food at the Greenhead Hotel was good, I suggested we tried it.  There’s a bar- (almost pub-) style eating area as well as a more formal restaurant area. The staff are really friendly and the portions are generous, and overall it was good value for money.  My Mum’s ‘Sea Bass with crushed potatoes and asparagus and cherry tomato dressing’ looked particularly good.  However we all agreed that the best place to eat locally in terms of the quality of the food is still Capernaum bistro in Brampton.

Having said that, I then was invited out to Theatre by the Lake on Saturday night.  The cafe/bar there has always done good food and I’m keen to go back and try out one of their Lebanese flatbreads – last night we just had wine and ice cream in the interval.  We saw Shepherd’s Life: I’ve read the book and quite enjoyed it, but I think I enjoyed the play even more.  The puppet sheep and dogs were brilliant.  I’d done a 7-mile run earlier in the day and seen lambs, so somehow seeing this particular play seemed appropriate… and coincidentally enough, towards the end of the play the lead character (James) states that we sometimes get snow in April in Cumbria.  As I drove back along the A66 from Keswick towards Penrith it was snowing and snow was already lying at the side of the road – and when I drove into Carlisle this morning there was a thick layer of snow on the Lakeland Fells and a slightly lesser layer on the Pennines.

Playmobil garden man


Today was then glorious and by early afternoon it was about 16 degrees, so I’ve been out in the garden planting things – and rescuing a Playmobil man from being buried alive… he’s now in the dishwasher…




Can anyone tell me the best free photo-editing software to use (without getting a virus on my computer)?  Since Helpful Teenager across the road has wiped my computer clean and reinstalled it for me – for which many, many thanks as I wouldn’t have had a clue – I no longer seem to have whatever software it was which let me crop photos… thought thank goodness I am no longer getting the really annoying pop-ups which kept popping up when I didn’t want them to.

I thought I could crop photos in wordpress too but can’t now find that option either… so my apologies to anyone who would rather they or their children were not in these photos, but my computer semi-literacy doesn’t enable me to edit.  Having said that I think Zoe’s face says it all about the Iron Maiden cake. Edward was found having a in-depth study of it on his own (and attempting to pick at the icing) before it came through to the party room for candle-lighting: he was clearly impressed.

THANK YOU to Claire Houghton-Byers of Mama Cakes Cumbria for such a superb piece of baking artistry: see some of her amazing creations on Facebook and watch out for her new website, coming soon (copy writing by Yours Truly – beautifully graphically designed by Fabiana Graff (a thank you to Fabi for putting copy writing work my way: anyone else want a website, contact either Fabiana or me!).  Also Thank You to Claire Hunter (another artist – spot her exquisite painting of poenies) and gorgeous red-headed feisty daughter Kate for letting Edward have a joint party again; and to Silly Gilly for keeping 20-odd children so well entertained.

Meanwhile 10-year old daughter this morning tried to make pancakes for the first time ever.  Being an independently-minded child she didn’t want any help, and picked a lovely recipe from Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam (I have two of her lovely books.  I don’t use them very often but can’t bear to part with them as they are so attractively set out and a pleasure to read).  I’ve never found pancakes particularly easy – it’s taken me years of practice to end up with something which looks like a pancake rather than something which falls to bits.  Not surprisingly there was a bit of a tantrum in the kitchen… followed shortly thereafter by a further flare-up of frustration when the Spirograph didn’t behave itself.

Well, I might not be much good as a mother in many ways but I did manage to step in to rescue both the pancakes and the spirograph.  Now I’m off to plant a hedge in my garden.


Hedge only partially planted as I need to move the trampoline and then get a small digger (or a strong man with a fork) to dig up my back garden, as there’s a membrane just under the surface and I couldn’t get through it with the spade.  Abandoning the job for today, I went back in and before long it was time to get on with the roast dinner… I am so, so proud of my Yorkshire puddings (I was taught by a Yorkshireman… thank you Ant @ Capernaum!).  I think the new cooker helps too – I can actually see through the door – hence the photo where they look a bit like meringues!

So that’s pancakes and Yorkshire puddings I’ve just about cracked… what next?




Anno nuovo, vita nuova!

The end of 2014 (‘the year of broken things’) and beginning of 2015 was pleasant but I was still having the odd ‘wobble’ about my marriage break up and separation and had a row with my ex on New Year’s Day, which resulted in his not coming around for a meal with all the rest of his family and my children. On the whole however I was feeling great about being single again and I was feeling attractive and ‘me’.

The end of 2015 and early 2016 was far calmer, although my depression due to basically just having too much to juggle in my life, cast a sad spell over the final months of the year.  On the whole however I feel very positive about 2016: I think this will be the year that the creative side of me is more fulfilled.

New Year’s Eve celebrations were great.  My parents generously paid to take the children and me to Capernaum bistro for Edward’s 5th birthday.

This was Edward’s cake (for some reason there seem to be fewer options for editing photos in wordpress today, so I can’t work out how to turn the photo round) – spot the Lego mini figure heavy metal band!

The children then went to see their Dad and his girlfriend while I got ready for New Year’s Eve dinner – as last year, at my house.  Dave Brooks brought some amazing Prosecco Punch with incredible ice cubes in it, which started the process of new year inebriation.

The menu was Insalata Tricolore (it was meant to be Insalata Caprese but my basil plant had all but died, so we only had a basil garnish); Salmon with a sort of Prosecco Cream (see note below) with Pommes Dauphinoise and green veg.; then dark chocolate mousse with a warm cherry and cassis sauce to finish.

Please note that the Salmon in Prosecco Cream is my very favourite dish at Capernaum and so it was a case of ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’.  I have to say that whilst my guests were very complimentary about my cooking, the Prosecco Cream (which was a bit of guesswork rather than a recipe) was nothing like as good as Ant’s (the chef-proprietor at Capernaum).  Also my green vegetables were a bit overcooked, which I hate.  However I was proud of all my other dishes and I was really glad I had chosen salmon for the meal rather than a heavy meaty dish.

The chocolate mousse is a Raymond Blanc recipe except he adds port rather than cassis, and serves the sauce cold.

The lovely, lovely evening ended with several games of Bananagrams, which Nicola’s mother kept winning, and then a game of Carcasonne – which Nicola’s mother and I won as a team.

I then started the New Year well with a short lie-in while I read in bed and had a coffee, and then went out for one of my favourite runs.  The air was slightly icy but stimulating and I stopped several times just to enjoy being out.  The swing which Alex and his friends had pointed out to me a while ago was wonky and whilst I swung on it for a bit, the rope cut into my left leg.  I paused by the stone memorial which had appeared at about this time last year, wondering again who Lorna Games was and what the significance of the calf or whatever it was on the stone was; and of course I had to stop to admire the view.  Despite it being a rather dull day and hence not particularly great for photographs, I love this view over towards Walton, the Solway Plain, Kielder and then Scotland – the misty Scottish hills touched with a sprinkling of icing sugar snow on their tops.

As I ran I thought over my goals and desires for 2016: you will have seen them in my other post, and details of singing events and of published writing will follow on my website.  Meanwhile, I wish everyone (me included!) an incredibly happy, successful and abundant 2016, and that your dreams may come true – however remote they seem just now.

Happy New Year!


A Catch-Up

Working full time doesn’t half take up a lot of hours!!!

It’s been a long time since I last wrote but there have been some exciting events so I thought I’d do a quick summary.

One of the big ones was going to sing at a fund-raising ‘soiree’ in Catterline, near Aberdeen.  I took the children up with me to stay with my in-laws, and they then stayed on the following week after I had come back home.

On the Friday evening I went off to a practice with a load of people I had never met before, and with long lost friend Nigel (I last saw him 35 years ago) who has never heard me sing before.  I felt incredibly nervous – it made me realise how singing solo in Cumbria feels somewhat ‘safer’ as people have heard me several times now!  Having had an active social life recently with quite a few late nights, a fair amount of alcohol and not always as much singing practice as I perhaps should, when my voice didn’t carry at all I felt awful and thought perhaps it  had gone for good.

On the Saturday morning I went back down to WP_20150823_001[1]Catterline, this time with Bella in tow.  I ran through my solo items with the accompanist and – phew – found I could still sing.  I think it was just that the stuff we were doing on the Friday evening was very low for my voice.  Bella also got a small solo part for the evening and in fact proved to be (well, as far as her biased mother is concerned) the cute factor of the performance – she sang ‘The sun has gone to bed and so must I’ (from the Sound of Music song So Long, Goodbye) perfectly in tune and in the right place, and several people in the audience could be heard to go ‘ahhh…’ as Rona, one of the other performers, then picked up her and carried her ‘off stage’.  I’m glad to say that my solos went OK too, especially O Mio Babbino Caro.  And I got some lovely flowers, which Bella insisted on sharing with me.

My parents came up for several parts of the holiday and have proved very generous with time, energy and money.  We went to eat out at Brampton’s best and my favourite restaurant, Capernaum, several times: in fact I sent my parents down there for a drink the first evening they arrived as the children had exhausted them by the time I got home from work!  I also more recently had a birthday lunch in there, which was lovely – friends who hadn’t eaten there before all said they’d go back.

The big event I’m preparing for at the moment is singing at Capernaum on Friday 25th September, along with Deborah (Hewertson-Tisdall) and Ray Ducker (both of whom sing in Eight + 1 with me): and we have three accompanists – Jerry King, David Sutton and Martin Johnson.  It should be a really good evening and as it’s already fully booked we’ve got another date in the diary for Friday 20th November.

Meanwhile choirs and so forth have all started up again – I start with Cumbria Opera on Monday; have solos at a Civic Gala Dinner on 1st October (which means I shan’t be able to eat much nor drink until after I’ve sung); and then Eight + 1 has its second concert in St. Cuthbert’s, Carlisle on 22nd October.  I’m awaiting some info. from the Red Cross as funds from some of these events are going to go to their work with refugees in Italy and Greece – but they haven’t got back to me yet (if they don’t maybe I’ll switch to a different charity).  The number of refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria is huge – it sounds as if about half the population of the country is either dead or fleeing.  Obviously it’s always tear-jerking when you hear about a child dying: but my thoughts are also with the parents.  They must be so desperate to leave their homes and risk their children’s lives – then to actually lose a child must make them wonder if life is worth living.

And on that note I’m going to go to have some lunch: I have an accompanist coming to my house in an hour for a practice for the 25th September event.


Much as I love the children, I have to admit that having single, childfree time, is great…

Last night I went to Brampton’s newest and most classy restaurant for the fourth time in about 5 weeks (see my review and others equally as enthusiastic and complimentary on Trip Advisor – Capernaum Bistro).  I was early arriving – Nicola was a little bit late.  I hasten to add that I didn’t mind in the slightest – I was quite happy sitting there day dreaming and doing nothing for a change while Chef-Proprietor Anthony and his team rushed around looking after people. By the time she arrived I’d almost finished a gin and tonic and had munched my way through the delicious crudities (tiny slices of toasted (?) ciabatta with ham hock terrine and – I think – tapinade (sorry Anthony but I can’t remember!).  Both were lovely, the ham hock terrine being so delicate that it almost didn’t taste meaty.

Having scoffed the lot, when Nicola arrived we were generously provided with more crudities in the form of little cubes of ham hock with pistaccios.  Yum…  we then shared a starter of caprese, beef tomatoes and mozzarella with a lovely pesto dressing which I could have just eaten loads of on toast.  In fact a large helping of that entire dish with some salad leaves would make a fab. lunch… and fresh pesto is so much better than the stuff in jars.  The Co-op started selling fresh pesto at one point but sadly they’ve stopped again.  I’ll have to either make my own or keep my fingers crossed that Capernaum opens a delicatessen.  In fact one of my ambitions has long been to open a delicatessen in Brampton, and the block in which Capernaum is situated has always seemed the right location.  Any funders out there?

Capernaum 24th January (1)Between courses we were served the heavenly surprise of a complimentary palate cleanser.  I’m dying to use the term amuse bouche as I think it’s such a great one – lit. ‘amuse the mouth’ – but I’m not sure that’s strictly the right expression and in fact of course it would apply more to the crudities.  I choose the word ‘heavenly’ deliberately: the first mouthful of this damson sorbet with a champagne topping had my taste buds dancing with delight.  Superlatives aren’t adequate to describe that first mouthful (and the second, third…).  And aren’t its colours beautiful?

Nicola then progressed to Beef and Ale pie, which looked lovely, and I had a sirloin steak.  I love the straw fries with parmesan and we also shared seasonal veg. with new potatoes and root vegetables.  I had said I’d share a dessert with Nicola but in fact by then I was feeling far too full, so I had a liqueur (amaretto) coffee while she had crumble.Capernaum 24th January (2)

Post-dinner we sat and chatted upstairs in the lounge area with a glass of port each, continuing to put the world to rights.  This mostly entailed discussing how Brampton was a good place for ex-city-dwellers who want a truly rural life but with facilities (decent wine bars/bistros) as good as those in a city; talking about her forthcoming move to Holmfirth (her husband moves ahead of her and the girls tomorrow); and the reasons for my marriage break up (or should that be breakdown…).  I eventually rolled home feeling good about life, and about myself.  I have some of the feelings I had when I was single – the excitement of having a social life, potentially doing some travelling, and being able to go out with friends and feel no pressure to get home by a certain time – but with the fulfillment and satisfaction of having children.  Sadly, David leaving has given me the space I need from time to time just to relax, unwind and do my own thing.  I guess it’s partly that I don’t feel guilty – if the children are being looked after by him I have a few hours or a couple of days when I can switch off to a large extent from being a mother and, guilt-free, just be me.

One question which has come up in the past few days in my conversations with both Kath and Nicola is ‘would I get married again?’.  The answer is, I don’t know: there’s a lot to be said for feeling young, free and single at times: on the other hand a good marriage or settled relationship can be an especially close support and companionship.  At the moment I’m even in two minds about the whole internet dating thing, though it’s fun to get messages and ‘talk’ to some new guys online: part of me feels that just to do my own thing and concentrate on  my writing and singing and some exercise would be enough in addition to my children, work and friends.

In the spirit of temporarily reduced responsibility, I sat down this morning to apply for two jobs – but have decided not to as the deadline is tomorrow, the application form has some difficult questions on it which I don’t want to think about right now, and I’m just not sure enough about the organisation and type of work to want to apply at the moment.  Instead I’m off out for a run up the Ridge, to get some kindling for the wood-burner, and then to start some decorating or gardening and to do some writing-related stuff: plus a good hour of singing practice this evening after I get the kids to bed.

Life is good.

Footnote: while running in Ridge Woods I came across a new stone memorial to a Lorna Graves (2014).  It was rather lovely: roughly hewn with a relief of a cow and the moon on it.  I don’t know who you were Lorna Graves, nor the significance of the cow and the moon, but your memory lives on in a glorious spot.