It has been so long since I posted regularly that I had to think about my password quite hard. Well, as hard as I think about anything these days, which is somewhere between a cottonwool and a brie-like consistency, I would say.
Rain, rain, rain. Dark days, my friends, and shitloads of floods and gales and all that. But this is all made bearable by the fact that we have wood-fired central heating, working and fully installed, and we’re only considering killing the man who fitted it all, so I think that must count as a success. If we’re honest, at one time or another I have contemplated killing most people, so the heating engineer isn’t particularly bad. Anyway. I digress. In fact, that is really what blogging is for me these days: digression. I mean to post here, and I think about things I could write about. Then somewhere between actually logging in and faffing about with cameras and whatnot, the urge wanes and I end up contemplating either my navel (which translates reasonably well in blog terms) or the counterful of crumbs I can see across the kitchen floor (which doesn’t). I think the trouble with dipping in and out of blogging is that you sort of lose the momentum, and the sense of community, and then it’s trickier to work yourself back up to it. For one thing, practically, I just have so much less time to do it these days. When I started blogging, I was a full-time PhD student, after all, which is tantamount to saying a professional layabout, and the most pressing things on my calendar included making sure I didn’t miss the lunchtime episode of whichever dodgy 1980s murder mystery was currently being shown on the BBC. Now, with two short people to look after, two cats, a house renovation project, a job, a freelance job, an attempt at novel-writing in progress (yes, yes – shut up – I know it’s horribly predictable, and no, it’s not a ‘chick-lit’ whatsit, and no, it’s not a love story), presumably a husband with whom I spend time when we’re both conscious and in the same place (I say presumably because these circumstances happen so rarely as to make the reappearance of the Gordian knot seem likely), and a notional nod towards maintaining some sense of friendship with people I know…. Time – it is not infinite.
But I would like to post here a bit more frequently, so I’m hoping that maybe the stuff I’m intending to do with Hero and Mirth in the next few weeks will galvanise me.
School continues to be fine for Hero. She’s not yet going full-time, but the tiredness that friends warned us about doesn’t appear to be a huge problem for her, and she’s enjoying the social and creative aspects of it, I think, despite telling us that she misses us when we’re not there with her. She did have the perception to say that school is more fun than being at home when Mirth is teething, mind you, which amused me. Mirth continues cheery and easy-going for the most part, although a recent stint of waking at five has been good fun. I honestly can’t complain, though – when I look back at this sort of time when Hero was little, I was just constantly exhausted, and getting through the days was about the best I could manage. Mirth, while an early waker, does sleep much more consistently, and has done for quite a long time, when I think about it. She is a cheery little bundle, with lots of teeth now, and constantly mobile – climbing, rolling about the place, following her sister and putting her hands over her eyes when asked to do something she doesn’t like, as if to make it simply go away. She doesn’t say as many words as Hero did at this age, but she is far more physically capable than Hero was – swings and roundabouts, I suppose, in this case.
We have a downstairs again now. Furniture. Electrics. Carpets, even. It is … odd. We’ve been back in there for a few months now, but it still doesn’t feel quite finished, partly because there are odds and ends to do like tidying up post-stove-fitting plasterwork issues (don’t get Quercus started – his fury knows no bounds), but also because we’ve largely just unloaded books and that’s it. No pictures, really, or placing of stuff – just a breathing-out after months of living only in the kitchen and bedrooms. Sometime I hope I’ll summon up the energy to have a think about what I’d like to go where, but for now, the urge to sink on to the sofa and Just Be is too strong, my friend.
My weight loss continued for a good while after I posted last. I went, finally, from 83kg to 65, and that appears to be where I’m staying. I’ve gone back to doing quite a bit of yoga; I find it helps me sleep, and the space in my brain which it appears to create, particularly if I do it last thing at night, when everyone else has gone to bed and the house is quiet, and dark, and mine alone, is both useful and calming. I didn’t really follow a diet, as such – just stopped eating as much as I was eating, and nothing between meals – and I hope that means it’ll stay gone. I’m happier with my weight now than I think I have ever been; the last time I was this sort of weight, I was a teenager, and I was far too busy wishing I was thinner/taller/cleverer to really appreciate it at the time, so this time around, I’m just feeling bloody chuffed, while also feeling a hint of smugness at never having got stretchmarks when pregnant. It’s all good.
New boots because they now fit my legs. Jeans, cords, some leather gloves. Constantly stacking the stove, but gloating over free hot water. Scraping the car’s windscreen. A vintage Kenwood Chef for my birthday. Contemplating making bread for the first time in weeks. Reading Juvenal’s ‘Satires’, and José Saramago. Quite liking Vermeer. Listening to the Fleet Foxes, Coldplay, Chilly Gonzales. Learning to play Chilly Gonzales’s ‘White Keys’ because my mother’s piano now lives with us. Scattering my mother’s ashes on a clifftop with the aged parent. Sorting out things that have been difficult between us for a long time. Learning that thing are very rarely black and white, and that there are infinite shades between these two extremes. Remembering that we are all just people, and most of us are doing our best, at any given time.
So, that’s the patchwork of life in the earthenhouse at the moment.