Oh it must be Spring. I’m busy!
I like to be busy, but not as much as the average … person? Person in the UK? Person of my generation? ‘Busy’ doesn’t take long to develop into ‘stressed,’ and ‘stressed’ has developed into psychosis – only twice, and a long time ago now, but… I don’t have the option to push myself like other people.
What has been particularly wonderful about this year, as opposed to other Springs, when I was busy with the kids, or busy with work, or busy writing things no one was interested in, is that this year I’m busy with paid, creative work. Sometimes. Other paid work has to fit around the writing, not the other way round.
Meanwhile, the children have to fit around creativity AND paid work, and are no doubt feeling very hard done by!
I spent some years of my adulthood listening to Radio 4.
This did not last long.
We bounced around for a while, but I’ve settled on Boogie in the Morning, on Forth One. This is why:
- Arlene is not marketed as a travel news bimbo. She’s given an equal amount of airtime,
- Boogie is polite to her and doesn’t treat her as ‘less than’ because she is a woman,
- the quiz happens before we have to leave for school,
- I used to listen in the basement of the City Chambers in Edinburgh. Now I listen in my kitchen in the East Lothian Countryside,
- they actually go on a booze cruise with their biggest fans every year,
- there is a cute kid telling a joke every day,
- the banter is pure quality, and
- if it’s a snow day, they let us know!
I slept till after nine this morning, and I don’t mean dozing, or lazing, or duvet diving. I mean sleeping.
This is the kind of sleep that drags you downwards into bliss, the sleep that triumphs over daybreak, obliterating awareness of the light. Plans made before bedtime are voided and cheerful greetings of the new day are postponed, sometimes indefinitely.
And I love it. I have always loved it. Throughout the teenage years, I especially loved it. During the child-rearing years, I longed for it with the yearning of the abandoned, in despair of ever again having and holding. Then the alarm-clock years, when weekend visitation rights were reinstated and hope was restored.
Now it’s back, fully pledged to me at last, bringing the precious gift of guilt-free slumber into the depth of winter mornings. Welcome home, my lifelong love.
Scraping the car in the morning, I was reminded of how much it reminds me of sitting in the freezing cold watching my Dad do the same thing.
How pleasing it was to watch him methodically remove the sugary coating from the windows so we could see out again, the fan blowing so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves think.
Now I have to sort my own car out.
But: I have a car.
I live somewhere with crisp frosty mornings, beautiful clear skies.
I got a new scraper the other day and it’s a good one.
I have my fans going full blast so when I’m ready to drive the car won’t be as cold.
I have excellent, thick waterproof gloves.
And unlike my youngest, I can reach the middle of the windscreen.
Just a tinylife job that brings joy!
Don’t judge me for shopping for school shoes three weeks after our term started.
OK, judge me if you like!
But I just had to share – especially after the whole dolly-babe nonsense – that we had the best surprise when we went to Clarks yesterday.
I was all for going to JD or Schuh, but it turns out my children are creatures of habit. So in we went, to the shop we’ve gone to since my oldest was getting their first walking shoe. They have gravitated to the ‘girls’ side since they could toddle.
Yesterday, I looked at the ‘girls’ side. And there was no girls side.
Clarks at Fort Kinnaird have mixed their shoes – they’ve got a trainer wall, and the smarter shoes are on the right.
To some people this would mean nothing. To me it means so much.
‘What are you doing for your 40th?’
No one cares whether you celebrate your 34th birthday, or your 37th, or even your 39th, but the minute you say you’re 40 this year, this is always the first question.
And who am I to argue?
My sister is hosting a party during October, when my actual birthday is, for our immediate family.
I’ve decided not to do a big party in the village – it feels like a stress.
But this weekend, the one thing I wanted to do this year. Myself and my three pals from school. We’ve been friends for 25 years now. I can’t believe I have held onto friends for 25 years! They are awesome, inspiring, thoughtful, supportive people. We are going away to a spa together. Just us. I will be there when I post this. I can’t wait.
The alarm went off at six, because it always does. My precious writing hour. It used to be my only writing hour, between six and seven in the morning.
But today I just – didn’t. I was going to. Then I was going to get up at seven, get the kids to school. Be a mum.
But today I just – didn’t. I didn’t even ask Mr HB if he could deal with them (he never asks me!). I just stayed in bed, and he got the message. I would normally wake when he got up, then stay awake.
But today I just – didn’t. I went back to sleep, and only woke up when the ‘have you got your coats?’ reached the top of its crescendo. Then my favourite, special feeling – how the house fills, settles, feels, once everyone leaves for school.