She writes...

posted on: Wednesday, 16 September 2015

I am well into September now, it feels like life has taken on a different pace and the days of summer are over. It rains a lot and we Brits complain about the weather; I find myself wondering (again) what it must be like to live in a warm climate where you can wake up and it's not grey. The weather never used to bother me - like so many things; I turned 40 and thought of a million things that had never occurred to me before - so I am amongst the hard core of weather complainers. Right now bad weather means less building work; roofers need good weather, brick-layers need good weather. I have had to step into the project management role for our house build and so I have learnt many new terms and have stood in many a muddy puddle (in the middle of what will be my kitchen) lamenting the damp proof course. I ask myself again: why did we renovate an old house? Shortly followed by: why didn't we just knock it all down and start again? Working around and amongst an old house and adding the modernity that I long for (think: Scandinavian white) is a laborious process. I get the wobbles frequently and wonder whether I really trust my own taste. I know what I like but I also know that I have a slightly off-piste taste that may or may not translate. All I know is that I want it to be a bit different; I hate to be ordinary.

Meanwhile, I am writing every day. Not the blog - as my lack of posts can attest to - but the book. I have walked around with an idea of an idea of an idea in my head for years. Now I finally have to get on with it; the start of my Masters degree looming in two short weeks. The reading list for the course got me going actually, lots of affirming, calming, just-get-on-with-it words of wisdom that made me simply start. Type type. And now I am off. God knows if it's any good, but honestly at this stage, that is not the point. It's fascinating to create another world in your head!

People ask me why I have opted to go back into education and I vary the response according to audience. To some degree I am not sure I even know the full reason myself, other than it became a compulsion to do something that would get me closer to producing a book. Whether it ever gets published or not. When will I start to call myself a writer? I am nearly there. Truly. But it feels foreign on my lips and like I am an impostor. I realise this pursuit is riddled with self-doubt but hey, that's familiar territory for me ;-)

I sit in our little house (not our real house) perched on a newly acquired Swiss ball (it's all about core muscles after all, so I have abandoned chairs, for now). I fret about how my life will change when I am a student again. I, true to form, get waylaid on the Internet, shopping for clothes and start pressing 'add to cart' when I really shouldn't and all the time, I dream of when my real house is finished and we can go home. Still displaced, it's been over nine weeks now and I suspect another six to go. And even then we will be camping out if we go home; our house long from finished. Suddenly Christmas is seeming closer than ever.

So why a change of lifestyle - a shift into education again? I am going to be really honest; I could not have faced more time spent cleaning the house and having coffee mornings (and I don't mean to say I don't enjoy those two things or that they are not worthy or important). I found myself craving clever conversation, longing to solve a problem or ponder a truth or appreciate a beauty in something, but had no outlet. I was lonely and bored and so deep into an existential midlife crisis that it was almost comical. All of my friends grew weary of me saying: but what am I going to do with my life? It seems that after 15 years with my back up against the corporate wall I became institutionalised. I need to be thinking and assessing and furthering ideas, just like I did for all that time when I was working. It's been two years since I left and despite dalliances along other avenues, I found I couldn't do nothing. There's only so much listening to 'Women's Hour' that one can do. I want to be ON Women's Hour, talking about my new novel! Haha.

So what else? The pup is traumatised still by the change of house location. We take him back to the real house and he freaks out every time he steps over the threshold as he realises it's not what it was. I know how he feels. Children back to school; already tired at the very idea of winter. Early mornings and Saturday matches. Both have important years this year. I am having my annual I-want-to-cut-my-hair-off phase; largely spurred on by Pinterest. I revert to my original position on this point. It will pass. I bought a new satchel because I wouldn't be me if I didn't dress for the new life. I want pretty much everything in the new J-Crew catalogue. I am not sleeping that well. I am torn about whether I like getting back into jeans/boots/jumpers (here come the Muggles) or whether I am dreading the requirement for warm clothes that will last for the next six months. I wonder again whether I should invest in an Arctic-standard parka and conclude: probably, yes.

I think of things to blog about and then life overtakes me. I wonder whether many of my good blog friends have the same issue as I swear people post fewer times than they used to? Is this a blogging shift? Have blogs had their day? I read that people can't cope with blogs now that Instagram is so prevalent; we need a quick 'like' and swipe on. It would be a shame if that were the case.

I shall carry on regardless!

Good Wednesday, Lou x


  1. Oh Lou! I'm so far behind in my blog reading but I finally got back up to date and I'm so glad I did. I have missed so much! Firstly, congratulations on being accepted into your Masters! I'm sorry to read that you haven't been well though and that the home improvements are still in flux.

    I love this post...your explanation for a lifestyle change, I think it's wonderful and how fabulous that you're writing a book. As for the weather, I hear you, and "Same here" with regards to J Crew.

    I love Instagram but I still don't think you can beat a good blog. People said books had had their day when Kindles first came out but there will always be people such as myself who long for something to hold or a deeper connection that a quick flick and like on Instagram cannot bring. I may not actually know you, but I love the way you write and sometimes your posts stay with me for days.

    I hope that book of yours makes it onto Women's Hour - I will be listening!

    Esther xx

  2. So happy to see this post. Life is getting in the way of my blogging as well, but I am not giving it up. I really do love it, and I miss it, as I miss your words when you're gone too long. I absolutely understand your reasons for starting school and needing a challenge and stimulation and being bored with staying home - I may miss having a clean house, but I don't miss doing the cleaning! I'm excited for you, and I'm eager to hear more as you embark on this new phase. It's great to hear from you!

  3. Good to see you popping back again. I too have been blogging less frequently - bloggers block, summer siesta, too busy, can't be bothered? Who knows! But I think you are correct in saying there are less frequent blog posts generally these days. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, FB quick and easy fixes of our favorite bloggers around the world and whilst we are on the go is definitely in the air.

    I can imagine I would be going stir crazy being out of my home as long as you have. 3 months is as long as we've done and it was tough! How attached we are to our surroundings and 'stuff'. Looking forward to the day you saying 'We're Home'.

    In the meantime, good luck with your book and setting ready for school again. Exciting stuff ahead. Pop back soon.

  4. Oh, the weather has always affected me. But the older I get, the worse it gets. I cannot abide a gray, rainy day. But if it goes on for more than a day or two it really affects my mood.

    I don't think blogging is going away so much as it is evolving. Those with the shorter attention span will turn to Instagram and the like, while others will continue to plug away - reading and writing blogs.

    Good luck with both the classes and the renovation. When they are over you will be very happy that you suffered through it all.

  5. Olá, sou do Brasil. Aqui, na minha região, a maior parte do ano é de muito sol e calor. E isto nos ajuda a mantermos o bom humor, mas também temos problemas imensuráveis. Enfim, nunca estamos totalmente satisfeitos.
    Tenho acompanhado seu blog já há algum tempo. Compartilho com muitas de suas inquietações e também tenho passado por muitas mudanças em minha vida. E como você, voltei a estudar, faço o curso de filosofia. Devo acrescentar que tem sido uma experiência maravilhosa. Boa sorte em suas novas aventuras!
    Não sei se conseguirá entender o que escrevi. Espero que sim.