The week that was...

posted on: Saturday, 17 October 2015

A week consisting of highs and lows. I have some weeks where I am in the company of others all the time and then times where I am alone for hours and hours a day. A few months back, being in my own company was penance and I sprang from thought to thought (many of which were, I see now, rather dark) trying to fill my day. Now, I have found a mental space to inhabit in which, when I get the heebie-jeebies about what I am doing with life, I say to myself: calm down Lou, you're a writer now. This has a remarkable effect as clearly I am no more a writer today that I was a year ago. But somehow, inside my mind, it's given me a room of my own in which to get comfortable. All this time I have been searching for that room and now I have found it, it brings calm.

But of course that does not account for my week of everyday reality - of early morning school runs that have taken hold. I concluded this morning that I had not had a lie in for about SIX weeks. Not one! Even Sundays are spent at far-off rugby tournaments, with 7am starts, where I stand on muddy sidelines with other parents. I realise at the end of a sport season that I have spent more time with these parents than with anyone else! Strange.

I loop around the sartorial challenges of the season (again) and have spent some time wondering if I will ever wear high heels again. A well-meaning and wise friend pointed out to me that our lifestyle was governed by function more than anything else and she is right. I am what I am. It is what it is.

I still make daily pilgrimages back to our real house which this week suffered a major set back. I had actually allowed myself to think we might be back in in a few weeks but one of the contractors let us down (in monumental fashion) and we have had to accept a hefty delay. I can't sugar-coat the renovation process. There is so much to do and it goes on and on and on. Makes me want a lie in.

On one of the afore-mentioned match sidelines a parent asked me what I had learned about doing up a house and what I would do differently. My response? I could talk for hours about the merits of architects and the skills of various trades. But at these later stages of the build, we have gone it alone, my husband and I like a tag team of two; we are weary project managers (and I was never that good at keeping to a critical path anyway). We talk endlessly about deadlines and scheduling of work and which trade is coming next and all I can think about is when can I sink into a new sofa and enjoy the space?! It is relentless. Our kids want to go home, we do too. But at the moment that seems like a long way off. And most people say: 'will you be in by Christmas?' to which I used to say 'yes!' and now I find myself wondering...

Our temporary dwelling is getting fuller and fuller as we stay longer, an interesting human experiment in how much stuff we can accumulate wherever we go. It started off looking like a holiday home; now it has a lived in quality.

Still in readiness for the turn of the weather (obsessed with staying warm) I have scoured the web for every kind of winter parka there is. Literally. I think I have found the one...from here. I am going Canadian because if anyone knows cold, it's Canada. I have seen Anne of Green Gables. And so it goes...waiting for winter to make an appearance, trying to see the upside!


  1. I must confess I like to read your blog but sometimes I find it a hard read. Why? because I understand and empathise, yet I am envious. Your choices, your ability to return to academia and write. Yet then I challenge myself because I too could do these things if I wanted to and if I was brave enough. And maybe I am not. How is it we find ourselves writing to people we do not know in this virtual world. Strange and beautiful. Connections. I will continue to read your blog and about your adventures. Keep on with it Lou, this amazing and wonderful journey. Your witiing and voice is strong. I have no doubt you will find the book within you. And maybe someday I will too. To leave behind the corporate success is tough. You have done it though and continue on. I am sure you don't need my comments or those of anybody else but I wanted to share these random thoughts which were driven onto the page after reading your words.

  2. Lovely post Lou. I love how you have found that mental head space to allow yourself to enjoy silence without having to fill it with thoughts. Just moved to the Cotswolds and so am about to start a renovation project (but on a much smaller scale ;-) Not sure I could have ever taken on a project as huge as yours. Don't under-estimate how much you have been through building your "castle" xx