Monday, October 12, 2015

Documenting my life

It occurs to me that much of the stuff that I like to do on social media is documenting my life.  H recently told me that if she were on Facebook and was my FB friend, she would immediately unfriend me if I posted photographs of my meals.  Just as well she's never likely to be on Facebook, then!  I love all that stuff.

As with this blog, the frequency of all of my other social media posts varies hugely and it may be that this is a reflection of what's going on in my life.  Often my working life just continues much as before, with nothing new to say or show for it.  Often my meals are just my usual meals and, loving my food as I do, once the food is on the plate, all I want to do is eat it and I never give photography a thought.  Often there doesn't seem to be much going on in the garden or the weather isn't good for photography or I am just plain busy.

Then there's a little run of things which happen which I want, not just to share, but yes, to document.  It seems to be that sort of time at the moment, so here are three offerings in that vein.

Who's been standing on my bowl?

A minor hazard of putting freshly-thrown pots outside to dry, which actually happens very rarely.  I quite like it, though I suppose I wouldn't if it was a bigger bird because the pot would probably end up squished.  I was tempted to leave the footprints as they were but in the end smoothed them over.

 A little bit of La Vienne in Stroud

 To be fair, there are actually quite a few, but I chose this one specially from the 'beach' when I went for my last swim in the river at Lesigny this year.

...  and here it is (blending in nicely, towards the top right, in case you are having trouble spotting it!) in my water feature, as planned.

It's a bargain!

One of the dear friends whom I lost recently could be something of a shopaholic.  She could not resist a bargain, even if it was something she didn't really need and still couldn't really afford.  I remember one particular self-catering holiday when she bought far more food than we could all get through because she kept finding brilliant deals.  They were good holidays. 

A bargain can be a wondrous thing, though.  One advantage (and there were a few, as it turned out) of getting started on the garden very late this year because I wimped out at the chilly March, was that I didn't get round to growing my own plants for the tubs and had to buy what was left on the shelves in garden centres rather late.  It was an advantage because they were so cheap.  My best bargain was undoubtedly half a dozen fuchsia plants at 25p each.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

National Poetry Day

This post is possibly not for the faint-hearted.  

Here we are, National Poetry Day, and I had a few ideas about maybe posting some of my favourite poems on my Facebook page throughout the day.  When I started to look them out, though, it's not where my thoughts took me after all.  Instead, I found myself browsing my current "Writing" folder on my PC.  I don't write poems often and I have been posting them here from time to time over the last 12 months.  There are three, though, that are good enough - not good per se, not my best by any means, just good enough - that I didn't post when they were new because I wasn't sure whether people would want to read them knowing it was how I felt at the time.  To some extent they chart my progress through grief and the first two, at least, belong very much in earlier times.   So maybe it's time for them to be aired.

I don't have a jolly poem to end with but that's because I haven't written one.  Jolly things have returned to my life, as you will have noticed if you've been reading this blog over the past months.

nothing is enough
any more
with no more

I sit here
and carry on, though,
doing things
that are enough
in themselves
for themselves
just not enough
for me

one day
there will be things
that are enough
I know that

the knowing means
I can survive
this time when
nothing is enough

nearly done now,
a sunset photo
representing where I am
in time and emotionally

in three interminably
long weeks
not dodging any bullets
but facing it all

cramming in the essence
of 10 summers
beautiful places
wonderful friends

immersing myself
in the place and the life
so I can leave it

now it will be something
left behind and ended
no longer to be feared or dreaded
no longer like
a kick in the guts


So often I’ve talked of my specialism
in husbands:

Mikes, born late summer 1942.
Red beards, ex-teachers because of stress
Divorced, two children:
an older daughter with red hair,
a dark-haired son born in ‘77.

And now another thing they share:
Died, leaving me behind.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A splendiferous month.

At the beginning of September the month ahead looked a bit manic.  So many opportunities cropped up all in one month rather than spread out over several months but they were all things I was really looking forward to, so I put aside my worries about getting any work done and jumped in.

Throughout the month I'd been calling my manic month I've been to a live performance of Tubular Bells, been to Paris for 3 nights, visited my parents for 3 nights and made five batches of jam and jelly, done what I hope is the first of many activity sessions with my granddaughter, had one week at home making pots, had a friend to stay here, been with her to meet up with other friends at two different friends' houses (neither of whom I've met before) and been to London to meet yet another friend I've known online for 15 years but not met before, then in the final afternoon of the month met with my SixtyAt60 friend and another old friend I haven't seen for 33 years to share another of those 60 tasks. 

Somewhere during that last day I became aware that something had changed.  September no longer felt like a manic month; the whole had suddenly become greater than the sum of the parts and become a wonderful experience.  Instead of being tired or dazed, I am thoroughly energised.  There's always a danger when I'm really buzzing of a crash of tiredness to follow and I know this could still happen but I hope the energy will carry me forward.  I've really thrived on having a life: spending so much time with so many and divers friends, being in so many different places one after the other and above all having conversations - oh, the conversations!

By contrast, the next five weeks at least must consist primarily of head-down, solid ceramics work.  There is an exhibition coming up, not to mention Christmas sales in shops and markets, and my stock levels are at an all-time low.  I don't feel daunted by this, though. The pottery is full of dry pots ready to be fired.  More need making, but as each three or four batches of pots are made and dried, a kiln firing can follow. 

The weather will change, there will be times of grief again and I will take off my rose-tinted specs in due course, but for the moment, at least, the joys of a splendiferous month are still with me.