family, footwear and fabulous friends

Having travelled on the coach overnight from Paris to Leicester we arrived at my parent’s new house at 10am, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to begin a full fun day with the family. OK so bright eyed and bushy tailed may have been a slight exaggeration and I might have needed a small nana-nap shortly after arrival, but it certainly was a full and fun day with family and friends as my father was inducted as minister at his new church.
It’s been quite a while since there has been such a ‘gathering of the clan’, and those who were unable to join us were desperately missed, (I’ll catch up with you one day big sis!), but it was good to see my other siblings again. Whilst modern communication methods make keeping in touch a lot easier, you just cant beat a good big hug.

The day passed all too quickly, but joyfully, and once again it was great to hear my parents house ringing with laughter and although some of the laughter was being directed at my fabulously chic ¾ length trouser suit, it was being directed by a man who had taken the casual part of the smart casual dress code to heart with his orange stripy number, so I wasn’t too offended. And to you my darling brother I would just say this. You are SO right when you say that not everyone can carry off orange…..

The following day saw slightly fewer bodies cluttering up the new manse and we trotted off to enjoy my fathers first service, and have a good old sing. When a congregation member leaves the service and can find nothing complementary to say to the minister they are often heard to mutter ‘nice hymns vicar’. Well we had some very nice hymns. Thankfully the rest of the service was wonderful too and It’s good to hear he hasn’t lost his touch after 6 years state-side. I’m a bit of a sucker for singing hymns if I’m being honest and given the right selection I would give Ethel Merman a run for her money! There is something about the style and tone of hymn singing that suits my voice and even my daughter had to grudgingly admit that mummy ‘didn’t sound too rubbish really’. High praise indeed.

Once the next consignment of visitors had departed it was just left with my parents, me, Moo and my Auntie W. Although separating Auntie W from Moo was becoming increasingly difficult so we may as well have counted them as just one. Moo hadn’t seen Aunty W since she was 8 months old, but if you had encountered the pair of them, it would not occur to you that they did not spent everyday together, or that the age difference between them was getting on for 75 years. Both of them were happy chatting away to each other about subjects as diverse as the latest cartoons and the best way to prune your garden. Gr-aunty W is now fully versed in the lore of Ben-10 and I am expecting Moo to do great things with next years herbaceous border, and her Scottish accent is coming on a treat. The best quote of the week has to go to Moo, who marched into the living room and addressed gr-aunty W with the frankness that only a child can get away with.
M – “ You’re a very old lady aren’t you? “
W- “Well yes, I am almost 80”
M, in the finest Edinburgh brogue she could muster – “Well I’m affy glad you’re no deed”
W- while the rest of us were doubled up in the kitchen – ‘well do you know what Moo – so am I”.

When I informed Moo that my folks and her ‘Gr-aunty W’ were off on a day out on the river and we were not going with them she was rather annoyed with me, but I made it up to her by taking her to see one of my beautiful friends. Mrs Banana and I used to work together another lifetime ago in a theatre in Bristol, but she now lives in Cheshire with her gorgeous family. Her boy B, is almost the same age as Moo and on the far too rare occasions they have been together they are instant and forever friends. Bit like me and his mum really, too add to the bunch Mrs Banana now has 2 cherub looking girls and a splendidly normal afternoon was spent watching football and eating crisps.
Perfect.
I will admit to a small amount of frustrations on the journey. Why can’t people drive properly? Obviously with a full 2 years under my belt now I am of course an expert, and as the miles ticked by I was muttering more and more thinly veiled threats to the middle lane hoggers of middle England. There will be time enough I’m sure for a full scale rant on this subject at some point in the future, but for now I shall be brief.
Pull out to overtake, overtake, the go back in . IS IT REALLY THAT HARD??? Apparently so.

Mum took us to a very sweet little tea shop which happened to be next to a very very dangerous shop that I shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near. You see it has magic shoes. I know they are magic because I heard them speaking to me. I walked in and the magical shoes called my name, they told me to try them on and the magic didn’t stop there because they fitted me perfectly and they only cost10 pounds (ok so it was 10 pounds each, but it was still a bargain!). I am rather hoping the magic continues when I get them home as they must shrink rather dramatically if they stand any chance of getting into my suitcase.

Well the week with my family drew to a close and we gave ourselves up once more into the trusty arms of the National Express Coach company and headed down south for a couple of days catching up with friends.
It was a joy to see JJ and all thoughts of traipsing into London that day gave way to under the gentlest of persuasion and the afternoon was spent leisurely munching on pastry whilst watching Moo disobey my every breath and soaking herself from head to foot in the town fountain.

I will tell people often that it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.

Leisure was put to one side the next morning as the serious, and heavily co-ordinated day of social appointments, which would probably mean lots of running for trains, began.
London Bridge 9am, Out to the burbs by 9.30
11 am to charing cross, then up to Old Compton St for a …
12pm luncheon
1.30pm Covent garden
2pm Green park
5pm Tottenham court road
6pm London Bridge – then back to Luton
It seemed like such a good plan.
And for once it actually worked out rather well. inevitably coffee, chatter and admiring children out in the burbs led to the aforementioned running, and we got a train a teeny bit later than planned, but a quick taxi ride rescued a few minutes and we were treated to some scrumptious cakes and an brilliant early afternoon natter.
Old friends done, new friends to make. By a stroke of serendipity LD’s mum and dad were in London today and almost impossibly they have never yet met Moo. I was just bemoaning that very fact a couple of days ago, and out of the blue LD managed to get them some last minute tickets to see Placido Domingo (or was it Carerras?!) perform, flights were booked, arrangements made and here we all were heading off for an afternoon of sandpits and bubbles at the beautiful and very large Green Park. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

There was just time to run up to my old place of work and pop in for a very quick hello, and we were off again to meet JJ for our ride home.

I’m not altogether convinced that running around London for a day was ideal preparation for the long haul journey to Macau that starts Sunday morning, but it was just to good to miss.

So the next time I write will be from Macau where our misadventures are sure to be continuing.

A Bientot.

Ready …Steady….

Are you ready?
I was born ready.
Yeah, but are you ready now?

It’s been a week of getting ready, with a little bit of get set and it’s almost time go.

It was Ready, Set and Go Go Go for Moo this week as she has taken a huge leap into the brave new world of cycling.
She has had a bike for a while now, a Barbie princess vision in pink which for some reason she decided to call Tom, a fully stabalised gift of Christmas past which has been taken out on numerous occasions for a roll or a glide, but the pedals were all but ignored. I attempted to wean her off Tom, as she was getting far too big for it, with the purchase of a second hand, bigger, non-stabilised bike which was turned pink and sparkly in order to woo her, but it was rejected and dejected and has spent almost all of its life with us sitting in the shed.
This weekend she decided it was time for Tom to brush off the cobwebs and get out and about once more. I adjusted the seat and handlebars to their fullest extent and while I had the spanner out, took of the extra wheels. Moo was fine with this and pushed herself along with her feel regardless, but the time had come.
In the time honoured parental tradition I held the saddle and handlebars and gently balanced her as she found the pedals. When she reached the end of the path and realised I had cast her off almost immediately the look on her face was absolutely priceless.
First came the shock that I had abandoned her, then came the realisation of what she had achieved.
‘Did you see me? I was riding my bike’!

Hot wheels!!

And just like that she was off. With a few assisted starts under our belts she decided that I was surplus to requirements and it was time for her and Tom to go it alone. At which point of course I rushed indoors to get the camera and took some pictures and a hasty bit of video for immediate dispatch to Hubs.

Again I marvel at the wonder and speed of communication. That I can share something as precious as that, almost instantly, with my darling husband who is on the other side of the planet is a source of utter amazement and joy. When I think of all the things he has had to miss it makes my heart glad when, although apart, we can still share the moment.
But I digress.

Moo was engrossed in her new found skill and I had to wrestle her into the house for tea, and promise more cycling the next day. I took her to the next village and set her loose in the large flat school playground, which happens to be conveniently located right next to the village pub. A happy few hours were spent drinking coffee while Moo showed off her new-found skills to anyone who happened by, whether they wanted to see them or not.

When Tuesday evening arrived I was ready for my meeting with Marion to discuss Moo’s progress in school this year. I was ready for the usual 20 minute chat and settle Moo in the sand-pit while she waited. I was not ready for the full hour briefing taking me through the recent assessment tests page by page, exercise by exercise. Suffice to say that she is doing very well, but needs to sharpen up her handwriting as it is not meeting the stringent standards set by the French government. Her handwriting is already better than mine, so I have requested a page or two of ‘proper’ French cursive script so I can learn it and continue to coach Molly. Maitress was rather disgusted when I told her that I was not taught handwriting in school, just writing, and despite valiant attempts by my parents, a page looks like there have been several large insects fighting over an ink bottle when I am done with it. Thank the lord for the keyboard.
After the meeting it was home with 2 of Moo’s friends for a sleep over. I use the word ‘sleep’ very loosely. By 10.30, and several trips upstairs by the quiet-police, all was silent, but for the alternating snores of 3 very tired children, swiftly followed by the snores of 1 very tired mummy.

Wednesday was a play day with the sleep-over friends in the morning and another school friend in the afternoon. Rather marvellously, with Moo occupied with friends all day, I managed to get a lot more done today than I normally would on a Wednesday. I even managed to give Verity a clean out while the girls were cycling round the church. Splendid.

You see I am getting ready too.

On Friday night we head off to the UK for a week with my freshly repatriated parents, then its off to Macau again to be with Hubs for the summer. So this morning was mostly spent contemplating, then ignoring, the huge pile of ‘stuff’ that has been accumulating in my room for the last couple of weeks,

From a HUGE pile of stuff.....
and this afternoon was mostly spent packing it. And re-packing it, and packing it again when I realised that although I could actually fit all our gubbins into one big case, it would have cost a small fortune in excess baggage and I could barely lift it.
...to this. Only the X-box didnt make the cut!

But finally the packing is done, and with tomorrow as the dedicated cleaning and closing up the house day I really am very nearly close to being almost ready. Very nearly. Almost.

A Bientot.

grass roots politics

When I first saw the musical Les Miserables I was deeply impressed that the main character had turned his life around from that of a convict to become a pillar of the community and had achieved the lofty status of Mayor. Since living in France and becoming more acquainted with the local political system, I have come to respect him just a bit little less.

France has 36,782 mayors. That’s really quite a lot.
In Paris the mayor governs over 2 million people, round these parts, well, it’s not quite so many.
There are 3 small villages in our little patch and 3 local mayors. Our village officially has 254 residents (although I think that a few of the cows may have been counted in the census) and we have our own official government buildings in which official government business is dealt with. Bills can be paid, vehicles registered, births deaths and marriages can all be arranged on the doorstep, which has been jolly handy on many an occasion.

The Mayor is the central figure in any village and is called upon to perform many tasks, from deciding how to spend the annual budget to heading the remembrance day parade, from installing the village Christmas decorations to intervening in local disputes. If you have a problem with how your, many and various, taxes are spent or how loud your neighbours dog is, you will call the mayor and he will act. Whether he will act in your favour or not may be an entirely different matter, and whether he will tell the rest of the village your affairs at the next soiree is also a risk you may have to take.
From observation it would seem that the only qualifications you really need to become a local mayor in these parts are either vast tracts of local land, or a very old and very large family who supported the right side during the revolution of 1789. Of course depending on just how old your family is the right side need not have been the winning side.

Of course our village mayor is wonderful. He is always ready to lend a hand, always keeping the village and its residents as his top priority and never allows his personal feelings to interfere with his duties and never ever gossips. Did I happen to mention that our village mayor is also our landlord? Not that the fact bears any relation to the glowing endorsement. Not in the slightest.
We are actually very lucky with our Mayor, (although the village swing park has yet to materialise – but that’s for another time), and he has always been most attentive when we have needed his assistance.

We have tried desperately hard not to get involved in the wranglings of local politics, but the ‘grass roots governance’ system makes it hard to avoid.

And it is quite literally grass roots that formed the basis of my latest bafflement when dealing with local politics.

Moo’s school is in the next village along from us (a heady 2km away) and her teacher, the magnificent maitress Marion, has been battling for the last 2 years to get the various local and national permissions required to turn the waste land at the rear of the schoolhouse into a playground and garden for the children. There has been much official debate as to the overall purpose of this garden, and whether or not any funds would be allocated to its conversion as it was really not a benefit to the village as a whole. Another contentious issue was the fact that the children come to the school from all 3 local villages and really shouldn’t they all be asked to contribute rather than any costs that may be incurred come from just one mayoral budget?
Whilst Marion has actually managed to secure a minuscule portion of the village’s annual budget to part fund some new play equipment and pay for the lawn seed , the mayor stood firm and made it quite clear it was down to the A.P.E. (parents association) to provide the labour and materials as funding would not be forthcoming to cover any other costs incurred.
Almost 2 years of debate and discussion for what will essentially amount to a swing and bag of grass seed.

Strangely enough when the football team, comprised of players from many more than our 3 little villages, requested new goal nets last season they were delivered and fitted by the time of the next match. I guess they were much more beneficial to the village than a playground. Some of the locals have intimated that the mayors son being captain of the team may have expedited the decision making process, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Late in the Autumn of last year all of the relevant papers had at long last been signed sealed and delivered and work began by parents and children clearing “L’herbe mauvais” (that’s weeds to you and me). Soon after though winter began in earnest and all hope of digging was scuppered rather quickly by Mr. Frost and co. By early spring there had been enough of a thaw to allow a working party of parents to dig out 4 large vegetable beds and the children began cultivation. It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the kids as they tended their young seedlings until they were strong enough to be taken to the great outdoors, whilst maitress Marion rather cunningly slipped in lessons of science, geology and biology barely noticed, yet totally absorbed, by the budding horticulturists.

A rather damp summer has begun and once more the call was made to the parents as it was time for ‘the big dig’. The veg plots only take up a small area of the land and the rest is to be turned into a lawn with swings and a slide, so there will at last be an alternative to the stone yard playground at the front of the school.

So far I had managed to miss all of the gardening sessions due to our extensive gadding about, but at last here was one I could attend. So I donned my wellies and headed off to join the others. There were just 4 of us to begin with armed with spades and rakes, and I was a little concerned that we would struggle to complete our task in the given time slot, but just as we were rather glumly contemplating the large area which needed weeding, digging and raking before we could plant the seed for the lawn, Monsieur Q. arrived like an heroic knight riding his flat-bed steed which was bearing the burden of a small miracle on it’s back. Covered in mud and fresh from his own fields Mr. Q unloaded his prize and strode triumphantly between the grateful serfs as we watched in awe as he fired up the engine of his industrial Rotavator.
The back breaking hours of digging dissolved before our very eyes as he churned up the ground in a little over half an hour. We followed in his wake raking the weeds from the freshly turned soil and making the ground as even as we could in preparation for sowing.
During a quick coffee break one of our number was dispatched to the communal store to fetch the grass seed. It took a while for him to get back and although admittedly we were enjoying our coffee in the afternoon sun we were all rather anxious to get finished.

When he returned he was carrying with him a very small bag and some bad news. The small bag contained the last of the seed in the village store, and after a brief consultation in the mayors office it turns out that despite being requested in May, the school’s order had not yet been processed, and the contents of the very small bag was all that was left. We scattered the seeds as thinly as we dared but just half of the area was covered. There was much shrugging and sighing accompanied by a little complaining at how terrible yet typical this was.
2 of us decided to take matters into our own hands and stated our intention to go to the local garden centre and buy another bag of grass, come back in the morning, finish planting and hand the receipt to the mayor. Our plan was not greeted with the expected enthusiasm. Apparently it is bad form to make purchases and demand recompense without the correct forms being issued. I then decided, as this did not seem to be a desirable option, that I would buy some seeds and donate them the school as a gift.
It was Mr. Q who came to me, rested a hand on my shoulder and with a small sigh explained very slowly to the mad impetuous foreigner just exactly the way things work.

It seems that if you wish to give a gift to a government funded institution, like a school for instance, then it must be declared officially through the regional council offices before the institution is allowed to accept the gift. Doubtless this would take several weeks and reams of paper to achieve. The gift and the giver then have to be logged in a national database to ensure that no officials are being corrupted. But, if I really wanted to go ahead with this then he would gladly accompany me to the office and begin the process. All the while I felt like screaming ‘It’s just a bag of flipping grass’ but in all honesty I had really gone off the idea by then.

I contemplated dumping a bag of grass seed on the doorstep of the school in the dead of night and running away, but I suspect that there is another lengthy diplomatic process when dealing with gifts of an anonymous nature and I feared that it would in fact be more of a hindrance that a help in the long run.

At the end of the day we shall just have to wait until the wheels of officialdom complete their circle and be content with half a lawn. It seems that no matter how local your officials are anything that has to be done through the correct channels is a slow and painful process. Unless of course you happen to like football.

A bientot.

the best laid plans

It’s been a long day. But at least the floors are clean.

I packed Moo off to school this morning and, after a leisurely breakfast and a quick catch up with hubs it was time to get cleaning.

We had spent the weekend having fun, Saturday was gloriously sunny so we took a picnic to the beach and then played with just about every singe toy that Moo owns in the evening. Sunday morning was dedicated to craft and croissants and the afternoon was spent in the company of some wonderful friends at the village fete. Bath time and bedtime want remarkably smoothly and I was able to enjoy a long and lovely phone call with the marvellous LD before bed. What a super week-end.
There was however a price to pay. The cost of the weekend was a house that looked even more like a bomb-site than usual. Not that it is something that normally causes a Monday morning frenzy, but very much in the fore-front of my mind was the scribblings on the calender that marks tomorrow as the day the landlord comes to call. No bad thing as they are coming to survey the walls for insulation works which will make it a lot less expensive in the wintertime, but I fear it will be an end to the antics of the ‘things that live in the walls’. I think I might actually miss them, whatever they are.

But I digress, when you know you have Monsieur le mayor, or to use his less formal title – the village voice, coming round it pays to be spik and span as the whole village will be aware of the condition of the house in time for mid-morning brioche.
I had a lot to do, but thankfully downstairs didn’t take to long and by lunchtime we had a tidy clean living room and kitchen, all bar a bag of craft stuff that had yet to make it back to the cupboard, and a pot of soup on the boil. All good so far.
Remarkably both of us managed to get through lunch without any major spillages on the nice clean floor. When hubs called we were all but done so I moved over to the computer desk and left Moo to finish up at the table. What I didn’t know was that as soon as my back was turned she was into the bread basket and had reduced the remaining croutons to a vast pile of crumbs which she then generously distributed all over the table and floor.
After a brief sweep all was again well. It was almost time to go back to school so I began to gather all the necessary items and popped to the loo.

Its amazing the chaos that a small child can inflict on a room in a few minutes with nothing more than a glue stick, a pot of glitter and grim determination. Not content with using paper Moo had drawn a lovely flower pattern on the table in glue and covered it, the whole kitchen and her whole self in red sparkles. I almost laughed. Almost.
I shook as much of the glitter from her as I could and bundled her into the car, deciding to tackle the glitter bomb kitchen…later.
The afternoon wore on and slowly, from the upstairs down this time, the house began to look quite lovely. It took an hour and a half to purge Moo’s room and make the floor visible again, but all the effort was worth it. And I am pleased to say that my little hoover coped admirably with the kitchen and there were just a few tiny spots of red left glimmering in the afternoon sun.

There was still more to do but I figured that it would be best left until after Moo’s bedtime, then I could have a leisurely bath and relax in the knowledge that we were ready for ‘the visit’. Well of course because I had a plan that instantly meant it was doomed to failure.

Bed time preparations were going well and the few toys that were brought out had been packed away for the night and we were sitting on the bed for story time. The story was told and several passages re-enacted, and it was time for light out. Except Moo wanted the story ‘just one more time’. A slightly quicker read through followed and once more it was time for lights out. Except Moo had decided she didn’t want to go to sleep tonight and was doing everything in her power to make it so.
As soon as I had made it downstairs I heard the patter of feet and the never to be ignored call of ‘Mum, I need a pee’.
Ablutions over and tucked back in, she then decided she was thirsty. Another trip completed and she was tucked in once again. 5 minutes later she decided she was too hot and needed the windows open. After another 5 minutes she was too cold and needed the windows closed. It was now around 9.30 and my patience was beginning to wear thin. Moo could clearly sense a shift in the mood and so deftly altered her tactics ‘Mummy I just don’t want you to go because I’m sad and I miss my Daddy’.
Now while I am certain that there are many times when she really is missing her daddy, I am also quite sure that she is fully aware that this statement will get her at least another 5 minutes. I always go to her and give her a hug, how can I not.

But tonight’s hug was on a timer as I knew she was pulling a fast one. When her minutes were up she protested that she was still not tired and she was NOT going to sleep. I left the room. I didn’t go far though as I we have played this game many times before and I know what comes next. As I heard the light being turned back on I opened the door and Moo jumped about 2 feet in the air, she had been caught in the act and returned to her bed before she really know what was happening.

This time I retreated to the relative calm of downstairs and made myself a coffee while I listened to my temper filled and tired daughter getting noisily out of bed once more and stomping around in order to draw me back upstairs. When she realised I was not rushing back up to chastise her the stomping increased, but I held my nerve until it went strangely quiet. She was still on the move, but there seemed to be less anger and more purpose in her movement. I was getting slightly nervous, but determined to give it a few more minutes to let her temper subside and tiredness take it’s place.
A thunderous crash changed all my reasoning as I took the stairs 2 at a time in a state of slight panic and threw her door wide. The scene that greeted me literally left me speechless.
Every shelf was bare, every drawer upturned, not toy in its place, and the thunderous crash was the result of the ‘pen box’ being thrown across the room spewing its contents of felt tips and crayons as far as the eye could see, and in the midst of it all sat a defiant looking Moo.
Not having access to a mirror at that precise moment I cannot tell you what the exact look on my face was, but judging by the ever widening eyes of my daughter, it was not a happy one,
Without saying a word I picked my way through the debris and crouched down in front of my now extremely contrite child, ‘I think you had better go and sit on the naughty step while I clear this up don’t you?’
She bolted from the room without a sound and rooted herself firmly to the step.
It didn’t actually take that long to clean it up, but it was long enough for me to regain a sense of calm and perspective, and whilst I was still very cross I was no longer angry when I went to get Moo.
When she saw me her whole face trembled and the tears ran down her face as she stuttered an instant apology. I took her in my arms and we sat on her bed for a nice long cuddle and a calm chat about the evenings events. In time she was settled enough to finally go to sleep, and I wished her goodnight and told her I loved her. As I closed the door I heard her call out to me, I took a deep breath and opened her door desperately hoping it wasn’t all about to start again, but was rewarded instead with a tiny tired voice saying ‘ I love you too mummy’.

I returned downstairs and abandoned my now stone cold coffee in favour of a large gin and tonic wishing I was soaking in a nice hot bath instead of glaring reproachfully at the waiting mop bucket.

A bientôt.

Blockages

block·age
–noun
1. an act of blocking.
2. the state of being blocked; an obstructed condition
3.something that blocks; obstruction

Hillywilly’s world had been suffering from blockages.

Some of which have been easier to remove or resolve than others.

We had a lovely day out at a local zoo admiring the monkeys running away from the geese and being bitten by emu’s. The day was only slightly marred by some dipstick parking so close behind me that it was impossible to get out of the parking space, and believe me I tried. Blockage number one was dealt with by retiring to the cafe for an ice cream and waiting for said dipstick (who was, rather fortunately, just there to pick someone up) to come and move his car.

The next set of blockages, although physically much smaller, took slightly longer to sort out. I’m talking noses. Yes the summer is here and we have been full of cold.
Moo had a few nights of vivid nightmares preceding the actual onset of sneezing which had me slightly sleepless and a little concerned. She has the odd 1 or 2 nightmares every now and again, don’t we all, but never normally so obviously frightening or consecutive. I was actually very relieved when it turned out that they were a symptom of impending illness. But then of course we were up a few nights dealing with her coughs splutters and general nose wiping duties. It was a rather forlorn and sleep deprived little voice that uttered ‘Bubby, i’b fed up of by bose being fud of nogies’. A few days later and she was well and truly on the mend and back to sleeping through the night. By then of course it was my turn to have a ‘bose full of nogies’ and more shattered nights.
Now those of you who know me will know how much I adore my sleep, and that I have a slight tendency towards a touch of grumpiness if I don’t feel I have had quite enough, lets just say I think Moo was quite happy go to out school for at least a few mornings that week.
And then, with timing that only fate could have organised, I fell prey to a bout of insomnia. I get them occasionally, and have grown quite used to prowling around in the wee small hours occupying myself with tasks that should probably already have been done (although I draw the line at early morning ironing, you have to stop somewhere). However my occasional nocturnal wakefulness does not usually occur on the back of 2 weeks of already broken nights, and I have spent the last week or so going through the motions of everyday life ensuring that we are fed, watered and the bills have been paid whilst longing to curl up in a duvet and turn the light out for a week,

It was during one of the very long nights I realised I had a problem with another type of blockage.

You see when I cant sleep and the chores have been done, I write. I can happily pass hours typing away, corresponding with friends, scribbling ideas, and sharing my thoughts on this blog. But whilst my nose was now clear, my head and my hands seemed obstructed somehow. I could barely write a sentence, and even then my over critical eye would condemn it to the delete button almost immediately. So I stopped.
It’s not even as though I had nothing to tell, so many things have been happening, I just couldn’t find any words.
I love words, but when I can’t make them say what I want them to say it makes me sad. Lord knows how a real writer copes with these blocks when an amateur scribbler like me feels so bad. So I have been sulking and reading instead, hoping to win back some words form the pens of others. The pile of well thumbed tomes by my bedside is testament to my hunger for words and I think I may just have devoured enough by now to get a taste back.
And whilst I am under no illusion that I’ll be up for a booker prize any time soon, at long last, and with a few nights sleep under my belt, my head and my hands no longer feel impeded and you will once again be subject to my ramblings.

A bientôt.