Yes, I'm already bored of and feeling trapped by the doing, reading, listening format - I really don't do well with blog series, as you can tell by the half a dozen that have fizzled out over the years and I can tell by the many many more that have never made it out of my head.
So, instead, Things.
Things this week;
- we moved house. Almost a year to the day from leaving France. We now live 200ft down the road from the house my mum built (not by hand, because apparently that needs clarified for some people. My mum is pretty handy but she's not building a house handy) when I was 15. She sold it five or so years later and every time I walk past I'm all 'who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my house? By the way your daffodils look great.' at the people sitting in the kitchen window. Silently and inwardly, because I'm not a total lunatic.
- I'm maybe in the midst of applying to go back to college. Maybe. Shhh, let's say nothing more of it for now.
- I went to work last week, to take photos of a 3D printing workshop. I'm going to write more about it when the photos are done but hell, was it good to spend a day taking pictures again. I miss that.
- I'm considering spending £60 on a hairbrush (BIRTHDAY MONEY, I'm not spunking half of our weekly food budget on fripperies, much as the urge takes me sometimes). I don't know if this is a sign that I'm losing my mind or that I'm creeping ever closer to living my best life.
- Last week I came extremely close to throwing out everything I've written over the last three months. I haven't been working on it much because of the aforementioned moving and when I came back to it it looked terrible, awful, horrible. But a very wise friend said to me - when I was screaming into my fist and questioning what the point was -
'THE POINT. The point is to practise, The point is to get to a point where your writing aligns with your standards for good writing. The point is to write enough that you can revise it down to something you don't hate. The point is to show up and think the thoughts and do the work. That is the point.
The point is not to be magically good. The point is to scrub your step until it shines.
You CAN write. But the point isn't whether you can write. The POINT is to DO IT. You weren't good at marriage at first or pooping in the pot at first or being a grown up at first or drawing at first either, I bet. It took time. It takes time.
Scrub your step, gal.
Scrub it good.'
I love that friend. And the apps that allow friends who live far apart and in different time zones and in areas without mobile phone reception to exchange words sharp and fast and in real time. And internets that allow them to meet in the first place.
I bought a whole load of books this week. I don't have any money, but. None of them were the poetry books I mentioned last week which I feel a bit ashamed of. The books in question were;
- Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Because I realised that I listened to one of the podcasts and completely loved it and felt invigorated and inspired by it and then forgot to listen to the rest. I'm not saying that I don't do the exact same thing with books but I'm more likely (I think, I hope) to stick with something that I can hold and read and see and feel. Also, the cover is gorgeous.
- Help, Thanks, Wow and Stitches, by Anne Lamott. Because I'm feeling a bit lost, and few books have ever un-lost me like hers.
- Breaking Clean, by Judy Blunt. I can't remember where I read about this but the passage that was quoted in it was desperately beautiful. It's a memoir (so research, innit?) about a woman taking her three children and leaving the homesteading community that her and her husband grew up and were deeply entrenched in. I've only read 20 pages but it's beautiful.
- The Art of Memoir and Lit, by Mary Karr. I found these via Laura's Pinterest page and I had to have them, for the same parenthesised reason mentioned above - research. Not because spending money I don't have comforts me when I'm feeling the aforementioned lost, no sir, not at all.
- A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin. Um, well, yeah. I'm absolutely not going to leave all of those inspiring, life improving books deposited around the house like forgotten rabbit droppings as soon as this next GOT instalment arrives. Not one single bit.
For the Girls -
In My Heart, A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek. Which isn't to say that the girls struggle with their feelings but SWEET JESUS, do five year olds struggle with their feelings. It's a beautiful book and we've only read it once but it taught us all some stuff about the things our hearts feel.
*Links do not generate me any cash. Not because I'm virtuous or not that into money, I just don't know how to do that 'earning' thing*
- the couples who talk about their poo are the happiest couples of all. It's always nice when a perfectly unqualified stranger on the internet confirms that you and your husband are golden. Although, actually, my husband would like it to be known that I talk, he just listens, a lot. (Emphasis his.)
- period tracking, are you into it? do you do it? would you place a bluetooth enabled device up your fnuh? (the answers in my case are yes, yes, you must be kidding.)
- this article about Brewdog was really interesting to me. The desire to label anyone who comes up with something innovative and is exceptionally good at marketing it a 'pretentious hipster wanker' seems like a particularly British, and a particularly obnoxious British tendency to me. (For what it's worth; I've met the Brewdog guy, I have an extremely low pretension tolerance, I liked him.)
- Connor Stefanison's goat and sheep portraits are everything. This guy knows what I'm all about.