Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Starting Again

Well, so much for all that early January strength and positivity. Last Monday I got up, walked Moll feeling a bit jaded but sat down to work. By 11am I could hardly keep my eyes open and had to go to bed. Where I slept for TWO HOURS... And it went downhill from there, so I ended up staying in bed for most of the week, getting up to drag myself round the block with poor Moll a couple of times a day, then taking her to the churchyard in the afternoon, where I could stagger round like an old lady, and Moll could let off steam chasing squirrels round the gravestones. Cheerful companions, dead people, especially when you feel hideous.

I couldn't concentrate, couldn't run two words together, let alone string an article together, and after staring at various books without being able to take anything in, I finally started re-reading some Jo Jo Moyes novels which I devoured like one starved. One a day for the last few days: words pouring into my feverish brain, making little sense but carrying me along as I rushed, headlong, into other worlds where flu and loneliness did not exist. For being ill when on your own is lonely. Moll does her best, of course, but no one wanted flu so my mates steered clear - you can't blame them.

Thankfully I am now much recovered. Energy levels are still decidedly low, and I'd forgotten how dispiriting post-flu can make you feel, but at least I can string a few sentences together which is a great relief. So, slowly, life resumes to normal. Which, being January (or February by the time you read this), consists of grey, damp sludgy days where the first crocuses have already burst forth, and daffodil shoots are now six inches high.

Spring isn't too far away. I've got a review to do in a few weeks (I hope) and met some interesting people on a dog walk last Sunday. Daphne du Maurier beckons, as does my novel. So hope is in the air....

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Fond Memories

Last weekend I took my van over to Flushing where my mate Paul very kindly said he would service my van while his partner and I went off for the day to walk and take pictures for one of my books.

On the way there we were deluged with rain - never a good start - but thankfully by the time we got to Daymer Bay it was dry so we set forth over the golf course, taking in St Enodoc Church - which is well worth a visit if ever you're in the area. The last time I did this walk was for Cornwall Today, and must have been about 7 or 8 years ago as I remember Pip dropping me off at Daymer Bay - he was relatively well, then, as I remember. Half way over the golf course, I got lost, but some kind golfers pointed me in the right direction and before too long I found myself in Rock, where I'd arranged to meet Pip at the Rock Inn. Wandering up and down Rock like a lost soul, I kept asking people where the pub was, but no one knew (it was winter). I rang husband continually but no reply, so you can imagine the kind of mood I was in when I finally found the pub and burst in, swear words dancing round me like a juke box.

This time, Viv and I set forth over the golf course and - well, we seemed to go in a different direction. We followed the white stones, as instructed by myself, but found ourselves on a tarmac track. Then we discovered Jesus Well (inland, so way off course). So we headed back over towards the sea, wandering round the edge of the golf course, dodging low flying golf balls, until I discovered a gap in the hedge. We dived through there - and found ourselves in someone's garden. Having tried the path ahead of us, that just led to the dustbins, so we crept round the side of the house and eventually had to tiptoe round the front, and run at full tilt down the drive, dogs in hot pursuit, while we giggled like teenagers.

We then had the same trouble finding the elusive pub (we were nowhere near where we should be),and found it was no longer the comfy sailing club type place but a smart bar with a huge window overlooking Padstow. The prices matched the upgrade, and having said I'd buy the coffee, was a little nervous as I only had £6 on me. "We might have to do a runner," I whispered to Viv as we sat in the sun, and I had bittersweet memories thinking of Pip also sitting by the window waiting patiently for his wife.

Seven years ago, we headed back home where I took Pip to see Mamma Mia which was on in Falmouth, and we met some friends for supper later. As we walked out of the cinema, Pip was very quiet and I thought, Oh No. "What did you think of it?" I asked, tentatively. He turned and looked at me with a huge grin. "Pop, it was like the best party ever," he breathed.

I would like to believe that the dead can see what you're doing, but I don't. Having said that, Pip was very much with us on Saturday: every step of the way. Including getting lost, several times, when I could almost hear him laugh. However, this time Viv and I made it back to Rock with relatively few mishaps, and dear Paul delivered the van, fully serviced, and wouldn't take any money other than for parts. I insisted on buying him a good bottle of New Zealand wine, but he thanked me for taking Viv out on these excursions, though she enjoys them as much as I do.

I drove home that night thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have the bestest of friends. Who also loved Pip - for who could not?

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Antidote to wobbly moments

I'm heading over to the north coast soon, to go walking, and hope the rain can hold off for a few hours. The wind is howling round the house and snow is forecast for tomorrow - the Icy Blast is on its way.

It's strange what a new year can do, isn't it? Time for reflection, start of a new chapter, and all that... I've just been talking to my dear friend Paul who is off on a Cities of Peace tour of the UK when he gets back from New Zealand.

I'm not able to attempt anything similar due to work, Moll and lack of funds, but I am still aiming to make some changes to my life. For the good, of course. But I also don't think it's advisable to raise sights unrealistically high - that way you're doomed to failure.

But I saw a lovely quote on a friend's Facebook page today - "People who wonder whether the glass is half full or empty are missing the point. The glass is REFILLABLE."

Also, I've just received a lovely note in the post from one of my nieces. She finished by saying, "Dad has your Poldarks walk book at home and I LOVED reading it over Christmas, Sue. I think it's brilliant!"

As you can imagine, that made my day, and the card is now up on my noticeboard above my desk. For, you know, those wobbly moments.

Friday, 6 January 2017

The new year ....

This is my mum's garden on the one sunny day we had - which of course was the day I was driving home....

Happy New Year to everyone and let’s hope it’s a good one, despite all the political disquiet.

I had some lovely walks over Christmas which included mulled wine in the woods near Treslothan, an interesting conversation at the cafe at Chapel Porth, and the discovery of Inkie’s cafe at Golitha Falls - even if it was shut, being a bank holiday. Though most days recently seem to have been bank holidays of one kind.

I’ve got a few possible reviews coming up, plus I hope meeting someone whose close relative was a great friend of Daphne du Maurier, so that would be great for the book. The search for more work goes on - constantly - but I’ve started re-reading my last novel and will send that out again as well.

I have a policy that if you open all doors and windows - on every front - something will eventually happen. Of course, it happens when you’ve given up on whatever you’re hoping for and are trundling along doing something else, but that’s life.

So I wish you all a happy, healthy and creative new year. With a lot of fun as well, for what is life without love, laughter and fun?