1. This week has felt messy, mainly because of kids’ illnesses, all minor, but it’s meant trips to school in the middle of the day to collect them. Having them at home always interrupts my creative flow, even when they’re well, but especially when they’re sick.
2. My younger son visited me the other night because he couldn’t sleep. He sat on my knee and told me his worries—he’s frightened that his Dad or I might die, and the other day, when I was late to pick him up, he thought I’d been in a car accident and was in hospital. He sometimes visits me late at night to tell me his worries, and I try to reassure him, telling him I’m doing my best to stay alive. But I remember my own childhood anxieties, and my terror at the thought of losing a parent.
3. Life seems a little slower this year, and it’s so much easier to parent when there’s enough time. Or maybe some of those Parenting Lessons I learned in 2014 have finally gelled.
4. I know I’ve jinxed everything by saying that out loud.
5. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been apart from when I was pregnant, and I can’t even be bothered caring about it. I’m enjoying winter’s warm food, and it’ll come off again if it’s meant to …
6. The evenings already feel lighter, but the weather doesn’t seem to know if it’s warming up or cooling down, and it’s sometimes trying to do both. I don’t know whether to turn the heater on or off, or whether to wear my polar fleece or not when I take the dogs for a walk. If I wear it and it gets too hot, it’s hard to take it off while holding two dogs on leads and wearing earplugs threaded through the layers. To untangle them, I unplug them one ear at a time because I don’t want to miss any of the podcast, and I can’t possibly pause it while I sort myself out, because it’s timed to end when I finish my walk.
7. I usually decide to remove my polar fleece, then turn the next corner and find I’m walking straight into the wind, so I have to put it on again, and go through all the ear plug and dog lead palaver again.
8. I know I really don’t have anything to complain about.
9. Life is rather good at the moment and I’m very thankful.
10. And the edits are going … well, let’s just say they’re going—two steps forward, one step back. It’s not fast, but at least it’s in a forwardlyish direction.
11. Spellchecker didn’t like ‘forwardlyish’.
And here are some photos from my week:
When my daughters were young, I began giving them antique china cups and saucers for their birthdays. They weren’t their favourite gifts, but they now have quite a collection. I hope that one day they’ll bring them out in all their mis-matching glory, and enjoy old-fashioned morning teas with friends.
Good to see your blog, Louise. Lovely photos.
Thanks, Maureen. Lovely to see you visiting!
Gorgeous. You complain as much as you like, it’s wonderful having a blog audience to grizzle too, especially when there really isn’t much to grizzle about.
I find grizzling about things I’m not that upset about kinda fun, actually! Thanks for permission to continue!
A lovely gentle post, Louise. And I love the idea of giving your daughters china cups – how pretty and something special for them to have. I have an Isabelle too and she loves my old china cups, so I’m sure they’ll go to her when she’s ready. Enjoy your time xx
I still love the name, Isabelle, and we named her 19 1/2 years ago now! And yes, I love the china cups I’ve given them. As I say, the girls don’t love them as much as me, hence they’re still sitting in my china cabinet or hidden in high cupboards! But I hope that one day, they might and it’ll remind them of their mum. I must add, I’ve so enjoyed scouring antique shops looking for them!
I do love a good antique shop! My house would be piled high with stuff if I had the room LOL. That being said, my husband says we don’t need to insulate the loft because of the amount of stuff in there, including several boxes of vintage embroidered linens I collected over the years from op shops and flea markets. Oh well, they will be got down and looked at one day 🙂 And I’m sure your girls will love their cups too xx
Oh, you’ve just given me an idea of what I’ll photograph next—something my great-grandmother made. It’s silk and it’s exquisite, her tiny, even stitches. I love all these links we have to the past—it makes me feel connected to the long line of women, and men, before me. They live on through their handiwork.
Oh, I can’t wait to see those pics!
Oh, Louise, you wrote me a beautiful comment on my Beauty Spots post and it’s suddenly disappeared! I hope I didn’t click the wrong button (although knowing me that’s likely) I do apologise! I did get to read it through before I accidentally sent it into the ether, and I wanted to say thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t ever want to downplay the very real effect of trauma on people’s lives and I know I’ve been very lucky. So I’m really pleased you got what I was trying to say, that there is bad in this world, but hopefully we can look at the good as well.
I’ll try to remember what I wrote and rewrite it, Helen!
And I agree, those loving stitches come from a time when people could do such things – I wish I had the skill.
I love the cups – what a beautiful idea. And the floating stamen photo is a stand out.
Thanks, Monique. I’m glad you like the photo and the cups. I already know what my Midweek Moment is going to be!
What a gorgeous idea gifting those sets to your daughters. The photo of the white flower in the saucer is my favourite. Such exquisite, pretty images Louise. My daughter’s real name is Isabella 🙂 Don’t tell anyone though x
That was my favourite photo, too—and I love pretty things also. And you have good choice in names! (And husband’s names!) x
Enjoyed your post … even the grizzling, Makes me feel not alone! I have a lovely collection of non-matching pretty china tea cups given to me over the years (starting I think with my 21st) and I love bringing them out for my reading and sewing groups. I’m surprised that so many of my friends don’t seem to have them. I thought we all did, but what do I know (clearly). I love hand washing them the next day – they do NOT go in the dishwasher – and remembering where I got each on from. I now have 14 or more. My daughter showed interest in pretty cups too and so my Mum started giving her them to her – cups, little dishes. She has a nice little collection now. They don’t quite suit her current very modern apartment, but they’ll come into their own again one day.
Oh, and keep editing. Slow and steady wins … well, you know what I mean.
I’m hoping my girls will appreciate them one day, too, but like your daughter, they’re into modern. But who knows what will happen in the future? I love them and they look lovely in my china cabinet until the day they go to their rightful owners!
I’m sure they will … Meanwhile, you have the best of both worlds … Lovely things that you know you can declutter later, if you can call gorgeous China clutter, that is!
Yes, at least I’m getting to enjoy them in the meantime! And I could never call them ‘clutter’, although I have a sneaking suspicion that’s how they’re considered by my daughters.
Enjoyed your blog Louise. My summer has felt messy and makes me want to write about the anxieties of a parent. I thought thought the flock leaving for college was particularly difficult a few years back, but now there is the graduation and within a few weeks my oldest will be moving to the largest city in the US. I’m so grateful he has found a fantastic job and will not be laying on our couch for all of eternity, but now I see that though the city is only an hour and a half away, he is grown and will spread his wings. Our time together won’t be determined by school breaks and summer jobs living at home. Our time will now be fit into his hectic life in a new career, with a girlfriend and possibly two families to balance. Just like us, when we left the nest.
And then there is of course the anxiety of a child, choosing a boyfriend and genuinely wanting us to like him, when all the red flags are flying that she can not see but we can, for we have been there. She can not see her own personalty change when he is with her and sometimes even when he is not. So it’s time to jus pray that it will all work out. that they are young and she will go back to school and he will find a job that will lead them in different life directions and away from each other.
Enjoy these messy weeks Louise, I remember them now more fondly. I loved point 2 and 4. Love your son sharing with you and the other made me laugh out loud. So glad you have stuck to your writing. It is beautiful and makes me want to return to mine. Maybe sometime soon.
Oh my word, Lori, that’s a lot to think about! You’ve had a messy couple of years. Life sometimes seems one long series of adapting to changes, especially when it comes to our children. I hope you get back to your writing one day, because you are very talented. I’ll never forget those early days in BWW—we formed a tight-knit group, didn’t we? My novel idea came from that first fiction class at Gotham. Of course, it’s now unrecognisable, except for the character names—they’re about the only things that haven’t changed! Believe me, I think this writing gig is all about just sticking with it, and slowly, doggedly, plodding your way towards a finished product.
I am simply blown away by your photography, Louise! It’s amazing. I started taking photos to have something to go with my blog posts, because I was spending longer to find a suitable image on free photo websites, than writing the actual posts. And I love it. I find photography really relaxes me and when I take a good shot, it can make my day. So I am super excited to see more photos in your posts. And I love the way you write. There is so much softness, wisdom and humour there. I hang on every word (I read this ages ago, just getting around to post a comment). Anyway, I was really pleased time is going a bit slower for you. For me, it’s a bit of an epidemic at the moment. Days-weeks-months are whizzing by. Maybe it’s because I have young children? Anyway, I’d love to find a way to slow down… Your interaction with your son was so sweet and the china set is simply stunning.
I love photography, too. I always have—my kids are so sick of having their photo taken! I started taking photos for my blog instead of writing, as I thought it would save me time. Alas, I’m finding I’m spending more and more time on it, but only because, like you, I enjoy it. It’s creative and it’s a visual art.
I know what you mean about the pace of life—it is partly because your children are young. When they’re little, you still have to do so much for them and there are a lot of commitments that aren’t negotiable. Then they get to school and the pace seems to speed up even more. For years, I didn’t know how to slow it all down, as I felt like I still had to be productive with each day, have something to show for it, and kept putting my hand up to do more. But it got too stressful. It is amazing how much nicer a mum I am when not under pressure! If the kids come with a problem, I can say, ‘Tell me about it’, not ‘I don’t have time. Please don’t interrupt me right now.’
One of the reasons I want to become a ‘full-time’ writer is to have time for my children. Somehow I had this fantasy that leaving academic job behind will create more time and space for my family. It’s not working according to the plan yet, but maybe one day I’ll figure out how to balance it all, because I am deeply committed to having space and time for my kids.
You will get there one day, Gulara, although I don’t think anyone ever gets it right completely—it’s impossible! Balance is the hardest thing to get when parenting, especially at your stage. Your children are still needy, and deserving. When mine were younger, I lamented that loss of solitude and time for me and my thoughts. I have it now, though—so it does get easier! Funnily enough, I have a few friends who are quite a bit older than me, grandmothers now, and I listen to them, as they seem so wise. But they tell me they learnt it as they went along, by making mistakes. They tell me things they did when they were younger, and as young mothers, and they wonder why they bothered about some of the things they did, and why it took so long to learn some of the lessons they’ve learnt. So, go easy on yourself. There are a lot of pressures and your children are still so young—you just have to muddle your way through the unchartered waters of motherhood sometimes, asking for forgiveness when you need, but mostly just forgiving yourself when you can’t be perfect.
You are one talented woman Louise, I’m hearing you on the fleece and the podcast, me to. Beautiful photos and loved the idea of the cups xxxx
Thanks, Rae. Between the fleece, the raincoat, the earphones, and the dog leads, it’s hard not to get tangled! And thanks for the compliments about the photos!