How are you? What is the craic? Any news?
No news here. Ok well there is some, but I’m not allowed say yet.
IT IS NOT BABY NEWS.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post. Someone mentioned to me yesterday that they read a blog post of mine and I remembered that I had one! So, I thought I’d do a little update as I have a few things I do want to post about over the next few weeks.
First off, let’s start with where I was for the past week.
France, lads, France.
God, I forgot how much I love France. I’m going to do a proper post on it next week – with full pictures and all the details of where I stayed and how to get there. I was the first writer to try out Le Tremblay Loire Writers’ Retreat and it was a proper treat. I got a chance to rest and think and it put a lot of things in perspective for me. I have some photos up on my Instagram and I’m looking forward to seeing the new retreat website when it goes live next month.
It’s a long time since I spent so much time alone. I spent most of it thinking, writing up some project proposals, working on a business idea I have, reading and resting. Oh and eating. Lots of eating. It was fabulous.
It’s weird when you get the time to think. Suddenly, ideas I have, things I’d like to try, didn’t seem so scary. I found myself saying, go for it. Do it. Try it. Why not?
When I’m at home, caught up in the million jobs and responsibilities I have here, there’s no time to take chances, or chase goals or look at the bigger picture. It’s hard to plan detailed projects when most minutes of every hour, there’s a little hand or voice or dog paw vying for your attention.
You know when you’re in a job and they take you out for a retreat, a day of meetings with pastries and smoothies and nothing but a hotel conference room to look at. And all of a sudden the flip chart is filled with arrows and plans and brain trees. That was what France was for me. Let’s hope I can follow up with the ideas and plans, now that I’m back home and fully engaged with domestic life again.
I have started the process for book three. I like to think, research and absorb as much historical information and detail before I put pen to paper. It works for me – I need to know a lot of facts so that I can create the fiction authentically. Book three is different, because I’m planning on writing the story of a real life person – it’s a very different challenging project for me, but one I am so excited about.
Writing has gone well this year – I’ve been offered a number of opportunities and I’m enjoying learning about what it’s like to be a (semi) professional writer. I’ve given two talks at Drogheda Library recently, both of which I really enjoyed and surprised myself with how at ease I felt with public speaking. What a thrill to be able to waffle about the subjects I love! I’m due back there on Tuesday 25 September at 11.30am to talk about Michael Harding’s book On Tuesdays I’m a Buddhist, so stick it in your diary, if you’d like to chat books for an hour.
In November I’m reading at Murder One, Ireland’ first International Crime Writing Festival. I’m very excited to be included in this amazing line up. I’m def going to get tickets for some of the events myself as I love to hear other writers (especially really successful ones!) talk about their work.
Oh my lovely little girls. They are the business. They are coming into their own in ways that make us giggle, laugh out loud and wring our hands in frustration, sometimes at the same time. They’re gas. Properly funny and quirky and full of fun. August has been showing herself as the more sensitive of souls – she can get quite upset and worried about things and I feel like I have to be a bit careful with her – that an offhand comment can quite affect her. For instance tonight, I reprimanded them about playing on the stairs, explaining how it would be very dangerous if they fell and afterwards I found her in the sitting room looking like she was about to cry. I knew she was thinking about what it would be like to fall down the stairs. : /
She is very caring towards Bonnie and I hear her reprimanding her all the time, in the same way I do with her. It’s funny, she’s a little mother hen and I love when I get to spend time with just her, which I try to do after Bonnie goes to bed – that special 15 minutes just for us.
Bonnie has a fan club. There are people who ask to see her, because she is so much craic. There’s a glint in her eye, sideway glances, that you just wouldn’t expect from an 18 month old. It wouldn’t surprise me if she ends up a comedian or a circus performer or an actress. It’s like she was born to entertain – with just her expressions. Oh she’s a joy to be around. Don’t ever change, our little pet!
Now, if she slept a bit more, that’d be wonderful too. It’s nearly 11pm here at the moment and she’s up, running around, having been roaring DADDY at me for twenty minutes till I gave in to pick her up. She calls a lot of people Daddy.
We don’t know why!
The past few months have been very up and down and I’m worried some symptoms are getting worse instead of better. I finally got my ENT appointment for a test to diagnose meniere’s disease in just a few weeks and I’m looking forward to getting to discuss it with the specialist. Part of me worries they’ll say it’s NOT meniere’s, but regardless of that result, the tinnitus has been getting worse and I fear my hearing too. Sometimes I think it’s spreading to the other ear and if that’s the case, I’d be looking at investigating hearing aids for sure. Still, I’m trying to stay positive and wait to see what the doc says.
The most crippling issue I’ve been suffering is fatigue and some issues with pain. I really don’t want to be a moany Michael, but some days I worry that I will never feel well again; that my life is stretching out ahead of me, but instead of being 35, I’m 85 and this is my lot. My poor hubby has a lot to put up with and sometimes the kids too. I hate lying in bed, pawning the kids off with TV or food or tablets (the you tube kind!) saying, Mammy doesn’t feel well. I hate it. It’s not the way it should be.
So, before I went away, I made a decision that I would do everything in my power to become as healthy as I can be. I’m heading to the docs this week for all the tests – I’m going to demand needles and scans and xrays – give me everything you have will be my battlecry! Along with seeking medical help, I’ve been trying a few new things too – one is to give myself a break. When I’m tired, I try to rest. Before this I always tried to keep going and not give in. Now, I give in. It helps.
The second thing is fresh air and gentle exercise. I’m really not able for anything mad – when I went for the cycle in France, I half collapsed. But getting out, away from the kids every day, is absolutely and completely necessary. I must remember to keep it up. Sometimes you want to wallow!
Thirdly I’m starting pilates – I’m a bit scared, but I’ve only heard good things so we’ll see how it goes. The final thing I want to do is look at a vitamin and supplement regime that might help. If you have anything that’s worked for you, let me know. I’m open to everything. I tried reiki when I was away and I had an incredible reaction, which I wasn’t expecting.
So that’s the medical report from your one who often feels very sorry for herself. (AAAGGGHHHH, this time next year, everything will be grand, right?!)
Back to school
Isn’t September a lovely month? I’ve always loved this time of year. I love the freshness in the air, the coolness, the diving back into socks and boots and jackets and heating switches. I like the routine, the plans, the new classes, the learning. I’ve been looking at new classes myself, something to keep me occupied, to try to enhance my skills or set up some new opportunities in the future. But, we’ll see, I don’t want to take anything crazy on, when I’ve a lot of issues to sort out first. And besides, full-time Mammy caring and part-time writer doesn’t leave a lot of freebie hours in the day. (None at the moment!)
So that’s it. Despite all the health moans above, I’m feeling very positive, hopeful and grateful for everything we do have. We have so much. We’re doing our home up at the moment – just a facelift – lots of painting and bidding goodbye to pine and it’s doing wonders for our spirits. I highly recommend it. Scrub. Paint. Clean. It’s inexpensive therapy!
As we DIY it makes us think of all the people who don’t have homes. Who have small children and are carrying their belongings from hotel room to hotel room. It is so sad and I think we’ll look back on this time period in our history as a very dark time – post Celtic tiger, post recession; Ireland’s homeless crisis, 2018. I can’t understand why an emergency programme isn’t implemented, a type of post-war housing plan, where temporary houses are put up – those cube type pods, which are inexpensive, can be fully furnished and would give people a place to call their own, until something more permanent is built. Surely that would be better than paying out thousands on hotel rooms or in crazy rent supplements??
Anyway, I left politics a long time ago, but it’s an issue that really upsets me and I feel there is so much suffering right now. Someone tell me why my idea wouldn’t work?!
I’ll be back next week with the full run down on Gite le Tremblay in France and soon after that, I hope to be able to post about my news. (Cue twilight music, do do do do, do do do do) I’m also hoping to post about some of the books I’ve been reading lately, as I’ve flown through loads since I finished book two.
Till then, au revoir and stay well.
P.S. I made the shortlist for the Irish Blog Awards again this year, yay! Quite a wonder as I’ve been a bit quiet here. Look at this cute cute logo! I’m mostly glad I made the list so I can use it! Don’t worry, there’s no audience voting, so you’re off the hook. But you wish me luck if you like : )
Taking a retreat for your writing can be so energising. Lucky you to have one in France!
I know!! I never thought I’d see the day! When i post the full details later maybe you can see if it would suit you too : )