Journal, Mama

Soaking up the Sun

Today the weather was so glorious. I know there are many that don’t have access to a garden and whilst ours may not be large, it is certainly enough for us to be able to splash in the paddling pool (I am using ‘we’ here rather loosely since I did no intentional splashing) and eat our barbecued dinner on a our patio. We are so lucky.

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Watching a Play

It may be a big dark cloud above us right now but it doesn’t come without a silver lining or two. One such lining is the National Theatre who is showing a different play each week.

I was just enthralled by Sally Cookson’s production of Jane Eyre. The staging, the music, the sparsity of it and the raw emotion, they all combine to make a compelling adaptation of this much loved novel. It is still available to watch for a week so there is plenty of time to watch it if you missed the live streaming.

I know what I will be adding to my reading list for 2020 now.

‘It is a bright, sunny morning, sir… the rain is over and gone.’


Reading Aloud

The sun is streaming in through the living room window. We have nothing we *have* to do and nowhere we are able to go. Austin asks for me to read again his newest Julia Donaldson book, The Scarecrows’ Wedding, so we read and listen to the audio CD that came with it.

Then it is time to read to Evelina. We are deep into Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, holding our breath with Harry as he carries out the second task for the Triwizard Tournament. Our hearts race as he struggles underwater.

I am so lucky that reading aloud happens to be an important part of my job and it is certainly something from my work that I am happy to bring home. I love making those words from the page come to life, doing silly voices, adding drama with intonation and emphasis. Evelina commented that I never seem to get tired of reading to her and I am so happy that she noticed because it is true. If life is getting slower with lockdown then I am all for all the extra reading time.


Lighting a Candle

When I start to write, I light it. It burns high at first reaching up towards the ceiling like it is happy that it is carrying out its true purpose. The flame settles down after a time and then it burns steadily. Its steadiness feels trustworthy. Reliable. It warms me even though I know it really isn’t emitting much heat. Its light lifts me. When the candle is alight, it means it’s time to work. It is time to think, to create, to write, to feel.

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A Spring Clean

I have been wanting to write something since we started this period of social distancing but I hadn’t really known where to start. I kept opening up this space to share my thoughts but those thoughts became elusive, hiding in the shadows. Part of the problem is that I associate this place with normality and the life we are living right now is anything but.

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Bold – my word of the year

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to pin this one down. I am not planning on working through the Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop the year, I do want to pick the right word as a way of focusing on what is important for me this year. I had quite a list of words with ‘endeavour’, ‘shine’, ‘rise’, ‘adventure’ and ‘brave’ all appealing to me for different reasons.

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My List of 20 in 2020

My list of 19 things for 2019 was a total success. I allowed it to be a success by changing up some of the items on the list. I didn’t see the point of ignoring all the things that I had managed to achieve just so that I could stick doggedly to (and fail at) a list of my own making.

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Goodbye Worth, Hello ..?

As I write this, I am feeling a strange kind of gratitude to my¬†word of 2019. Worth is a weighty word. One that scared me a little when I chose it because unlike my word of 2018, I knew it was the right one straight away. I did not journal or scrapbook this year or complete any of the monthly prompts from the course but despite this, I actually feel like this word has served me more than any I have chosen before; I have had this word at the forefront of my mind at different key moments throughout the year, helping me with significant decisions. Contemplating one’s worth is a vulnerable act so it is not something I have really talked about or written about. But it’s been on my mind a lot.

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Finishing up my 19 for 2019

I did two things I haven’t done before with regard to my yearly list of goals: a) I changed some of the goals mid-year to align with things that became more important to me as the year went one (in the past, I have doggedly stuck to my original list); and b) I completed my entire list.

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What next.

At some point last school year – I can’t pinpoint it exactly – I decided that I had to make a change to my working life as it was not sustainable as it was. It had been a tough year for a lot of reasons, not all of them to do with my job. Once I had made up my mind, I knew I wanted to give a decent amount of notice to my school and once the word got around, the same question was put to me over and over: ‘What next?’

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