Thursday, 24 August 2017

Taking the summer off ... it seems by Tracy Alexander

I was full of enthusiasm back in May, working on several writing projects and buzzing with ideas of what to do next. And then I found myself proof-reading a dissertation on raccoons solving puzzle boxes and a few days later the A-levels started in earnest so I made hot chocolate and attempted to decipher some integration questions to be helpful and my 92-year-old mother came to stay which reminded me that I hadn't visited my 97-year-old aunt in her care home and I worked in the polling station on general election day and my nieces were in a dance show and I did some training because I'd signed up for a charity cycle ride in Weston and I bought David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks and it's long and I wanted to read it all the time and I went to Talgarth for a few days and walked and ate lunch in Hay and boated down the river and the house was a mess when I got home so I bought Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and attacked my cupboards and my middle son needing picking up from uni and he had a week before his internship started so we walked the dog and bought him some non-denim trousers and there was an arts trail in my neighbourhood on the same day as a nearly-new sale and I went to both with my friend and then it was graduation for my eldest and we stayed overnight with swanky London folk who have a pad in Cornwall and there was a leavers' dinner at school and so my daughter and I went shopping for frocks and when she went to Amsterdam I thought I might as well go to see my old friend who has dropped off the grid and embraced rural living and on the way back from Wales I got a text saying someone was getting rid of a hot tub and did I want it and I did but it took a couple of days to dig it out of its old home and now it's in the garage so that needs sorting out but there wasn't any time before the holiday with my mum, my only-90-year-old aunt, my sister, my cousin, my daughter, and my two nieces which was fun but fraught and left no gap between returning and setting off again for the World Championships to see Mo Farah's last track event and that amazing Men's 4 X 100m Relay and driving back the next day I detoured to see my very old aunt again and had a game of Scrabble and in Bristol it was the Balloon Fiesta so we cycled over to Ashton Court and when I was chatting in the supermarket the next Tuesday I heard about a job with the NHS that sounded great so I updated my CV and did some research and applied and my sister bought an Airedale Terrier puppy so I went to babysit because she had to work and when I got back home I found the hand-outs from our puppy training and sent them to her and the garden was a disgrace so I got my gloves on and pruned and weeded and bought a few new colourful things with unknown names and made the pots look good and it was hot so I swam in the lake two days running and my nieces wanted to go to one of those trampoline parks so we all went and no one broke anything and there was a party for a neighbour's birthday so I made a bacon and courgette quiche and I was invited for an interview for the NHS job so I started reading and everything I read referred to another interesting blog or article or paper and then it was the day of the interview and I walked the dog with my friend before setting off for the city centre and I was ten minutes early and I think it went well and now it's 24th August.

Tracy Alexander


Penny Dolan said...

Life gets like that, sometimes. It seems impossible to stop or step out of the cycle of obligations - family needs and necessary sociability, dull or interesting things that must be done - and find some of that deep writing time. (Although real or personal deadlines definitely helps, as does a need for money. Good luck with your job application.)

I'm writing this on what may be my first free, calm day for absolute ages so you have my sympathies - adn thanks for finding time to write the post among all that other stuff.

Hilary Hawkes said...

:D Hope you get the job, Tracy. And some proper time off to relax before you do anything else!