At a work event this week, I got chatting to a colleague about blogs, specifically food blogs, and how blogging used to be huge and now is not so, which we agreed was a great shame. It reminded me how much I used to love writing mine and connecting with other bloggers – taking my camera out, composing photos and the act of writing creatively was such a pleasure, so I made a quiet promise to myself to try to fit in a blog post this weekend. It’s been so long since I looked my WordPress account (almost a year since I last posted) that I was taken aback to see that my blog still has people visiting – hello if you are reading this! The WP platform has changed and buttons and menus are not where they used to be, so it’ll be amazing if this actually appears as a post rather than disappearing into the ether.
acoastalplot began in 2015 as a record of renovating our garden by the sea, plus an outlet for processing my thoughts on motherhood, working as a freelance editor, the wider world and so on. Since then, my children have grown up – my eldest child is now living and working in London, the middle one is in his second year at university and the youngest turns 18 next weekend; I’ll soon be a mum to three adults! We still live in the same (much quieter) house, but our garden is sadly rather neglected, mostly due to the fact that I’ve been working full time in a very busy job for the past few years and we have had other priorities.
Big, difficult life issues, plus the pandemic, have dominated in recent years and left me completely blocked, creatively, emotionally and everything-y. Other than walking the dogs (because I had to) I gradually stopped doing most of the things that were good for me. It was easy to withdraw from being sociable (as we all had to during the lockdowns), but I also stopped doing yoga, I barely picked up a trowel or my trusty secateurs and I stopped using my camera. I still posted occasionally on Instagram, but I even deleted the app from my phone at the start of 2022.
That was until last weekend when the sun shone and I noticed flowers in the garden all looking so, so beautiful. I’ve also been reading ‘More than a woman‘ by Caitlin Moran. Have you read it? She articulates the middle-aged women’s world so brilliantly – I have laughed out loud and cried while reading this book; it tells me I am not alone. If anyone reading this knows her well, please give her a massive hug from me.
And the terrible news of the godawful situation in Ukraine and all the people affected by this insane, shocking war has woken up the outrage in me, that’s for sure. I have given myself a massive boot up the backside, a severe talking to and got a grip. Our little family is out of the stormier waters for now, and on some days, like today, I feel able to think and plan and be optimistic, which is a privilege many fellow humans do not have. Optimism may seem inappropriate in these dark times, but we have to hope, don’t we? Otherwise what else is there? We might as well drink all the gin, eat all the cakes, not sort the recycling and not care about anything at all.
Anyway, looking forward with a more positive attitude… There is to be a village garden safari this summer and while there is no way David and I have time to get the garden in a fit state to take part this year, it has reignited the spark. Our greenhouse-cum-potting shed collapsed in storms last winter and has sat looking very forlorn in the corner of the back garden for over a year, so we have asked a friend to help us rebuild it and make it bigger. This is the best, happiest decision we’ve made for a long time and it feels good. We might even have space for a little log burner and a chair out there … Bliss.
I also think David has agreed it would be a good idea to move some furniture round, even swap a couple of rooms, which is a Big Deal. People can generally be divided into those who love a move round and those who don’t; I’ve not met anyone who sits on the fence over this. I am definitely in the former camp (I find a move, sort, tidy and spruce up cathartic) and it’s fair to say that David would rather do anything except that. Watch this space.
And there’s an eighteenth birthday celebration to plan for our girl. There will be a special lunch with two of her dearest friends and brothers one day and an afternoon tea party with her school friends the next. I think we might have also promised a party-party in the summer. We are a little giddy with gladness to be able to celebrate that we’re probably going a little over the top, but, hey, this is the important stuff, isn’t it? Showing our love for the people we love. Love and hope in the springtime when the world is a scary place.
Sending love and hope out there to you, too, if you need it. Thank you for visiting.