“It is in the twenties that the actual momentum of life begins to slacken, and it is a simple soul indeed to whom as many things are as significant and meaningful at thirty as at ten years before. At thirty an organ-grinder is a more or less a moth eaten man who grinds an organ – and once he was an organ-grinder! The unmistakable stigma of humanity touches all those impersonal and beautiful things that only youth ever grasps in their impersonal glory.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
I like to write in the morning. I definitely find that I am most productive when there is quiet in the rows of terraced houses; but for the sound of stirring cats watching the birds singing their songs, just aware of the mewing kitties and the sound of breathing from the sleeping inhabitants of my small flat. Baby chops wakes up at 6am, so alas, I can’t bring myself to wake up at 5am for that hour of work. Instead I prefer to work in the evenings and I do get a lot completed, but I get carried away and want to stay awake all night. Which is not conducive to 6am starts. Anyway, here are some tips from writers on writing. I agree about writing anywhere, I often jot down ideas on all sorts of scraps of paper, ticket stubs and envelopes. I love train rides on my own.
Autumn, autumn, autumn!
Yes, yes I can feel rustlings of autumn – and I love the low light, the comfort and the mood of autumn. I also love this look for autumn. Since having Alba, pinafores have become my go to for dresses. They’re practical, easy to thrown on and good for all occasions. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down.
We have been looking at houses to buy. Again. Oh my goodness, again. C is already completely frustrated with me and my overly excited search. I used to be idealistic about property buying – I genuinely had visions of finding a beautiful Victorian property with floorboards, fireplace and cottage, yet spacious feel, long garden… Then going for a coffee at the 30s NYC coffee house down the road, near the outstanding nursery and happy, wholesome school and large, clean park, with Phil Spencer, and you know – buying the house. He’d confirmed that there was NO damp, no scary things and the vendor was overjoyed at us purchasing their house. How rosy!
It’s not like this. It’s a sellers market and every minute counts. We also have things to contend with; freelance, baby, being called ‘dependants’, childcare being frowned upon and the buy to let buyers. However we have a deposit, we pay an extortionate price for our rent already and we don’t have a truck load of debt. We just want a nice family house please, thank you. *Look up to sky and to Right Move.*
Regardless of the pain parts and our plus and minus’ next to our (non-married – is that a minus?) family name, I am still super excited. I may be embarrassing to C, wanting to put in offers on every house – thousands and thousands below the asking price (when they are going for thousands above) because I love the thrill of a bargain (ahem) and can ‘see’ the potential – but I find reason. I know that we will find the right house for us. With the extra rooms, garden, period features, possibilities of extension up and round, work for us to do but not too much… House, you are out there!
And my heart – when I think of Alba and I creating her little room ❤
For how long have we been thinking that we are multi tasking, but actually giving all of our attention to the world wide web of obscurity? I know that if I am within the web of a thousand rabbit holes, I am not really (REALLY) listening, or watching, or thinking properly. Something happens to the mind and I have at least five tabs open, searching for mid length skirts, terraced houses, The Guardian, Pinterest and a blog or two. Don’t even start me on emails. Emails. I have a love hate relationship with. Ease/guilt/knot in back/joy/terror. How many times have I been elated and deflated in a shop queue? Too many.
Thank heavens for babies. I have no choice but to watch the speediest little crawler I ever did see. She’s the fastest thing and I can NOT start pondering over sash windows while she’s on the move. And when we are in shop queues she likes to chat and intensely look at people and reach for things. If there are birds, she’s watching them, because she looks up and out. Like I should be. She’s made me open my eyes again and see the wonder that can never be found in that mystical web. It aint real.
I’d never been to Weston super Mare before. So, as Charlie was going to a wedding on his own, I looked at where the train can take you from Bristol. And the little train goes all the way to Weston. So off we trotted, complete with enormous packed lunch for Alba and small to medium expectations.
We arrived with tonnes of other people in their summer Sunday best and spilled out from the train station. Alba and I followed the herd in the direction they were going, thinking they must be off to the beach, because the train station opened on to a big road and a Tesco – I expected the doors to open to the Grand Pier, obvs.
The Grand Pier is wild, isn’t it? Completely hectic, noisy and with enough sugar to generate power across France; the kids were bolting round on sugar highs, there were 99s being devoured and donuts being cooked, fizz, pop, whoooosh!
Suffice to say we were only on the pier for a minute and that was at the end of our trip. Before that we walked along the seafront, watched the RNLI do tricks in their boats and ate homemade cheese scones in the park with the arrogant squirrels. Alba had a nap too, which allowed me to drink an entire decaf cap. and scribble in my notebook – like I was in a spa.
The food options I could find didn’t appeal that much, apart from the obvious ice cream sundaes, so I ended up sharing some of Alba’s lunch and then she had some bits I picked up from M&S. I felt like I should have had fish and chips or something, but nope.
The absolute highlight for Alba was sprinkling sand all over herself and me, while cackling. And it’s pretty cool seeing a baby observing, feeling and generally, experiencing this whirlwind of a world we live in – the good, bad and bizarre, for the first time. She definitely likes the beach.
The train back involved her being absolutely thrilled and desperate to chat to every other child, then crashing outc Home for bath, books and cuddles.