It has been a testy few months. Testy in terms of faith and hope and the physical. Some bridge burning required. Some say you should be wary of burning bridges (not physically - if you go around physically burning bridges then you not only have the police to answer to but lots of angry motorists, as well) but metaphorical bridges representing,for example, outworn friendships and pointless patterns of behaviour. Well, an alternative view I found in a philosophy book suggests that not only is it okay to burn bridges but you should pepper the approach to the bridge with explosives, too, to remind you of the stupidity of turning back and trying to cross the bridge again and thereby re-travelling worn out roads which lead nowhere other than to making the same mistakes again.
And the house has been troublesome this year. Although the roof is now tickety-boo, 10 days after the work has been completed we are still covered in scaffolding as the scaffolding company seems in no hurry to remove it. What does one do when one has unwanted scaffolding on their property? Answers on a postcard please...
(From a personal point of view I have worked through all thoughts of anger and violence towards the scaffolding involving axes, angle-grinders and welding equipment and am trying to be calm about something which is in my face every day, preventing us from opening windows, causing darkness inside and leaving us unable to clear up the remaining mess left by the roofers and you know how I feel about MESS! And I am now resolved, if it is still here at Christmas, which it won't be but just in case it is, to cover it in fairy lights and reindeer and make a feature of it.)
And talking of Christmas, we have decided it is going to be VERY low key this year. VERY, VERY low key. This is because, after 31 years of having a bank account I have, for the first time EVER, gone into the overdraft, all because of the cost of the sodding roof. Our savings have been eaten up and we are in the red and I am finding it all very uncomfortable. I know others live quite happily with debt and would probably laugh in the face of my discomfort and think of me as some kind of uptight control freak, but I do not like debt, no, not one bit. It has unbalanced me and my natural sense of order. And I would rather get back into a positive balance as soon as possible rather than spend what we usually spend at Christmas which, actually, although very nice, is totally unnecessary and mostly a reaction to a) commercial pressure from the God of Retail Must Have and b) Guilty Mother Complex which says that EVERYONE must have as good a time as possible or it will all be a TERRIBLE failure and ALL MY FAULT! (And actually, now that Mother Nature has kindly bestowed the gift of menopause upon me, dealing with GMC is a lot easier now I am not being hassled by trouble-making 'let's be lovely and kind' hormones!)
It helps that Andy and I are both doing this slimming down and getting fit malarkey so we won't be spending so much on food. In the last 4 months Andy has lost 56lbs (!!!) and I have lost 17lbs. And actually, the more we talk about it, the more a quiet Christmas appeals to us. Quiet and calm and cosy. And we are also thinking that we could make food as Christmas gifts. Hampers, if you will. Cakes and biscuits, pickles and jams, bread and sweets - topped off with a Much Malarkey Manor book of some sort and some lavender bags or a handcrafted cushion, well, it could make for a very authentic and acceptable 'in the true spirit of Christmas' gift...
...which brings me on to writing. I have turned a corner with my writing. Since I started 'Sews, Grows and Prose' I have been working every day on a new writing project! I am aiming for entry into a first novel competition next Summer. It is proving very cathartic, this work of prose. It involves a burning bridge...and explosives...
...and the 'Sews?' Well, I am still knitting apace and the tutor for the embroidery class I am starting next month phoned on Friday and we had a lovely cheerful chat about sewing. In the first session I have to take with me some calico, a selection of embroidery threads and basic sewing kit (tick,tick,tick), a sketchbook and some pencils (tick, tick) and a camera (tick). We shall be working towards completing a piece of embroidered artwork and I already have a few ideas, one of which involves chickens and bees! Who'd have thought?!
And so, as September draws to an end, I feel like I am closing the door (ker-BANG!) on a weird few months. It is not the door of a cupboard which I might inadvertently open a few months down the line and find heaven knows what festering in a dark corner, but more the door on whose other side lies a bottomless abyss down into which the last five months is, as we speak, a-plummeting. Best chuck away the key then!
Right - books to write, people to knit, chickens to sew and cakes to bake!
May your week be full of hope and creative moments. May your faith in whatever you believe in remain firm, and may you have the courage to burn a rickety old bridge and chuck in a grenade for good measure.