Hello, just over 6 months since I last posted, and how the world has changed in that 6 months! I can happily report that we are all cosy and settled in our new home, and absolutely thriving — now the dust has settled from all the building work… well, almost — there is still a little work ongoing, but another few weeks should see us builder free — and I had the great news today that we will finally have a door for our downstairs loo tomorrow, which will be pure luxury, I can tell you!
It has been rather a hectic, chaotic, totally full-on few months but absolutely worth all the stress, strains and hard work as we are so incredibly happy here. Apparently, we are fashionably “cottagecore”, a movement that has arisen during lockdown hearkening back to the old days of a simpler agricultural, rural life full of skills and crafts, very much focusing on the “home-made”. It embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature. Aesthetically, it’s a nod to the traditional English countryside style, romantic and nostalgic, an English Hygge in a way. It very much describes our life here, though I had no idea of this movement until recently, nice to be fashionable for a change
Thankfully, (and believe me I am thankful every single day) I finally seem to be free of my long-Covid symptoms, firing on all cylinders for the first time in years and am fully enjoying our new life with gusto. My husband and I find ourselves living the life we have always dreamed of — we have to pinch ourselves every morning because we still can’t believe it is real . It is a very simple life full of very simple pleasures, and very, very happy is our lot — mostly consisting of masses of creative projects alongside very long walks and bicycle rides. Mentally and physically I find myself back in the writing zone, it has been an extremely long road back, 5 years long! I am currently working on a family saga, a kind of North-Norfolk-based Poldark, the first book of which will be called The House on the Green, and I intend it to be a trilogy. It is an idea I have been mulling for decades, which, over recent months, has finally come together as a really great story, during the creation of which I have discovered a huge passion for Norfolk history. I can see my writing becoming very much Norfolk based in the future, especially 18th century Norfolk — which doesn’t mean I won’t be returning to the Book Ark novels, eventually, but it isn’t where my head is at the moment, which I know Book Ark fans won’t want to hear, but I promise I haven’t completely abandoned Joshua, Warwick & Co.
In other news, when word got out in our new village that I am a writer, I was invited to write an article for the local magazine, which covers the nearby villages. I have penned a rather interesting 800 words on the terracotta tombs at nearby Oxborough, which will be published in the next few weeks – a while since I have written an article, and it reminded me how much I enjoy the process. Those of you who have followed my blogs over the years will remember when I used to write regular, weekly feature articles, something I can see myself coming back to, maybe not weekly but with some regularity — so watch this space, I will certainly be looking to publish a more expansive article on here about the Oxborough tombs, to coincide with the village magazine article’s publication, as I uncovered some really interesting facts about them, and 800 words didn’t really do the subject justice.
So, like most of you, I currently find myself emerging from my post-lockdown shell – though for me it is more post-turmoil, post-depression, post-pneumonia, post-(more)depression, post-Covid, post moving… post lockdown shell. As Lennon so wisely put it “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” — All that has happened to us was certainly NOT what I had planned for the last 5 years of my life! Just one of the things that has happened to us as a family would be enough for most, let alone the deluge we have had to contend with, I certainly would have run and hidden if I had seen it all ahead in a crystal ball — but, hey ho, I’m still standing, and probably stronger than ever, my maxim has always been “That which does not kill me just serves to make me stronger”. I am now busy reconnecting, refocusing and moving forwards, as it seems I have been merely treading water for far too many years. Although life has thrown some extremely unexpected challenges our way, we have dealt with them, survived, come out the other side having learned an awful lot. I am not naïve enough to think that life will be plain sailing from here on in, but I do feel slightly better equipped to climb the hills that may confront us in the future. I guess that is one of the few benefits of growing older, hindsight and experience — I certainly have both in shovelfuls, and my wardrobe is crammed with almost every tee-shirt out there, but the here and now is what has my focus, and the hope of sunrise on the morrow.