I have been neglecting my blog again. I suspect that the Open University Spanish course I am doing is partly responsible. The time it takes, and at the moment the constant sense of being way behind following our New Zealand trip, eats into the time when I might otherwise be writing and not doing my Spanish makes me feel far guiltier than not writing my blog. Spanish also throws deadlines for assignments at me which the blog doesn't so it is slowly but surely squeezing the blog out. I had lunch this week with a friend who also writes and she inspired me to get back to writing, as she always does (thanks Annie!). I thought I would look back at when I began to write this blog so this morning I sat down and dug around in the archives and to my amazement I discovered that I wrote my first blog ten years ago yesterday! And then of course I got lost in reading old posts and remembering things I had long forgotten. It enthused me all over again so I thought I would share with you my very first blog, reproduced below:
22nd April 2007
I woke this morning to a quiet house, Ian away, the only sound the steady murmur of rain on the roof. I love this. I miss Ian as well and I am already looking forward to seeing him again tonight but sometimes the deep peace of the place to myself calms me to the soles of my feet.
I have plenty of friends who don't get it, who say "I wouldn't want to be here by myself at night, so isolated (Stephen King type visions presumably in their heads), so many creaks and noises. Uurgh no."
And it is true that the old house, particularly in wind, creaks and sighs and moans like a ship at sea. But I know its noises now and to ride the night with it, waking, turning in the warm bed, safe in its arms, dropping back down into sleep, is one of the best things. When I wake at night I often go the window, the curtains are never drawn, to look out at the utter dark of a cloudy night or the high stars or the moon washing the valley silver. Last night was cloudy, true dark like burrowing under the blankets as a child.
This morning is grey and soft with gentle rain. We have had no rain for nearly three weeks and I have been watering the vegetable garden so though I feel sorry for the visitors in the cottage it is welcome to me. Already the green of the grass and the new leaves is more intense. The carrots and the mangetout and the new sowing of broad beans all need more rain to germinate and the new magnolia and the osmanthus and rhododendron I brought back from Bodnant Garden will be drinking it in.
Today I am going to do some of the many things I ignored yesterday in trying to set up my new blog, indeed I have already shaved my legs. Let's get our priorities right. I have a work dinner to go tomorrow night, a skirt to wear and teddy bear winter legs just will not cut it.
23rd Aril 2017
How strange to read about my ten year ago life. So much is the same: Ian and I are still living in this house half way up a hill in North Wales, and so much is different: beloved people have died and that has changed the architecture of my life for ever and new beloved grandchildren have arrived and done the same thing. I have left my job. Reading my blogs from that time makes me realise how strange my life was then with its two entirely different ways of being: corporate life in London with its demands and deadlines and high gloss pressure; rural life here with the very different demands of the garden and the holiday cottage, the week and my head split between the two. I am amazed that we both managed to work so hard at our jobs while living here and that is one of the things that makes me realise that ten years have passed. I still feel busy and energetic and I am constantly running around trying to fit a quart into a pint pot but I suspect that I might just have a bit less energy now. That is a disquieting thought!
But is the me I read from those blogs clearly the me I am now? Yes she is although I wonder if I have come to take the beauty of where I live a little more for granted? I read my absolute joy in living here and think I can take a lesson from that. It is easy to focus on the endless list of jobs that need doing and lose that heady pleasure in living somewhere very beautiful.
Ten years on, still here, still fortunate! And I have enjoyed reading old blogs so much that I shall also commit to still writing!