Monday, 5 October 2015

A blank page

It's not a page, obviously.  But they make it look like one, so I think it counts.

I had a blog post in my head, some years ago, about a book. It's a beautiful leather covered book from Aspinal with my initials on it.  My mother-in-law bought it for me in about 2008 for Christmas.  Lucky me.  I'd asked for mixing bowls, but (to coin a phrase) you can't always get what you want, and I think she thought the book was nicer.

It was.  It is.  It's also significantly less use.  Because I don't know about you, but for me there are few things quite as terrifying as a blank page.  Especially a blank page in a really nice book.

What do you say?  What do you put down that merits the effort that goes into moving the pen, or tapping the key?

What do you write in your first blog post for over a year?

Yet here I am. Tap tap tapping.  This is stream of consciousness stuff because if I stop to think about it I'm not sure I'll start again and being here feels, yes, scary, but also comfortable.  I think I might have missed it.

It's Iota's fault.  And here's a thing.  Since last I wrote I've got to know her in real life (can't do the acronym stuff, never could) and it's a mark of how long I've not been blogging that in my head she's not even Iota any more, she's her real name....

Anyway it's her fault.   Because it turns out there's a groundswell of old bloggers, popping their heads up above the parapet (probably with fewer mixed metaphors) and saying "We're here.  We've been here for a while actually.  And we haven't really gone away".  And it turns out too that despite, sort of, still feeling like a newbie, I'm an old blogger.

This is, it turns out, my 399th post.  My first (also not quite co-incidentally) was on the 13th October 2009.   That's nearly (very nearly - for a moment I was tempted not to post this for another week) six years ago.  I never stayed in any one school that long...  So, I suppose I am.  Old.  And possibly a blogger too.

And in an old-school (see what I did there?) kind of way Iota's given me an award.  Of the here's a pretty picture, now write something and tag some people variety.

So here it is.  And I'm glad of it. Because I'm glad to be back. I think.

Apparently I now have to reveal seven hitherto unimaginable truths about myself.  So here's seven things that I've been up to since last I wrote:

We had a referendum on independence.  You might have noticed it.  With hindsight it may have been a bit of a factor in my ceasing to write.  It felt too important not to write about yet at the same time too scary and important to attempt to address.  Maybe that was a mistake.  I have just deleted the draft posts...

My children are now 8, 6, 6 and 4.  That seems ridiculously grown up given that 399 posts ago, the three eldest were all under 3 and the youngest was inconceivable (metaphorically, as it turns out).  At the same time though, writing those numbers makes me aware of how small they still are.  They're asleep at the moment. This may account for my feeling as though they are cute and lovely and not utterly exasperating and FAR TOO LOUD.

Workwise, I still don't know what I'm doing with my life.  Because in the last fifteen months, precisely nothing has changed  In fact I'm still doing exactly what I was doing when we moved here, 290 posts and five and a half years ago:  a bit of lawyering and a lot of parenting, both with varying degrees of success.  This wasn't the plan.   The problem is there never has actually been a plan.  Blogging was supposed to help, but I think that has moved on and not taken me with it.  (And if you haven't already clicked through to Iota's post which got me here, do so now, because I think what she thinks.  On this issue at least.)

I'm going to be 40 in 14 and a bit months time.  I sort of want to have a party but I won't.  The problem is that you can't invite everyone and I'm not brave enough to choose who gets left out.  I'm not even brave enough not to invite people I don't actually like.   I'm told that as you grow up you stop caring so much what people think of you.   This is therefore official proof that 38 and three quarters is not grown up.

We've got chickens.  Six of them. I love them but they're actually horrid. It turns out that "hen pecked" and "the pecking order" and "feeling broody" have the weight of nature behind the metaphor.

And I rather fancy bees next.

But definitely no more babies.  To bring this full circle, maybe that's also part of the blogging; or lack thereof.  I was so much a "Mummy" blogger.  I even won an award (of the actual award variety) for blethering on about being pregnant, for goodness' sake.  And if I can no longer put together 500 lovingly crafted words about my stretch marks and my earth shattering nappy changing technique, then what can I write about?

Yet here I am.  Will I be back?  I don't know.  But in the meantime here are some tags of people who've been around at least as long as me.  It was supposed to be fifteen but I've just gone with some old "friends" (most of whom I wouldn't recognise if I bumped into them on the bus) who didn't seem already to have been tagged in this.  Of course, along with not writing I haven't been reading so it's perfectly possible that some of them may not even be blogging any more.  I'm going to hit post and then I'm off to find out....

Muddling along Mummy 
Trish at Mum's gone to.
Kelly at A place of my own
Sandy Calico
The relentless launderer and
Saffia at Motherhood and anarchy

And if anyone is reading this (is anyone reading this?) and I should have tagged you, don't take it personally - just do it anyway. I'm off to rediscover those old friends....