Tuesday, 10 August 2010

all change....

Like it?  It reminds me of Carnac, all turquoise and clear and summery.  I know I'm a little late and in a couple of weeks I'll be on my annual quest for the perfect leather coat and a pair of boots to swish about in but I needed to give dear old projectforty a bit of a clean sweep.

I've simply chosen the 'simple' template from Blogger - no frills, no changes, no tweaks - for now.  I'll also be looking at my links.  Projectforty will go back to being what it was in the first place, a random pick and mix blog about being forty (something).  I'm taking all my arty, crafty paraphernalia and links over to stitchingandknitting which, at some point, will get the new brush treatment too.

Hope you won't mind.  I've tried to be a bit more organised and have gone through a phase of trying to blog about specific topics on specific days but my mind doesn't work like that and it's time I accepted it because that's when I'm happiest, doing everything I want to do but piecing it all together rather than working my way through one step at a time.

Here's a rock, part of an island at the end of a spit near Carnac.  I do love a rock photo.  My little camera is somewhat caput - no view through the screen, no zoom.  I hadn't realised quite how caput it was until we went away.  I didn't take many pictures (surprise, surprise) but I was very pleased with the ones I took of the kids.  They look so happy and full of optimism.  I'm having a bit of a drama about them both having significant birthdays this year.  E will be 10 and J will be 13.  I no longer have babies.  I can't begin to write about how that makes me feel but if anyone else sighs and uses the words 'you wait', I think I'll scream.  Is it really true that all teenagers are hellish?  Who knows - it appears we're about to find out.

Here's the girl, staring out to sea.

Here's the boy, messing about on the beach...

Whilst they were staring and messing, I was reading.  I'd suggested Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' to book club ages ago.  Reader, I've finished it.  I knew it wasn't going to be what I'd usually choose but I wanted to read a Booker winner and I wanted to read something historical, packed with research.  Have you ever seen that film about Martin Luther King - that was long.  'Wolf Hall' was its literary cousin - long.  Very interesting, very worthy, fascinating but - lordy - very long.  I quite fancied Thomas Cromwell by the end.  He just sounded so capable and organised and clever but emotional in a very masculine way.  I think the BBC needs to commission a series and ask dear old R. Armitage Esq to play the title role.  That would be a very pleasing autumnal Sunday night bit of programming.

Once I'd finished wolfing down WH, I moved on to 'The Help' - Mississippi maids and the dysfunctional families they look after in the 1960s.  Great book and I now know what grits are which has made a big difference to my culinary understanding.

Then I picked up 'eat pray love' by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I'd put a plea out to book club members for a copy.  I wanted to read it so I could pick holes in what I thought was going to be a trippy, self-indulgent memoir of a year spent pootling about the planet.  I have to say it was those things but it was also more.  Six million copies tells you that this lady has hit the spot. She, as far as I can tell, has written honestly about love and loss and finding the peace and balance she craved in her own life. 

I am, though, struggling with the idea that the only way to find peace and happiness is to have some kind of self-imposed exile and remove ourselves from day to day life, family and friends.  I like to think that all that peace and happiness is there already, it just takes practice to see that instead of the dishes, the piles, the paperwork and the laundry.  I have been reminded this week that if I didn't have all those things to do, I'd be on my own.  On my own without my friends and family?  That's an island I don't want to visit.


Only Me said...

I like the new look and I love and totally agree with your last paragraph. I know that I'd end up bonkers with a self-imposed exile and not find peace and happiness at all.

marigold jam said...

I do agree with you about Eat Love Pray - it seemed to me somewhat self-indulgent to set off for a year on one's own but then she didn't have the usual ties that most of us have and she obviously didn't need to earn her crust for the 12 months she was away either but having said that she did arrive at some truths just feel like you she could have done it without leaving home if she'd tried hard enough!!

Like the new blog layout.


Gill said...

I intended to write some thoughtful comment but then you've gone and put the picture of R Armitage in my head.


Like the new layout btw.

Bub said...

Having been there and got through the other side, no, not all teenagers are hellish.

That's not to say they don't have their moments, but apart from a few episodes that will stick in your mind (which you can then relate with glee later at special, (in)appropriate times), the teenage years are certainly survivable.

As for your children, it doesn't matter how old your children are (mine are both in their twenties), in one sense, they will always be your babies.

As they grow older, they also become your friends. It's lovely.

I haven't read 'eat pray love' yet. It's sitting on the shelf waiting to be picked up.

I wasn't particularly bothered about being in a rush to read it, but now maybe I'll bump it further up the pile.

Without having read it, I will make this observation: although as humans we are all individual and as such do things our own way, being on your own is definitely not all it's cracked up to be.

It may have been right for her, but removing yourself from day to day life etc is not the only way to find peace and happiness. It's all there in your daily life and you don't have to search too deeply. As you said, practice!

Sue Gee said...

Love the new blog look! I agree with your literary thinking too. Why is it that we are compelled to read what we feel we should read instead of what we think we would enjoy. Unless you are studying English Lit set work - books should be fun, relaxing, absorbing and if they help you to see situations from someone else's point of view thats also great. When a book starts being l-o-n-g its not any of those. I am reading The Gargoyle at the moment and I admit to skimming the first few chapter as they were too harrowing but once the real story started - I am loving it. Your photos capture what holidays are all about - fresh air, sunshine and healthy activity. Well done on giving that to your lovely family.x