Because I've not been sure where I'm going with things recently, I haven't been posting any blogs. This one is a bit random - illustrating my flitting between one thing and another - looking at the things which bring the most joy.
I've been to Leeds Castle again. I love it there - it makes me happy, there's so much to see and it makes me feel safe. It is one of the places (Oare, Dungeness and the seafront on Sheppey are notable others) where I can sit still, but can also walk and walk and see new things and familiar things - birds,butterflies, plants, water - beautiful things. It inspires me.
It's also a wonderful place to take pictures! Just for the fun of it.
Springwatch is on - and I love that.
Lev Parikian's book 'Why do Birds Suddenly Disappear?' leapfrogged up my list of books to read and I loved that. If you like birding, great writing and want a good laugh, let it leapfrog up your list too.
I've also gone back to some of my favourite poets. Wendy Cope's new collection 'Anecdotal Evidence' and Simon Armitage's 'Flit' are both as brilliant as I just knew they would be. Which is a joy.
I am still loving The Countryman magazine - I can even do the puzzles in it!
I've been exploring parts of Sheppey which I only half-knew, played Bowlingo (arcade bowling) and won, and played crazy golf and lost, but still loved it.
Can you sense a 'but' coming on?
I said at the beginning that I've not been sure where I'm going with things. I don't mean those things which have to be done but aren't much fun - generally I'll just get on with those, though obviously muttering and cursing as I do. I mean that category of things which I thought I wanted to do, but which haven't been making me happy. And I'm torn between persisting with them and giving them up. Taking a break, which is what I've been doing, is fine, but... (oh there it is)
So I'm taking a different route. I'm looking closely at these things and I'm trying to put the joy back into them. And stepping back and seeing what really makes me happy has helped with that. One of these things is writing poetry. I can now see that I've got lost somewhere in other people's views on what poetry should be and its processes and its vanity/insecurity. And I'm going back to where I started, where I know for certain that I was enjoying it, and wasn't trying to fit in with others or please others and where actually it felt good - not easy, but good, and it actually did, incidentally, seem to please others as well as me.
And I shall apply the same process to other things I want to do but have got lost in - so that I eliminate the 'shoulds' - suggested/inflicted by others or self-imposed - and try to rediscover the joy in them.