Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Family Reunions

The weekend just gone was a long weekend (or Bank Holiday weekend as they are called in the U.K.). Cliff and I went up to visit my mother in her new flat in Norfolk. It was the first time since she moved in that we had been there and I must admit that I had been feeling somewhat guilty about it.

The weather was quite good. One always starts off that way in any discussion of activity here. More than likely - especially this summer, and last, alas - it will rain, or look like rain, or begin to rain and stop after a few drops. Everything you think of doing revolves around the weather. Will we be able to drive, have a picnic, or go for a walk? And if not, what will we do instead! In our case, the weather was quite good - meaning that rain threatened and we had a few drops but that was it! If we had planned outside activities we would have been able to do them. But no, it's all starting to come back to me now. It did rain but not enough to spoil anything and so my subconscious has decided that it didn't rain. I went for a walk around the centre of Thetford (my mother's new village/town) and then through a friend's garden. How funny that I didn't remember the rain.

What does this have to do with reunions, you may well ask? My sister was visiting my mother and I hadn't seen her for at least 2 years. Also my niece, Lily, came down from Norwich to see us all and finally on the Sunday, my brother Peter turned up. It wasn't a big reunion, as you can see. However, it was probably a manageable size for us.

More on my mother's flat for anyone who's interested. For many reasons, she has decided to move back to the UK where she had lived in the late 70's and 80's. She seems to be ideally located in Thetford. She lived there for a number of years and still has friends, she is not far from my brother and his family in Norwich and she can get down to us by bus, which takes her into Heathrow. Thetford was not a very pretty town, the last time I spent any time there. However, it has greatly improved over the years. It also has a multicultural feel to it with Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian shops and restaurants.

For our American friends, Thetford was the birth place of Thomas Payne, the author of the Rights of Man. Apparently, next year is an anniversary, the 200th anniversary of his death. What a funny thing to celebrate! However, I'm sure that Thetford will make something of it and welcome hoards of American tourists.

I haven't really said all that much about family reunions. Mine doesn't have them very often. How about the rest of you? Are they good things? Are families best remembered rather than experienced? I suppose it depends on the family at a particular point in time. I did find mine somewhat insightful. I have discovered that one of my siblings may feel jealous of the others and so calls mum, 'my mum'. I will have to think about that for a while.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Hard getting back into the routine

I'm having a hard time getting back into my old routine. Going back to school is a real killer physically. I feel as if I want to take a nap every few hours and of course I can't do that. I'm sure that I'll get the hang of it sooner or later. I'm also having a problem getting back into writing. I stopped in New York and on the Queen Mary, other than sketching out some ideas. Emma and I worked on our joint novel and got the basic plot line down along with the major characters. However, my novel (6 chapters already written) didn't progress at all. In part the problem is a dearth of ideas for the second half. I know how it ends but not how I get there. Whenever I stop writing for a while, the same thing happens. I dry up. the more I write the more ideas I have and the more I can write so obviously I just have to start writing again, no matter what it is. I'll try to get back to 1000 words a day. When I write at that level I seem to be at most productive and creative. Now to find the time when I'm not tired!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Monday morning

This will be the first week of our school year. The students don't start until Thursday and it will be interesting to see how many families have come back from holidays so early. I am looking forward to my classes starting. However, I'm not as certain that the out of class life of our secondary school will be as satisfying.

I must admit to being a bit off kilter since coming back from the states. I can't settle to anything and feel depressed because I'm not getting anywhere with anything. It's just a matter of starting, I suppose. I haven't written anything since before the trip! This is not good for me. Tonight, I'll start back!

Friday, 15 August 2008

I'm back

It's been a long time since I last wrote here. I was off in Dorset at the end of July and then from August 3rd till August 12 Emma and I were first in New York and then on the Queen Mary 2 sailing back to Southampton. I might have felt badly about spending most of my time away from Egham if it hadn't been for the dodgy weather this summer. It seems to have been good weather for the garden, if not for people on holiday. I'm still trying to sort out in my mind what to write about my comings and goings so I will write more about them later.

I started back to work on Wednesday. Our high school principal for the last three years has stepped down and for the last three days we have had an introduction to our new one. So far, it is neither a happy introduction, nor a very comfortable fit. It will interesting to see who survives and in what condition!