Well…..it’s been a while, and it’s hard to know where to start. Life would seem to be a constant whirlwind at the moment, without even the vaguest of let ups.
Since moving house at the end of last year, something that’s had a radical effect for good on the entire family, there hardly seems time to take a breath, sit back and relax. For the most part I feel trapped on a rollercoaster with no way off, experiencing the highs and lows over and over again, only ever escaping in the midst of sleep, which doesn’t last nearly long enough.
Where to start?
My beautiful younger daughter, Poppy, who, like her sister I always think of as my baby, has had her last days at primary school and in September will be going to join her sister at secondary school. Where on Earth has all the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that I could carry her around on my shoulders, with her cooing at everything. But now, here she is, almost a grown up, even though she’s only 11. For the most part, it blows my mind. Of course I’m a proud father, of everything that she does. Her school work is excellent; she constantly reads…..which makes me so happy. I listen to her sing and play the guitar when she doesn’t know I’m there…..and it sounds fantastic. As well, her attitude to others almost brings a tear to my eye. She’s so caring and considerate, as well as being unbelievably…..CHEEKY!!! I’m not quite sure where she gets that from (I know really……it can only be the adult responsible for looking after her all the time) but quite often she can have me in stitches of laughter.
As well, I can no longer get away with saying something rude to my wife, in the company of my children, because however subtle I am, they both….BOTH!, fully understand exactly what’s going on, and always laugh in exactly the right places.
How is that even possible?
Anyhow, a big move to big school is imminent, something that she is incredibly excited about and has been for over a year now, even back then trying to choose her enrichment activities from the list her sister had been sent home with for her own choices. I would imagine that not all children would look forward to a change of schools, with some at the very least being off the scale nervous. But not her: she is relishing the challenge and can’t wait to get started – something else that makes me ever so proud.
My elder daughter is still battling the underlying neurological condition that she suffers from, presenting itself mainly as a headache that never goes away, staying with her from the moment she opens her eyes in the morning, to drifting off to sleep at night. It drives me mad. But there’s nothing doing on that front with regards to sorting it out. The neurologists at Southampton hospital have washed their hands of us. Thankfully she’s still under the care of the paediatricians at Salisbury District Hospital, which is some comfort, especially given how professional they are. Another hard worker at school, even with the condition that continues to blight her, she’s managed a full school year without any time off – a considerable achievement given everything she goes through. Not only that, but she continues to sing in the school choir to a very high standard, has passed her next singing exam with flying colours and…..has spent a full season training and playing hockey for Salisbury ladies 5th team. Proud doesn’t begin to cover it. I’ve been lucky enough to play on the same pitch as her over the summer, sometimes alongside, sometimes against, and it’s been an immense pleasure for me to do so. Watching her chase back, tackle, and attempt to beat a player, as well as scoring some fantastic goals, has been one of the highlights of the summer for me. Long may her interest in hockey continue.
My gorgeous wife has a new job. How cool is that? Not only that, but it’s one that she enjoys and is surrounded by consummate professionals. So not only proud of my daughters, but of my wonderful wife as well.
As for me, as I’ve described before, things never seem to stop. I spent all of last year rewriting all of my books. Well over half a million words. And I don’t mean re-editing. No! Rewriting the whole lot. It was the only way that I could do it. As if that wasn’t enough, the first three books in the series are all sporting new covers, something that I think adds to their appeal. Best of all, the cover for the fourth book is in my possession and it looks fabulous, even though currently I’m only 50,000 words into it. Probably only about a fifth of the way through. But having the cover…..knowing that it’s there and ready to go, will no doubt spur me on in the writing department. So while the social media side of things as always takes up too much time, it’s back to writing in an effort to get what has already been planned out, into words on the page. Difficult at the best of times, harder now that the kids are stuck with their grumpy daddy during the long summer holiday. It’s hard to know which of us will go insane first, them or me. My money’s on them…..undoubtedly their patience will be tried. But in the meantime we’ll try and get some days out if, of course, the weather improves. Currently the sun seems to have gone missing. If Gibbs were here, I’m sure he’d put out a BOLO for it.