Tag Archives: journey

9/52

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“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

There are times when not driving really does have its advantages. Take last Friday for example.

Once I’d got past the trauma of having of leave the house within half an hour (ish) of Arthur waking up, the rest of our hour and a half long journey across the bay to gymnastics was pretty close to perfect.

I wore him for the walk into town – his little legs just wouldn’t have been able to keep up the pace – and as he snuggled into my back he chatted away, telling me about all of the things in the world he was worried I might be missing. When we got on the bus he was excited at first – especially when we got the best seats.

And then he just settled in for the ride. We sat, side by side, and admired the view, nothing in particular to do, our journey taking care of itself whilst we savoured the time it gave us.

It might take longer getting to places without a car, but I hope that when I do eventually learn to drive I don’t lose that wonder at the journey in my pursuit of the destination.

A lesson for life, really. And one that Arthur has got the hang of very nicely.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 

Happy New Year!

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I am wandering around in a bit of a haze today.

It’s always a bit of a blurry day, the first Monday after the festive season, and this one is made no easier by our journey home this weekend from our adventures in Iceland and the USA. It took approximately twenty seven hours to get from the house we were staying in to our front door: fun and games at the best of times and made that little bit more challenging with the addition of a three year old.

It’s the longest journey by far we’ve attempted with him, and actually he was pretty amazing – he slept for almost all of the two flights and a fair portion of the car journeys. Though of course that meant that at 2am this morning I was left negotiating with a temporally confused toddler who wanted nothing more than to play.

So today is a little more blurry than usual. But in between the essential sorting I am trying to get my focus on and think about the shape I want this year to take.

And part of that has been pondering about the place of this blog.

I feel like I’ve been prevaricating for a while now – not entirely sure what I’m blogging for, but not wanting to give it up entirely. But after taking a complete break for the past couple of weeks I’m getting closer to understanding why I’m still here.

It comes back to the initial intentions of this blog really: a place to carve out my new, post-motherhood identity – for myself, and anyone else who wants to listen. After a mostly enjoyable but emotionally turbulent couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year with my family that is feeling more important than ever.

For reasons I may or may not elaborate on in the future I’ve come back feeling the opposite of invigorated – my self-esteem has taken a bit of a beating, and that sense of identity I thought I was getting closer to having all worked out is suddenly seeming more than a little elusive.

But I know it’s in there somewhere, and this is the place, I reckon, to work it all out.

That’s not to say I have entirely worked out the shape these ponderings will take, but I have the beginnings of ideas – and certainly more than enough to get me started.

I want to continue to document Arthur’s childhood, and I’m going to do that a bit more explicitly with a shift over to The 52 Project as the drive behind my weekly photo. I’ve been sort of doing it for a while, but I want to use the project now to focus my lens a little more closely on Arthur as he grows – and maybe even to inspire a shift to ‘proper’ photography rather than a total reliance on my phone.

I also want to look more closely at Arthur’s learning and development through a journal about the beginning of our explorations into homeschooling. Whilst I don’t know for sure whether this is the direction we will take when it is actually time for him to start school, I don’t see the damage the government are doing to our education system easing any time soon. Besides, I’ve already started down this road to an extent by dint of the fact that I have chosen not to send him to nursery or preschool – a decision that rightly or wrongly it is feeling increasingly important to defend.

In fact there is much of my approach to parenting which is coming under increasing scrutiny as it continues to diverge from mainstream expectations, and this is something I’m keen to explore further in the coming weeks and months. I’m intending to start with a ‘parenting manifesto’ – a summary of the principles driving my approach and what I am hoping to achieve – and as I begin to thrash out the contents of this in my mind it’s spawning lots of ideas for further posts about the choices I have made when it comes to parenting.

Finally there is of course my writing. I am still waiting on feedback on the latest draft of my second novel from my agent, but I am hoping in the next few weeks to not only have an idea about the next steps with that but also to start work properly on drafting novel number three. And as part of this whole process I’m looking forward to continuing to link up with the lovely What I’m Writing community – without whom, if I’m honest, I might not have made it through my rather sketchy year of blogging in 2015 at all…

So there you go. A little bit of focus to the haze, a few ideas to get me started, and hopefully the beginning of a bit more blogging this year. Because whilst I have a million other things going on to take up my time I have come to realise that this one is pretty damned important to my sense of self – and I owe it to myself to get that sorted.

 

Writing Bubble

J is for journey

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I love to travel. Partly, of course, it’s about exploring new places: the sights, the smells, the buzz of being somewhere different. But to borrow from a cliche the journey itself is at least as important as the destination.

I like to travel slowly when I can: on foot, by train, by boat. Anything that will let me appreciate the landscapes that I’m passing through, that will give me a sense of distance and time.

The moment above was captured by Leigh in the middle of our first big adventure as a family, and actually in the middle of a journey within a journey – one of many on that trip.

We were in New York, and left our hotel in the meatpacking district in the morning with a vague idea that we would walk to the children’s museum in Brooklyn. It looked a fairly long way on the map, but we figured we weren’t in any rush. And a good thing too – in between getting lost and voluntarily taking scenic detours we were on our feet for about eight hours. Most of that time we weren’t anywhere particularly significant, but that really didn’t matter. We made it to the museum, giving Arthur a baby-friendly pitstop where he actually crawled for the first time. The rest of the time he was in the sling, sleeping or feeding or just looking around.

It’s always hard with cities to know how to get the measure of them, but I’ve found that just wandering is a pretty good way to start.

There’s a lesson for life in there somewhere too I reckon. Not to stay still for too long, to keep meandering, even if you feel aimless, because only then do you stand a chance of coming across the thing that will give you direction. To appreciate what you find along the way, too – not just focus blindly on your destination, on the things you think you’re going to find, because it’s often in the unexpected that the magic lies.

J is for journey.

Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.