Friday, 4 January 2013

Day 4 - A new member of the family

Friday 4th January She has only been here an hour and we are all in love with her already. Mimi was successfully delivered by the lovely Linda from Cats Protection and she has already made quite an impact. Yet another rescue animal joins the happy clan on Hazelbank. Little does she know that there are 10 acres for her to explore when she gets a bit bigger. I have left her making friends with George and I have high hopes for this relationship. The sun emerged today so all is well with the world. For those of you who have not visited Arran you would adore it in the sunshine. A smaller island just off Arran called the Holy Isle is a world peace centre and a female Buddhist retreat. In the evening sun the tiny island glows as if dusted with gold and it is one of my favourite views on the island. My lovely daughter Molly returns to university tomorrow which is always a bit of a challenge. She has just walked past with empty bags searching for drying washing. I cope with missing her because I know how how happy she is there and that she is in exactly the right place. Molly has a truly wonderful set of friends and they all support each other without question. She has already secured two placements for the summer with the RSPB so she continues to plan her life down to the last detail. It has been one of the days when I have failed to even get into my studio. it has been a long series of distractions but I am happy to go with the flow. Nursing poor Harry is far more important just at this time as we continue to battle this cold that is now more like flu. Not a battle I will give up on and there can only be one winner. That will be me then! Harry puts up with me well as I deliver yet more juices, hot drinks and very detailed instructions. As I am up, at what we islanders consider dawn (7ish), to take Molly to the early ferry I fully expect to steal some time in the studio. Mimi might have other ideas though. Friends have been sending me great photos of tress from various locations. These are the starting point for my next silk batik collection. When I decided to change my life I went to night school to learn a brand new skill and that was where I mastered the art of painting with wax and paints onto silk. I am now completely obsessed with it as a medium. While at night school I worked out my 3 month notice at what is now known as the University of Winchester. Having initially trained and worked as a primary school teacher I quickly moved into, firstly, teacher education and then more broadly into arts degree teaching. I wrote a dance degree with a super bunch of people and taught some hugely talented students. Over the 10 years I was at Winchester I was fortunate to move into areas with more and more responsbilities. After the birth of our third son, who never slept, my husband and I decided that one of us should give up work to care of the children. We had a fabulous Nanny at the time but the lack of sleep was just too difficult to cope with. I can vividly remember thinking that it should be me that gave up and that was the plan initially until Pete asked if he could do it. In the end either of us could have done it but my salary was bigger and that was that. I continued to take on more and more responsibility at work until after the birth of my 4th child. In the meantime my darling dad had died of cancer and I decided enough was enough. We sold up and moved to my family home on the island and it was, quite possibly, the best decision we ever made. People who knew me back in the day ask if I ever missed the work at the university. I am never quite sure how to answer that. I missed some of the people. I missed leading teams and I missed working towards impossible deadlines and meeting them regardless. Most of all I missed the creativity so I quicked re-focused that into new directions and then I missed everything else much less. Those of you reading this who know me know that I like to be busy but it is more than that. I need challenges and I need new things to learn and then I am a happy little bunny rabbit. I have adapted to working from home really well and that has been a bit of a relief because I am aware that it doesn't suit everyone. Mind you, I have to take my chances when I get them around family and home school commitments. So I will, indeed, be taking my chance tomorrow morning and I do hope to be able to share some progress. Meantime I would be grateful for a small favour. An aspect of this writing project is self promotion. I am terrible at this and hate it so much. I have taken the very brave decision to post my daily blog on my facebook and have been truly surprised by the response. If you could repost onto your page I would be hugely grateful and that will do for self promotion me thinks! As we ease our way into the weekend I do hope you all have a lovely one. If any of you have any new year challenges I would love to hear about them, just post details in the comments section. I will end with a bad picture of a very beautiful young lady who will not let us take pictures of her yet. Until tomorrow. xx