In the middle of July, I attended a very enjoyable Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in Shropshire. It was a real tonic catching up with old friends and making new ones. I even had a new author photograph taken.
I’ve read and am reading some great books – Sue Moorcroft’s new Christmas book A White Christmas on Winter Street (to be published 27 October 2022) was very enjoyable and I’m currently devouring Vicky Beeby’s A Wrens’ Wartime Christmas (to be published 25 August 2022). Next up is Kate Ryder’s Into a Cornish Wind (to be published 28 September 2022) and L J Ross’ The Creek (published 29 July 2022).
However, I somehow don’t seem to find as much time for reading as I used to – does anyone else find that time flies these days or am I just getting old lol?
I lost my mother at the beginning of July and the aftermath of that is still a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions and administration. My mom needed a lot of support over the last eight years as she battled dementia and so time for her was built into my week, meaning that I have lost my normal routine and I now need to reinvent myself. It’s a very strange feeling, as if my anchor has been cut and I know I need to take some time for myself for a while.
I already know that I will be doing more craft courses as I’d got out of the habit and I love learning new things. More writing is also on the cards, but I’m tempted to take a completely different direction (or two).
I did think for a while that my creative writing side wouldn’t recover from the recent emotional weeks, but then I found words creeping into my notebooks again. I thought I’d share this little extract that made me laugh. My mother’s carer and I had a little joke, actually caused by a typo on one of her text messages. If something was strange at my mother’s we would blame an imaginary man called Simon. Simon left the gas on, Simon unplugged the phone, Simon ate the disappearing food…
This, in a very rough state, is what appeared in my notebook …
It was a very surreal experience, greeting people at her mother’s funeral. She stood alone in the entrance to the modern crematorium shaking seemingly endless hands. The mourners were a mix of close family, extremely distant family she had a job recognising, friends of her mothers, some she had met and some she hadn’t, her mother’s cleaner, carer, gardener and window cleaner and then a man she couldn’t place at all.
‘Hello,’ he said. ‘My condolences.’
He had a captivating, almost cheeky smile and a dimple in his cheek. Fiona gulped. ‘I’m sorry I don’t recognise you?’
‘I’m Simon. Your mother sent me to look after you …’