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14 August 2011


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I'm glad you're back to blogging. With so many big things going on in the world it's good to connect however slightly with other people who are willing to share their ordinary lives.

I go "on strike" every once in a while against news and politics, but I always try to keep up with my favorite blogs. It's not really the momentous content that attracts me, it's the voice and style and the idea of an individual behind the blog that always makes me stop by and see what's happening.

It is great to see you writing again, D. And what a lot you have given us to think about. Good luck with all the new and resumed projects, I look forward to hearing and reading about them as you progress.

That place you stopped at on the A373 is a special one for our family, too. We always pulled in there on our way to holiday in Devon just to take in the view and then one year we decided we wanted to live in the view and here we are!

Lovely to have you back and this is a lovely way to start my day.
Thank you!

I've missed your blogs; it's wonderful to have you back. This is thought provoking, and so personal for me, being in the 50's 'no-woman limbo' (love that description) and having gone through the cancer thing. As my doctor told me, laugh when you want, cry when you feel sad, shout when you feel angry. Let it out and live. You're a great example of that.

These are the days :-)

I'd love to hear about and see what you do with that sewing machine. Sewing clothes is something I've always wanted to be able to do but have never had the courage/ discipline/ whatever to tackle. I sew stuff for the house and make crafty things, but not clothes. It's the one thing I can imagine my saying on my death bed...wish I'd learned how to sew. I'm gonna get there, surely. Soon, I hope.

Welcome back, D! I never tire of your writing voice, your very interesting links, great music and those lovely glimpses of Devon - one of my favourite counties. I wish you good times in your "new" year ahead.

How. Very. Inspiring.

You are a lovely writer and I'm so glad I found your blog through Tish..

Can relate to much.


Well worth the wait to read your stuff today, D. Always the voice of reason and great interest. What would I do without your book references.

It sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun with your new projects.....enjoy.

Ye gods! I thought it was myself speaking when I read your words (re your feeling about blogging etc). You were the first blog I ever read and always enjoyed what you had to say. On a couple of occasions I wrote to you (first time I had ever done that). Several more blogs with more interesting women followed and they were also religiously followed. Recently I also have lost the habit but for some reason decided to make contact today and see what you were up to. We connected! I agree with you, I truly think it is an age thing. I think the whole aspect of looking at life changes when one reaches a certain age, and of course illness and death play their part too. I am taking leave of these sunny shores of Oz and heading for your part of the world to see a new grandson for the first time. Life goes on......

Goodness, what wonderfully reassuring women you all are. Thank you so much for such thoughtful comments.

Maureen: I thought you'd know that high point.

And Kim, a warm welcome. When it comes to inspiration, I rather think your blog has it in bucketloads, stylistically speaking. Also, would very much welcome some Provençal sunshine over here in grey,chilly, damp Devon; please send ASAP.

Shelley: used to make loads of clothes and my daughter's (until she became a teenager . . .) but now it will almost certainly be stuff for our respective houses!

Lisa - there's a long overdue email on its way to you. And one to you too Fiona; when are you coming and where will you be?!

Hi! So good to read you again. A lot of what you say struck a cord. I was 60 last month (my post about this milestone gained more views than many in the past months - so clearly hit home to many!) I am interested in your photography course, having been bought a DSLR for my birthday and trying to teach myself. I love the way you write - thank you. Ronnie

It's good to hear your voice again. How reassuring to hear such reflective sanity in a summer when the world seems to have gone a little mad. In my 40s, I feel that I have never enough time to reflect, constantly harassed by family demands...and I am not looking forward to the next decade either, as I envisage my fifties exactly as you described. It's nice to know there is something to look forward to after that! Although, as your post reminds me, we must live our lives now.

At 58, and having started late at paid work outside the home (taught music in home-based studio while raising kids), I'm hoping to stay on 'til 65. This last six months of Research Leave, though, has really made me wonder if that's what I want, and I'll be very conscious about choice as I move back into the classroom. There are so many wonderful things to do in life, and work is only one of them. Your post is very inspiring (I'm bookmarking it) on being 60 and I want to make sure I make the most of whatever decades are left to me.
Hope to see you back here regularly, but it's good to know that when you do post it's because you want to, rather than that you feel so obliged. Enjoy all your new projects!

So good to welcome you back. You have articulated so very well some of my own plans and thoughts (as someone very recently retired in the aftermath, as you know, of a cancer diagnosis and surgery). My piano, bought for me when I was about 7, has been languishing, unplayed, in a corner for far too long. I've purchased some fabric in anticipation of locating and plugging in the Bernina and the novel that's been in my head for about 10 years now has a working title and opening sentence. I've already completed a one day photography workshop and, as a result, find I'm not always in Auto mode though Annie Leibowitz has nothing to worry about. Yet. And of course I remember Esther and Abi. I just need more of the positivity you refer to, need to stop looking over my shoulder and, as you are doing, just embrace the now. Sorry to go on. You were the first blogger to leave a comment on my own blog posts (one about a new brush for the kitchen floor, of all things)and I've been a visitor here ever since. Keep writing and inspiring. Best wishes.

Yet more thoughtful, uplifting comments; thank you so much .

Ronnie - good luck with the camera.

Dancing Beastie - I'm so sorry our paths won't cross when you are in the South West but next time I head up to to Scotland . . .

Mater - I very much hope our paths WILL cross when you are next in the UK. London 2012? (I meant 2013 . . .) We should make a date ASAP!

Liz - I well remember the first contact we made and still have the original email you sent me all that time ago (about Atonement and the beach at Redcar). I think of you often and I'm very conscious that our lives have been running on parallel lines ever since.( I wish you a permanent and complete recovery.) And I am still hugely in awe of your cakes.

Welcome words, and encouraging that you have a full schedule of pleasure and learning planned. I read the Miranda Sawyer article too and have been mulling over thoughts about aging too, though somewhat inconclusively. Will all be made clear when I reach the golden age?

Yes. You have been missed.

Colleen - I'm not sure if things become clearer as we age but perhaps we become less willing to spend time on stuff that doesn't really warrant the energy we allot it. I look back at my younger self sometimes and wonder why on earth I worried about many of the things that once made me anxious or distressed. I'm not sure if it's a question of being more self-aware or more conscious of the finite nature of life but, these days, I'm increasingly reluctant to squander the time that I do have.

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

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