Recharging – working hard while taking a break

I’ve just had a week’s break.

Annual leave is a beautiful thing, an upside to having my day job. That’s something I need to remember when I’m railing against my workday routine of 9-5 (so to speak).

Earlier this year, I was fretting that I wouldn’t be able to string the days together and dedicate a week to relaxing. There is always so much to be done.

What I needed to do was just book the time.

My initial plan was to have at least a few days without technology. No phone, no tablet, no laptop.

Hilarious. There’s a reason my family has called me ‘Techno Jo’ from time to time.* I love my various screens and devices. I’m considering a formal retreat where I’ll need to leave all the technology at the door.

A while ago, I used to do that myself. Regularly. All the technology in a room, on silent. The door shut, phone unplugged. I’d send a clear message to family and friends ahead of time that I would be unable to be contacted while I was on retreat.

The retreats featured meditation and writing. They were blissfully refreshing. I was disciplined and invariably productive, but this wasn’t the week for that sort of discipline. I had some loosely defined goals.

Assessing the break

There were a few things I didn’t manage to do:

  1. Go away for a couple of days. The thought of packing, then of unpacking. To go, then to come back. I couldn’t rise to it.
  2. Keep away from work emails and phone calls. I made it through to around half past three on Monday. Eventually, I stopped checking in. Switching off is a challenge!
  3. Catch up with the housework. I did some but not all the ‘autumn cleaning’ I’d planned. It would have been good to do more, but not essential.

Not managing to meet those three goals wasn’t disastrous. I had a wonderful week. It was busy but the pacing was manageable.

I shouldn’t be surprised that when I’m taking time to do things I love – with people I love – that I will simply feel energised.

Some of the things I did manage to accomplish include:

  1. Enjoy a couple of lazy mornings. I switched the alarm off but I woke up at my normal time but pottered about. I’m always fascinated by how easy it is to wake up while I’m on holiday. There was time for meditations and journal writing.
  2. Catch up with  friends. Relaxing conversations with minimal distractions are a luxury. I was blessed to have time to catch up with some of my favourite people over leisurely cups of tea and chatty lunches.
  3. Make the most of being able to be on campus. I made it to a couple of presentations. There was time for work on my thesis. I spent quality time with The Wife of Bath and Foucault. I sat out on the lawn and made friends with one of the peacocks. (Ok, friends is probably stretching it. He was hoping I had treats. I didn’t, he left.) I hung out.
  4. Take in some of the wonderful events happening in Perth. The PIAF film season is in its last weeks. I made it to Rams (Grímur Hákonarson, 2015) at the Somerville on Monday. It was a hideous day in Perth (it was still about 37 at 6.30 in the evening). The film is set in Iceland and looks cold. There was a summer thunder storm with flashes of lightning behind the screen and minimal rain and made a nice contrast. Later in the week, I made it to Sculptures by the Sea on a hot day and then on a cooler, overcast day.
  5. Do some writing. This was where my week really shone. There was some work for uni. I went to a blogging workshop with Amanda Kendle, which is always a joy! Her travel blog, Not a Ballerina, is full of adventures and great tips. Inspired by the workshop I curated content, I finished a late post. I also kept up with the journalling. I wrote four poems (and tinkered with five or six others).
Somerville after a hot day
A clear sky before the clouds

Learning from the break

I was well overdue for a decent break when this week rolled around. What I needed wasn’t necessarily a week of doing nothing. But a week which featured creativity and friends was magic.

I didn’t get to spend time with the ‘to read’ pile teetering on my nightstand, but I have plans for that in the next few weeks.

Cottesloe on a calm day
Blissfully calm

*They also call me ‘Unco Jo’ because of my decided lack of coordination. There are worse names than these, I guess.

 

 

A singing bird – reading leads to writing which leads to reading

Despite the best of intentions, I’ve strayed from the routine I’ve been nurturing. Actually, I did so intentionally. I have been wilful and made a fully intentional detour.

After all, life has to happen like that sometimes.

My life does, at least.

It only becomes an issue when the detour needs to come to an end. That’s where the best of intentions come into play. Detours and diversions can be so (let’s be honest) seductive.

This is a recurrent theme in my reflections. What I’ve realised is that I’ve arrived at a point where I need to take time to do what gives me joy if I’m going to stay focused on the other things. There might be joy in them, the other things, but … sometimes I need to be sure of some respite.

There is a Chinese proverb that I have always loved: Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come
A thought to carry

I always think of the bird as joy and creative energy.

The joy of reading

Most of my life – day job, study, recreational time – revolves around words. As a rule, that works for me. I love what I do. Mostly.

There a moments, though, when my heart sinks. Just a little.

Another discussion about Oxford commas, anyone?

But words and everything that goes along with them are what makes my heart sing. Reading and books, word games and word play have been at the centre of my world. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a reader.

I’ve always loved putting words together. In my head if there’s been no paper or, in those early years of school – it was that long ago, a slate.

  • My great-grandmother, Old Nan, was legendary for wanting to read everything. She was voracious. I didn’t know her for very long. She was 97 when she died and I’m not sure I was even at school. But the memory of her – of her reading, along with the family stories – has stuck.
  • When my dad accidentally caught my arm with a cigarette as we walked along a crowded street he consoled me (not only by obviously being devastated that it had happened) with a wonderful book of poetry.* I remember choosing the book from the shelf in the bookshop, the shape of first poem (even though the exact words escape me now) and its illustration. It was about looking into a fire and seeing fairies dancing. I read and read that book. I loved it.
  • My prized possession as a child, lost when I left home, was a book of fairy tales. Each story had one illustration. The only story I didn’t read – because the picture featured a man pinned to a tree by a snake – was ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. The others I pretty much knew by heart.

So, I’ve always been a reader. Words have always been my thing.

I don’t have time for a bookclub and my solution is time out for a sizable detour. It’s an indulgence, if I’m to be honest, especially as far as time goes: the Perth Writers Festival.

Three days of listening to writers and readers. Three days of catching up with friends, some of whom I hardly ever see these days. With some it was a quick chat in queues – or in passing as we crossed paths in the race to the next session – and with others it was a lunch and conversations that peeled away the years in between meetings.

They were three days of knowing there was other stuff I should be doing but that I was doing what I needed to be doing.

I imagine this also explains why I went to PWF16 with a plan to attend poetry events and sessions but kept finding myself listening to people talk about writing crime stories.

Start of Australian Poets Festival: 9x5 The Big Read WA Poetry
Standing room only

I went to sessions that were packed. There was standing room only for some.

I caught some spoken word sessions that made my heart sing. I’ve heard about Barefaced Stories, so that session on the Friday night was always on my horizon. Sketch the Rhyme – freestyle rap meets Pictionary … What’s not to love?

Joy and effervescence

Amongst it all, I have made progress with my thesis.

I have clarified what I think needs to change with the shape and direction.

Reshaping the project continues to be confronting. That’s obviously the point. If I didn’t need to respond and make changes, I think pursuing the topic would be an empty activity. The changes come from making discoveries and deepening understandings.

It comes down to the words and, to be honest, the chase. Hunting down ideas is part of the game. It’s what I love about the process.

Along the way, I’m hoping to be more balanced and remember that joy in being a reader and a writer. It is being a reader and a writer that brought me to the project. I am staying alert to moments that fizz because ideas work and words are right.

I’m hoping for some of those moments while I’m drafting the next chapter and making ongoing revisions.

A moderate haul from the bookshop at the Perth Writers Festival 2016
In the wings

 

*I suspect I only felt its heat, not an actual burn. There was probably no real need for consolation…

Between the lines – taking a break to be able to read and write more

This has been a better week. Taking some time out last week was well worth it. I’ll admit to still being tired but not like I was last week. I was, to be frank, wiped out by the time the weekend came around.

This week has been slow but I’ve been more productive. I had a particularly good night of revising the draft of my introduction on Thursday. For a while in the mid to late afternoon I was worried I might not settle to the page and then, in a rush, I did. It was great.

I must get back to that page soon because there is still a (frightening) lot of work to do. However, in the spirit of recognising that I’ve been pushing too hard for too long, I took Friday night off to catch up with a friend and take in a movie.

We saw The Brand New Testament (Jaco Van Dormael, 2015) at Somerville. I enjoyed the movie. It featured a misanthropic God, his downtrodden wife and his daughter who dreams of a kinder world. It was irreverent, surreal and thoroughly enjoyable.

Somerville and tea

I suspect that I’ve mentioned the Somerville before. If you don’t know Perth (and as I’ve found out recently, even if you do) you might not have heard of the Somerville. It is an outdoor cinema at UWA. The Perth International Arts Festival presents a season of films there (and at the Pines at ECU) every summer.

Going to the Somerville is always lovely. Even on the nights when the films are not particularly to my taste.*

An outside movie on a balmy summer evening in the company of good friends goes a long way towards giving me joy. On evenings when I choose to go alone, I find it is a great place for reflection, getting some notes on the page and then having some time out. Because I know the time out is definitely coming I end up staying on-task pretty well.

The Somerville was packed, brimming with happy movie goers enjoying a picnic ahead of the screening. (And some who were not so happy because finding a seat – even on the grass – got to be a challenge.)

The resident kookaburras were also happy. The picnics made for a delightful smörgåsbord that they couldn’t resist. The murmur of hundreds of picnickers chatting over their dinners was punctuated by laughter and the occasional scream as morsels were snatched from forks. It seems that food being between plate and mouth makes for an easier target.

So long as you weren’t one of the ‘swooped’, the swooping made for some light entertainment. (I should note that this activity is not limited to the Somerville and the ‘burras make good use of the outside dining at other places on campus.)

Two kookaburras at the Somerville
Plotting the next heist
Kookaburra perched on lighting rig at Somerville
All he surveys

There has also been some pretty serious café writing with many pots of tea and the occasional LLB.

This weekend alone has featured Bread in Common, Natural Light Photography Gallery Café, Matilda Bay Tea Rooms (which may have changed name…) and Little Way. There was Tiamo as well as the UWA Club during the week … I don’t know what it is about writing in cafés but it really does work for me. A lot.

The promise of reading

Progress towards the revisions has meant that there wasn’t the reading that I had been doing last week. That aside, there was a moment when a colleague asked me about what I had been reading and I was excited to be able to reel of the titles of not one but two books-for-fun and have a quick chat in the tea room.

It had been too long since I’d been able to pull a couple of purely recreational titles out and talk about being a reader.

I also caught Spare Parts Puppet Theatre‘s version of Margaret Wild’s Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa. that gave me a chance to talk a picture books, reading AND puppets with some of my favourite young people. All of which was joyous.

I’m not sure what I’m going to read this week. With the Perth Writers’ Festival – and its attendant flurry of book purchases – on the horizon I expect I should prioritise one of last year’s purchases that I haven’t quite made it to yet. Due to my appalling lack of control in such bookshopping situations, I have a fair selection from which to choose.

I’m deliberately scheduling some reading-for-fun as part of my conscious carving up of time. (It ties into one of those beautiful planning sheets I am so fond of.)

There is also some more Keats to read this week. I’ve been dipping in and out of his work since watching Bright Star. I haven’t quite fallen in love with him yet. Perhaps that will come. I’ll let you know next time we meet.

There is also a book about sorting through clutter. For now, I’m going to head to my (blissfully air-conditioned) desk at uni and the delights of connecting Derrida and Foucault, et al with medieval fashion and gender studies. I am loving this part of the work but I need to get it done and move on soon.

OWC Poetical Works of John Keats and Banish Clutter Forever by Sheila Chandra
On my list for this week

*I found Zentropa (Lars von Trier, 1991) harrowing, for example, but it was still a great night. A Mongolian Tale (Fei Xie, 1996) and Departures (Yôjirô Takita, 2008) are among my all time favourites.

 

Another new beginning – thinking about what I want to write

I saw in the New Year watching Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009), one of my favourite films. It was a quiet start to the year but I have to say I was more than happy to end 2015 calmly and ease my way into 2016. 2015 was relentlessly busy. There was so much thinking to be done, so much musing, I could have been thinking out loud on this blog a lot. But I kept thinking the better of it. The result? Just the one post for 2015. There were many words elsewhere and along the way but I found it hard to commit to them.

Something of a love affair

Perhaps ‘affair’ is not the right word. It was more a love-hate scenario, I’m afraid. I found myself really quite liking the delete button on my keyboard. I spent more time that I ought to have communing with the delete button. Not just the delete button, I’m afraid. There were also untold numbers of erasers (I started writing in pencil specifically so I could rub words out), shredders and wild ripping of pages in half and then half again. … Not a lot of what I wrote in 2015 survived.

There was writing for work, of course. I’m not thinking about that. The main issue was writing for uni. That was fraught, more so than I expected. I danced about my ideas for everything, finding it all frustrating and didn’t really want to bring that to this space. I’m only bringing it up now because I’m in the process of regrouping and making some plans for changes.

This is not just about the New Year

I’m not just posting this today because of it being 1 January. That is a nice coincidence. Today also happens to be a day that I have taken off. I wasn’t going to. I had planned to head to uni and get some work done. In the end, I just couldn’t resist. A day off is golden, such a beautiful thing and I’ve fallen into the trap of the public holiday. They can be so alluring, so glamorous – in its archaic sense of casting a spell.

Ensnared I may be but I’m pleased that I have not frittered the day away. I’ve pottered about in my study which is not before time. As I tend to race in and out there is a lot of ‘sorting my environment’ to be done. Filing and cataloguing books and DVDs are tasks that I know should be routine but … Let’s just say it is good to have dealt with a couple of the piles that were teetering precariously. I’ve been able to tick off a few jobs and tomorrow beckons as a productive day back at my desk. Yay. Seriously.

Refreshing this blog has  been on my list of things to do for months. Some of the planning I did for the 2015 revamp that never happened is sitting nicely in a file, ready to go. I sketched out a project last night for the year ahead.

The plan – as it stands at the moment

I acknowledge it is possible that I don’t need another project. I’ve just handed the first 10 000 or so words of my thesis and they need to be radically reworked before I head into the next chapter I’m writing. I’m looking at it more as a recreational pursuit. It is sort of ‘studyish’ but also my kind of fun … Have I mentioned before that I’m a bit of a nerd? I am.

I’ve started the year with Bright Star. I’m thinking it would be nice to watch a film that links to poem on a regular basis. Read the poem – watch the film – engage in some related (but not too much) associated readings – write about it a bit. As I’ve already indicated, I know this is my sort of fun and certainly not for everyone. I haven’t sourced copies of all the films yet so there might need to be changes. I also don’t know how I’m going to go for time. That said, here’s my list so far. You may notice I’ve gone for an eclectic mix and am open to versions that received less than glowing reviews…

  • January Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)
  • February O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2000)
  • March Jabberwocky (Terry Gilliam, 1977)
  • April The Raven (I’m not sure which version … Charles Brabin, 1915; Louis Friedlander, 1935; Roger Corman, 1963; James McTeigue, 2012?)
  • May Howl (Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, 2010)
  • June Lady Lazarus (Sandra Lahire, 1991)
  • July Winter Days (Kihachirō Kawamoto, 2003)
  • August Beowulf (Robert Zemeckis, 2007)
  • September Beowulf and Grendel (Sturla Gunnarsson, 2005)
  • October Under Milkwood (Andrew Sinclair, 1972 … or, Kevin Allen, 2015?)
  • November The Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton, 1993)
  • December How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Ron Howard, 2000)

My year is packed already but I’m looking forward to knowing there is poetry on my horizon.

Ducks in a row
Ducks in a row

Winding down, winding up – reflecting on writing goals

Suddenly, December is so close you can reach out and almost touch it.

How did that happen?

It doesn’t seem that long since I turned to the first page of the goals journal I bought in the spirit of commitment and treat.

A nice journal is always a treat. If I can put the worry of messing up the beauty of a fresh set of pages in balance with the excitement of … a fresh set of pages.

Now I’m on my way to a Christmas party, and I began the weekend with a family outing to Freo for their celebratory turning on the Christmas lights.

We’re trying to work out the best time to get people together to decorate the family Christmas trees.

Secret Christmas wishes are being whispered in ears.

freo christmas lights 2014 1
Ready to go
Mayor turning on Christmas lights
Ta da

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just don’t think I’m ready for December.

A new battery

People keep asking if ‘things’ are slowing down with the year winding up.

No. Not at all. The next four weeks are going to be jam packed and I don’t know how I’m going to fit everything in.

I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve just been thinking about how much this time of the year impacts on people’s sense of balance.

We live at a break next pace and the holiday season just sees the action crank up.

In the spirit of the season, I’m considering a piece about wind-up dolls. Festive but frenetic.

I’m hoping it will be fun.

It will also be nice if it isn’t too clichéd.

Meanwhile, I know that I need to replace the battery in the clock in my bedroom. Since I schedule all my alarms and reminders through my phone, the clock is just for show.

I know the clock isn’t working. I know that.

Yet every time I look at it there is a jolt that comes from the sense of time being out of joint.

Normally I just know the time. I can usually say where I am in relation to the ocean, too. I just know. I don’t know how. I just do.

On my mind

All this is on my mind because of that (silly) clockwork piece I’m toying with.

It can really only be toying because there is work coming at me from all directions. I am aware that now is possibly not the best time to be starting a new ‘fun’ piece.

Then, again, perhaps it is the perfect time to have a ‘little’ something waiting in the folder at the side of the desk.

A space to breathe. Somewhere to be calm and revel in a moment of play.

A frivolous moment

Frenzy and stress, aside, December is fun. Out and out, fun.

That might be the Sagittarian in me thinking out loud, I suppose.

Jollity and all that…

Or it could be the promise of hot Perth nights with a breeze off the river and the stars clear overhead.

It is great to take time out just be with the people I love.

I’m looking forward to fun with the family over Christmas lunch. I gather there are plans for a return of my sister’s vegan turkey.

Always a treat…and so much less stress than the feathered version…

Salad picture of a turkey
The vegan turkey

All that said, I wish you all the best as the wild ride that can be the festive season begins.

*It was February. I was a bit late with the new year review because the New Year was so busy… I guess that cuts out a month in the equation.

Shifting views – juggling a desire to write with the reality of life

I didn’t make it to the page last week. Well, not on this side of my world. Not this page.

I missed it.

There were plenty of times when I thought I might be just about be ready and then…the moment passed.

Evaporated.

I thought about so many things that I could write. Somewhere in the chaos (I also didn’t make it to the housework, as it happens) there are a few sticky notes that sketch content and images.

I considered a mid-week post. I played with the idea of a late-week post. I realised I just needed to accept that some weeks I might not make it.

Of course, there is always the possibility of having a stash of posts ready and waiting. A patient queue of ideas all bright and shiny, ready and waiting.

It’s a simple dream.

I expect they’re the one’s you’ve got to have.

Bird in profile
Enough with the excuses

Spaces

When I was wandering around looking for somewhere to write last week (trying to multitask…it’s a long story ) I came across a new structure at Bathers Beach in Freo.

It is an open-framed shelter on a fair sized deck.

From the looks of things, it is a social space. Somewhere to kick back on a summer’s day. A place to party.

I think it would be a lovely place to write.

Frame of shelter at Bathers Beach
Open to the elements

I sat in the shade for a while. I made some notes. I took some photos that I think will be useful for a poem, perhaps even a story.

Mostly I sat.

I was waiting for someone and settling into writing just didn’t happen.

While I didn’t get much ‘done’ I did make progress.

I had popped into Dawn Meader’s exhibition at Kidogo Arthouse. It was an unexpected treat and I found a painting that I loved.

It is a view through a doorway into a garden in Tuscany in the late afternoon. (I wish I could remember the title. I’m sure ‘afternoon’ features.)

I have a thing for doorways that I can’t really explain. (Also, Tuscany – I must go one day – afternoon light and gardens.)

I’m looking forward to bringing to bringing the painting home. It is going to go near a reading chair. Or my writing desk. I think.

The painting got me thinking.

Wandering into the framed shelter – a space that is really all doorways and views – I got to thinking about how our world can shift.

Well, our view of it.

Depending on how we frame it.

Echoes

In the last couple of weeks there have been lines from poems that keep coming back to me. Especially T. S. Eliot’s ‘Journey of the Magi’.

I have mixed feelings about Eliot’s poem. I had to learn it as a recital piece for a Literature class when I was 15. It was a choral speech exercise and I really wasn’t fan. Not of the poem. Not of choral speech.

Looking back, I know that my ambivalence at the time came from how the poem was presented to us.

Perhaps the lines come back to me so often because they were gouged so deeply into my memory by rote learning. I don’t think that is it, though.

At the same time we learnt Edwin Muir’s ‘The Horses’. I remember that poem but it doesn’t come back to me in what I’d describe as meaningful ways.

I think – hope – it is more because I’ve come to an understanding and appreciation of the poem.

There are lines that catch at me and I think about them. Probably when I should be thinking about other things.

Lately I’ve been musing about two moments in the poem. The first is lines 8-10:

 There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

The other is lines 33-35:

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This…

It is the word ‘regretted’ and the need to ‘set down’ that resonate most immediately.

Now, with the benefit of a lot of decades, I can see the cadences Eliot builds into the poem are exquisite. My frame has shifted.

I’m sure it will shift again.

The emotional range of the poem is striking. There is so much to think about.

Journeys

A lot of the time I think about the effectiveness of Eliot’s language. Recently, I’ve thinking about people making difficult journeys – literal and metaphorical – and what those journeys mean.

I live in Australia, a place where it’s hard not to think about people making difficult journeys.

We’re brought up on them as a national mythology. These days we impose them as a political …

I’m stumped, there are so many words that I could use that I shy away from. Most of them are unpleasant.

I’ll settle on expedience.

Departures, arrivals and returns are fraught. We’ve made them that way. We advertise them that way.

Eliot was writing about something that I know is unrelated to contemporary Australia and yet how I engage with the poem has shifted because of our current climate.

I realise this may seem oblique. I’m still working with it and I’m not quite sure where it’s going to take me.

The way I’ve been thinking about it means there are now different connections between my memory and my reading(s) of the poem.

Journeys, what we see, experience and share change us.

Eliot’s magi find themselves ‘no longer at ease’ (l. 41).

Likewise, my frame has shifted and I’m not as comfortable as I once thought I was.

Hot summer day at Cottesloe
Big blue sky

* I do, of course, have a list of ideas – and a schedule for some ‘key’ dates waiting patiently. I just haven’t done anything with it. I’m planning a writing weekend. I ‘just need’ to clear other commitments…

Blue skies – writing and the pleasure of simple things

I’ve had a great week, even if the weekend did get away from me. There wasn’t a lot of time for blogging but plenty of writing nevertheless.

It may not have been quite the writing I wanted to do but it was writing that I’ve needed to do.

I guess you could call it survival writing? Or, perhaps, utilitarian? Work-a-day?

More on that another time.

Perhaps. I’ll have to think about it…

What does stand out for me about this past week – and what I’ve been wanting to sit down and writing about all weekend – is the awareness of the pleasure there is in simple things.

Yellow, orange and red nasturtiums
Spicy nasturtiums

Spoken words

Monday featured a lecture at uni and Voicebox in Freo. I’m not a fan of double-booking and I admit I was a shade late getting to Voicebox but it was worth making the effort to get to both events.

I slipped into that dim room just let the words flow over me.

Arriving late meant that I missed part of the opening set, presented by Siobhan Hodge. I would have liked to have caught it all. Carol Millner and Randall Stephens were both wonderful.

The memory of some poems are still with me. One of the open mic in particular stands out.

It was Annamaria Weldon’s ‘My Father’s Ikons’ was mesmerising. The room was hushed and still. The images that ran through the poem were just beautiful.

 To be held in thrall by the spoken word is exquisite.

I can’t find the notes I made at the end of the evening. I expect I’ll come across them tomorrow. When I least expect it. In an unlikely place.

It is always the way.

The right place

My other joy for the week ties in with study.

It has been a week of making progress and I was just happy to be working through ideas and making plans.

I’m not sure whether I’ve shared previously about how good it feels to be on track with the project. After prevaricating for a bit after finishing my Masters last year I’ve been a tad nervous.

I  figure that new actions and directions can be unsettling at first.

Settling back into a formal study routine has been tricky. I’m aware that I need to tweak my schedule. My environment is still not quite right.

All that taken into account, the ideas are starting to take shape and it is exciting.

I’ve asked my friends and family to remind me that I was this blissfully happy when I start to moan about how hard it all is and ‘no, I don’t want to talk about my thesis’.

I’m sure it will happen. It must be inevitable.

Friends seem at pain to regale me with horror stories about the process.

For now, though, for now it is a balm and I feel blessed and I can’t wait to get back to the books tomorrow.
A blue sky behind a jacaranda
Blue skies above

*But first I need to sleep. When did the clock tick past midnight?