Over the last couple of weeks I have found my thoughts turning repeatedly to Gill’s last blog asking if we give ourselves time to think and wishing I could indeed add contemplation time to my ‘to do’ list.
I’ve certainly been doing a lot of thinking but not the kind to which she was referring. It’s been a hectic few weeks – husband in and out of hospital like a yoyo (on the road to recovery now, we think), trying to get some articles written up ahead of deadline, interviewing people – and being interviewed – and getting 21-year-old off to Nepal. The airline went bust a few days before he was due to go but the travel agent didn’t think to tell us. When we made enquiries we were told it hadn’t completely gone bust and he could still get the flight to Delhi, where he would be stranded. Managed to book him on another – much more expensive – flight and have checked he boarded the bus to London with passport, ticket, dollars, bank card, photos for visa which he has to apply for on arrival as he didn’t have time to apply before leaving because he had put his passport in the washing machine and didn’t put in for a replacement….He’s a student.
So, there has certainly been no ‘me’ time, or contemplation time. On the other hand, part of me knows I’m storing away all sorts of potentially useful material for future writing projects – conversations from hospital trolleys or how to survive motherhood, perhaps.
Sara Bain, arts and entertainment editor for the Dumfries & Galloway Standard, has begun a series of interviews with writers. I was delighted when she asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed and she certainly made me think hard to answer her questions.
Heard from my publisher, Indigo Dreams, my non-fiction book on Afghanistan will be coming out in July and my poetry collection, Thousands Pass Here every Day, will be published in August. So now, I have to start planning book launches and publicity and marketing – more thinking but not in a contemplative way.
I have been accepted as part of a group of artists and craft makers going on a ‘learning journey’ in April to Slovakia to visit its biosphere reserve and dark sky park. It is part of the Gallowayand Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve Project and we are expected to create a record of our journey when we return. Having seen the height of the mountains we’ll be climbing – not called the High Tatras for nothing – I think I need to launch a fitness and stamina programme before I go.
Maybe stomping up and down Dumfries & Galloway’s hills over the next few weeks will give me time to think? And, after Slovakia, surely there will be time to write?