After a long absence, I feel able to tentatively stretch out and restart writing A Life Reclaimed.
For months, I loved my blog posts, I felt energised and the words spilt off the ends of my fingers, flowing inexorably, tumbling forth as a form of catharthis. Unfortunately, I suddenly dried up, and came to a halt, like a stubborn carthorse, not a step further, heels dug in, inspiration dried up.
After my writer's block set in, I realised I was depressed, and although I was busy, the days blurred and before I knew it, the year was drawing to a close still with no resolution to the problems in my life.
However, as we start a new year, I realise that the future for many people will be difficult, and my problems are no more important than those of any man on the street, struggling to survive against some pretty long odds. We are all in this together.
Autumn and winter last year were very dramatic in this village, extreme cold, mountains of snow, icy roads, and frozen and then burst pipes. The senior daughter painted a lovely picture of Christmas here, snow, roaring log fires, carol singing, and long walks, culminating in a wonderful candlelit Christmas dinner. It was truly wonderful, a complete Dickensian Christmas, a Christmas I shall remember with joy and sadness as my last one in this house. However, the reality was a little different for those of us who struggled for some 4 weeks beforehand with the extreme conditions.
Early in December I began suffering frozen pipes - I managed to avoid disaster for several weeks, and then disaster struck. Down came my kitchen ceiling, and chaos reigned. However, true to the television adverts, my insurance company pulled out all the stops, and just before Christmas Eve, we were restored to a position where we could enjoy ourselves. Most people in the village were stuck because of the atrocious state of the roads, and what fun we all had, walking between houses in the deep snow for drinks and suppers, an enchanting Christmas morning communion service in Church, candlelight, holly, ivy, and a warm glow. A Christmas experienced perhaps only once in a lifetime.
The senior daughter struggled to get home from New York, and finally arrived almost at home, having caught the airport bus from Heathrow to Banbury on Christmas Eve morning. There she came to a halt. I could not get my car up the lane to collect her, no taxis were available but luckily a kind friend managed to get into town to fetch her. It all seemed so exciting, but in reality it was nothing of the sort. She was exhausted, and very relieved to be home.
Now - a new year, the third on my own, and I have faced up to the fact that soon I shall be packing up my possessions and 25 years of memories, and hitting the road.
17 hours ago