Published: Wednesday June 3, 2015.
In April, I said:
Posts here will be less frequent, likely fortnightly until further notice.
Well, that didn’t really pan out as intended.
I am, however, back with some words for you.
I started the year with a resolution to write 500 words every day. I made it to the end of March before the realisation that the action of a daily ritual wasn’t achieving what it was supposed to. It became this fatuous marker in my day, a constant reminder that I should be doing other things that were more important. I was coming out of a nasty winter depression (all my own doing, I might add) and the constant grasping at something that might be a hand-hold was always in the back of my mind. I wrote 50,000 words from the beginning of January to the end of March and never missed a day. In the two months since then I haven’t looked back at what I wrote, nor did I take any sense of achievement over it. I haven’t made any progress on my first book, either. It is what it is.
Depression is an odd thing. It’s caused me pain and suffering over the years that I’ve known I have it. Like an immature brat, I refuse to be medicated for it in the usual pharmaceutical way. Depression and other mental health shenanigans was the primary reason why my first marriage broke down systematically over the final few years. The beginning of May this year marked the 3-year anniversary of me living in Cornwall and building a new life. I have vague memories of the early days, I think partly down to me not wanting to dwell on the past or think too much about the future. Frankly, I’m struggling to cherrypick the highlights reel from the last couple of months without referring to my calendar. Actually, let’s do that; work smarter, not harder.
April started with a road trip to Wales, visiting Cardigan for the Hiut Denim open day. I met a bunch of hard-working and talented Hiut staff, some proto-hipsters in impossibly skinny jeans, and listened to a talk about Hiut’s plans for the coming year. I didn’t buy any jeans, but I vowed that the next open day I attend I would snag a couple of pairs.
I learned to drive an automatic transmission car, too. That took about 5 minutes. An achievement, but hardly a hard-won one. I formed a limited liability partnership in April, too. I even got a government agency-issued certificate for it, which was nice. I also started an art supplies business, too. Neat.
Jen’s three-week show at The Castle in Bude took place from April 24th and was tough on me. Two wilfull, obsessive people living in the same house is tricky at the best of times, but the disruption in the run-up and change in focus for the show was harder than I anticipated. This all took place shortly after the Jen’s successful crowdfunding campaign to get a big easel for her studio, so it’s safe to say I spent most of April in the bow wave from my housemate. I tried so hard not to overthink the situation, but distilling it down to her having wonderful things happen and me just doing the day job stuff was inevitably quite disheartening for me. I’m supportive, of course, as a friend should be, but it was tough for me.
In May, mum and dad came to visit north Cornwall for a week and I barely saw them. I had a casting call to appear in a web advert, which involved an hour-or-so drive up to Barnstaple and buying a new shirt. It paid well. OK, I’ll rephrase that – they used my footage, released the ad and the agency have my bank details so assuming they don’t renege it will pay well. Eventually. Hopefully.
I bought a mountain bike, too. I had an inheritance from my nan and got a new bike to thrash around a bit. I lasted about 5 minutes of hooning around in wooded lanes before I came a cropper with a fox jumping out in front of me. I hit the deck hard, though my helmet saved my skull from damage. I bruised badly, bled some and gouged my shin. Three weeks of sore ribs and limited shoulder movement has been irritating, but I’m not dead and don’t have any lasting damage. The bruises will heal, my scars are reminders. Both wheels came off in the crash, and I bent something attached to the frame, but it’s been replaced and I’m back on the road again. It’ll happen again, I’m sure, but that’s all part of the fun.
I did the sound and lights for Dad’s Army at The Craven Players, too. That was a nice distraction, and I caught up with someone I hadn’t seen in far too long. Oh, and a client of mine gave me a tip, too. She thought she hadn’t paid me, despite me sending her a bill and a receipt, so that was nice.
I won a pair of sunglasses for my beach clean efforts, thanks to Bamzoo Europe. It’s rare for me to play, let alone win anything, so that was a highlight.
Jen’s Open Studios thingy took place in May, too. Effectively that means there was about a week off between the gallery show ending and Open Studios starting. More disruption, but more sales than the gallery, so it was worthwhile. Hard work, and my patience was tested regularly, but it was done and dusted. I essentially lived in the office for the duration, which was a dark throwback to my final months in Abingdon. I’ve shaken that reminder, now, especially since there’s sunshine and positivity in the fresh coastal air.
Related to that, I’m going on holiday soon. I’m taking a few days away in northern Spain as a mental mini reset. If memory serves, it’s my first time out of the country since about 2011 or so when I went on a cruise. My travelling instinct is beginning to return, too; I’ve found myself looking at short breaks and solo holidays in an bid to find new things to experience. I think that’s mostly down to fairly effortless and enjoyable trips in recent months rather than anything more elaborate. It’s almost like the first three years in Cornwall is undoing the last three years of Abingdon.
Thanks for reading. Back soon.