After Tom’s ‘what if?’ it’s his turn to attend conference. It’s in London so that means a whirlwind of catching up with as many friends and family as we can fit in while we’re there.
We travel down on Wednesday via the Gower, where some friends are on holiday marvelling at their good luck in enjoying such fabulous weather, and arrive at Ma’s in the evening.
Ma’s leg still hasn’t healed after her dive from our greenhouse nine weeks ago and since her nurse is on holiday, Thursday begins with me taking over to dress the wound. It’s Tom’s only free day so his parents arrive shortly after for coffee, then the four of us (we have to leave Ma behind because our car’s too small) drive to Richmond where we meet Stepson Two for lunch. In the afternoon it’s time to see Stepdaughter-in-law and Harry, our grandson. Harry takes one look at four faces beaming at him and sobs, but cheers up mightily at the sight of his daddy coming through the door.
On Friday, I spend the day with Ma whose propensity for tripping up has worried me, but she’s in good spirits, has lost weight and looks ten years younger than her true age, all of which helps to set my mind at rest. In the evening, it’s over to our friends, Jill and Martin. Jill and I have been best friends since the register sat us together at school and tonight we let our hair down with fizz, stories and some schoolgirl humour which also reassures me that we’re not nearly as grown-up as we pretend to be.
On Saturday I have a lovely time with Rose and her fiancé Si. Si goes out to tinker with the car whilst Rose and I discuss wedding plans and veils. Who knew there were so many veils?
My sister and her husband are celebrating their twenty-eighth wedding anniversary (well done, dear hearts) so Sunday begins with a brief visit to their house before we head home via Cardiff and a quick pit stop with Lily and Russ.
After five days of limited internet access Monday and most of Tuesday disappears wading through my inbox. As a new member on the Romantic Novelists’ Association committee, I’m not only getting up to speed with my job, but with committee work in general. I seemed to have joined at a time of intense debate within the organisation reflecting the momentous changes within the publishing industry. The work, plus all the travelling to meetings, has really shown me how many hours people have put in on my behalf over the years so I’m happy, if slightly daunted by the task, to put a bit back.
Today I switch on my computer and Spotify nags me about the artists I haven't listened to for a while. Sheesh! What next? I only hope it can’t see my garden as it would probably have a go about that, or the fact we still haven’t ‘done’ our utility room. Or that the outside of the house needs painting.
I sometimes gnash my teeth a bit when people tell me how lucky I am to have all day to do what I like, as if writing takes the form of some celestial dictation with very little effort on my part, but then I take a deep breath. Time pressures affect all of us and I am fortunate to be able to organise my work more or less as I please. I could still do with a few extra hours in my week though – or is that greedy?
The epainting is by Tom Tomos.