Monday, 4 January 2016

Sunshine in the Rain


‘Happy New Year!’ my dear friend, Jill, and I chorus, delighted to hear each other’s voices. We start to swap news which quickly becomes a reciprocal roll call of the sick, the dead and the fragile elderly. ‘Whatever happened to fun?’ we ask ourselves, laughing as we recall our carefree younger selves in our dark green school uniform and ridiculous platform shoes.

Many moments of 2015 were not much fun, but it was the year when I had the most precious gift of all, that of seeing my new granddaughter come into the world. And lately, when we’ve spent many, many hours on dark, rain-soaked roads, or waiting by my mother-in-law’s hospital bed, I’ve had to remind myself to look for the joy in each day, to remember there is light in the gloom.

We were fortunate to be able to share Christmas with my daughters, our sons-in-law and our granddaughter. One blustery day, we took Smallest Person to the beach and it was an utter delight to see the world afresh through her eyes, seeing her lifting her face to look at the wide sky, frowning at the wind and listening to the roar of the sea. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons we love babies… although when Bee screamed the place down in protest at being left in our care whilst her parents went out to see Star Wars it was a powerful reminder of why we have them when we’re young!



Last year didn’t going according to my plans, so no big resolutions this year, just a mental note to make the most of every day… and have some fun. Here are a
 few things that have cheered me up so far: My family and good friends.  Good reads: Liz Harris’s informative, uplifting novel, The Lost Girl and Viv Albertine’s searingly frank, funny and painful autobiography, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.   Running, running, running – and being rewarded with a rainbow on a wet day.


And this…whilst every single one of my writing resolutions turned to dust, I did have a very lucky break at the end of 2015.  Opening the post to see my feature article in The English Home magazine made me very happy indeed.


Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and joyful New Year.

The painting is 'Coast near Dinas' by Tom Tomos

12 comments:

Jane Lovering said...

Wishing you a brighter 2016! Somehow we always seem to brush off the triumphs and good bits of a year and dwell more on the downsides, don't we, maybe that's human nature? Maybe the darker times are harder to escape from... Hopefully 2016 will be a year of sunshine (and a few more rainbows!) x

Evonne Wareham said...

As you know, my writing resolutions for 2015 bit the dust too - there is a lot of literary dust blowing about there. Here's hoping that 2016 will prove to be less dusty. And congratulations on the magazine - will go and hunt it down at the newsagent. :)

Chris Stovell said...

Many thanks, Jane - let's hope so. Here's to sunshine and rainbows! Cx

Evonne, that image of all that literary dust has made me smile... what will happen to it? I certainly hope we'll both recapture it in 2016. And thank you! xx

Clare Chase said...

Happy New Year, Chris – I do hope the happy times reign as much as possible in 2016. Like Evonne, I shall go looking for the magazine! :-) x

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Happy new year Chris. I found over the last couple of years with their challenges of failing parents that taking pleasure and making fun, difficult though it was to carve out the time, was the secret to surviving and sometimes even thriving. Good luck. Thinking of you both. X

Chanpreet BookAddict said...

Happy New Year Chris! 2015 was an interesting year with so many highs and lows. I love your attitude of looking for the happy things and remembering them. Good times will follow the bad. I hope 2016 is a much better year. Thank you for always sharing your ups and downs with us. <3

Kathryn Freeman said...

You should be so proud of yourself, Chris. Such a hard year and yet you came out of it as a smiling grandmother who runs amazing distances and manages to get a feature article into a major magazine. Go you in 2016 :-)

Chris Stovell said...

Happy New Year, Clare - I think it's a matter of recognising those happy moments and hanging on to them when they come. And thank you! cx

Happy New Year, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for that advice which I appreciate as you've been through it yourself. I'm so sorry for your loss - you did your father proud. Thinking of you too. Cx

Happy New Year to you, Chanpreet. Ma always says you can't experience true happiness and you've known how the tough times feel, she thinks it makes you more appreciative of them and I think she's right. Many thanks for your support in 2015 and for your good wishes. Cx

Ah, Kate, you're very kind. The fiction needs some attention but, emotionally, I've been stretched very thin and unable to find that total immersion in characters that fiction requires - but it will come again, I'm sure. And go you - you're a Choc Lit star! xx

Flowerpot said...

Do hope this year turns out better for you, Chris as I'm sure it will. With love and thoughts XX

Chris Stovell said...

Much appreciate, Sue. As is your ongoing support. I wish the same for you. Cx

Patsy said...

Congratulations on becoming a grandmother, and having an article accepted.

Pondside said...

I am always surprised (and why should I be?) even after all these years of 'knowing' you, at how our lives mirror each other. While I haven't had an article published, I did receive the gift of a new grandchild and spent countless hours at a bedside. Life is good though. Even if it's a bit soggy here!