Summer rain

I haven’t been around for a while, I know. Sorry about that. The weather had been nice, so the SO and I decided to grab the opportunity to get away for a few days to the Brittany coast. Only about 90 minutes from here, but it was a nice change of scene for us and the dogs. We have some lovely friends who have a gîte, as well as a big daft dog who loves one of ours to bits, so it was a bit of no-brainer. We took our hairy idiots to the beach, which for one at least was his first experience of the sea, as far as we know. He wasn’t keen, but then, he’s not a big fan of getting his feet wet generally… wuss.

The other reason I haven’t been writing posts recently is that I have been trying to focus on another project. I’ve had an idea for a new novel, and I got quite excited about it, because it’s the first time I’ve had anything like inspiration for fiction writing in – literally – years. It’s still very much just a WIP: I have a main character and the barest of outlines of a story arc. But it is definitely progress of a sort.

But, as so often happens in my life, it’s one step forward, two steps back. I have had a bit of a setback in the past week or so. I have been suffering from a lot of anxiety for no obvious reason, manifesting in various ways, hypervigilance for example, but this time especially in vividly unpleasant dreams which leave me uncomfortable and uneasy all the following day. When I am in a phase like this, the tiniest problem seems insurmountable, and I have been completely unable to think about the new project, which is frustrating. I know it will pass, but I don’t like it!

So in the meantime, I will continue to watch the football, tennis, motorcycle racing and whatever else is available to me, read, walk the dogs, cuddle the dogs, dodge the summer rain and try to be patient. I do things like focus on looking after myself – making sure I moisturise my skin , things like that, which might seem silly or indulgent, but I find that self-care bleeds into the rest of my life. Or more importantly, lack of it does in a very toxic way. And doing something positive, however small, every day, chips away at the feeling of self-loathing which inevitably accompanies these times of high anxiety and depression.

Of course, all of that would be made slightly easier if the weather were a tad more seasonal: just at the moment, were it not for the green leaves on the shrubs outside, you could be forgiven for thinking it was October…

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