I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry, for taking so long to get back here. I didn't think it would take that long and I was quite touched to see how many of you have been checking in every day :)
So I'm still here, and most importantly out of that black hole. It was quite a climb this time - I think the longest and hardest climb out I have done in my life. At least that I remember, because I have large blank spaces where life happened but my mind erased the memory; my mind's particular form of self preservation.
So while I was away from here Christmas and the New Year came and went. Hope you had a smashing time whatever you did and you are now recharged for the year ahead. I am feeling much refreshed and a tad overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and family. Truly I am. I was feeling a bit anxious (for 'bit anxious' read massive panic attack the night before travelling) before we left for the UK.
Here in Egypt gamer son and I have been pretty isolated from social contact. It was quite a shock to both our systems to be once again in a country where we spoke the language and people wanted to talk to both of us - and not to try to scam money, but to chat for no ulterior reason. Well that is apart from the lady at border control at Gatwick airport, who wanted to be sure I would not attempt to collect public funds while there (in the UK, not Gatwick). But even she was chatty. I found myself quite out of the habit of social chitchat, and indeed I believe I talked my poor sister into a slight coma the first few nights.
Our first taxi ride in the UK was from the bus stop to my sister's house. I had not fully appreciated how I had adapted to the Egyptian taxi driver until I sat in that taxi. It was so smooth! and quiet! There was no manic lane changing, the taxi driver was not shouting on his phone to be heard over the radio customarily turned up full blast, he was not smoking while talking on his phone and most amazing of all he kept his eyes on the road. His meter was running at the correct rate (I was in a taxi yesterday where the driver actually turned on his meter but it had been fiddled with to make it rack up the pounds much faster than it should) and he helped to get our bags out of the car and did not wait for a tip for doing so.
There was green grass everywhere, a soft sky from which the sun did shine but in that gentle and unassuming way the British sun has, and it had rained recently. Very different. The weather was certainly colder than here but not too bad as they had a bit of a warm spell when we first arrived. It was a nice change. That the weather is so changeable was a nice change too.
I was very touched to receive so many lovely gifts at Christmas, and gamer son was also which is why I say I was overwhelmed by the kindness of family and friends. I have very few nice things since I sold or gave them all away before I came here so it was just lovely to receive pretties for Christmas - books from my niece, drawing pens and tea and other lovelies from my sister, a collection of pretty and useful things from my mother, a wallet that is so lovely I don't want to use it from a friend and other things. So many gifts, so very kind of everyone. I felt very lucky indeed.
It did get quite cold before we came back here but no snow. I didn't expect it since it really is too early for that part of the UK, but it would have been nice for gamer son :) However he did get to experience seeing his breath on the air - yes that is a novelty to him since it never gets that cold in Mackay. And he got to experience a frosted over car and how it feels to be outside in -2C temperatures on a misty frosty day. Maybe he can experience snow another time.
So now we are back, and I am freezing my proverbials off! It is cold! Not so cold like the UK, but also no double glazing on the windows and no central heating. So I am colder here than I was in the UK. It was 9C last night, and in a fifth floor apartment building which catches the sea breeze (more like a gale at this time of the year) and which boasts 100% improper closure of doors and windows it's really cold. It's sitting around wrapped in blankets weather, cats with cold feet using me as a human hot water bottle weather. It's COLD!
And none of this is the point of this blog, although I hope it's helped you to catch up on what I've been doing :) The point of this blog, since the last one was steeped in darkness, is to bring you up to date on my mental state. This I did in the second paragraph since it occurred to me that some of you may be concerned as to my well being. Now allow me to elaborate. Isn't that a redundant term? Allow me to elaborate I mean since I quite clearly intend to elaborate and your permission is not sought by me. I am simply being polite.
So, to elaborate, I have made decisions that I hope will make this year a cracker. Last year, as those of you who have persevered with me will know, was a very bad time for me and I was forced into decisions that I bet a lot of you thought were a tad insane. I felt then that I had no other choice and I have not regretted the decisions I made. Sure, it's been hard to be penniless, but it's been good too as one learns (or relearns) what is really important in life. I have confirmed to myself my calling in writing and it has grounded me to be able to write (so I am not so insane any more). I have discovered - rediscovered in truth - a slight artistic ability and drawing my pictures grounds me too. I've been in and out of the black hole many times over the years, and this last time for a while I believed I would not make it out. But I did.
And now, I feel almost reborn. I've got through the bad times and for the first time I really feel they are behind me. When you go through a bad time the effects stay with you and colour your life for so long afterwards, I'm sure you've all experienced that. I've had a lifetime of it and now I'm saying that's a lifetime too long. Something has shifted in me that I can't begin to explain. I've talked before about positive thinking and how it can change your life, and I've tried to keep thinking positively. But the black hole drags me in and positive thinking doesn't come into the hole with me.
This time when I was down in the hole something happened to me; I felt something inside my mind move, like a block being taken away (she's still a bit insane I hear you thinking). I don't know how else to explain it, it's like something that was stopping me from really believing in positive outcomes has gone. And now I feel optimistic about the future, and I'm taking steps to make this year a good one.
First of all it's time to stop faffing about like I have been doing. I've been so afraid of failure that I haven't allowed myself to succeed. So I have a daily schedule and I'm going to be much more disciplined in the way I use my time. I'm going to start an author page on Facebook - the link will be here when I complete it, and I'm also going to start a Sabrina page on Facebook, to link with the little books about her. I have a clear plan on where I wish to go with my writing, and I have started a file on book ideas because they are coming thick and fast. In fact I don't know how I'm going to get them all written but I'm adding to the ideas as they come :)
The plan this year is to make a go of this writing lark, make a decent living from it and get on with my (positive) life. It's not a New Years resolution as I don't make them. It just happens to have come at around the same time because I fell down so deeply into the black hole - I had to either come out changed or stay there forever. So a very belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for sticking around to read my ramblings, I hope you'll hang about this year too - and tell your friends about me and buy my books!
Pics from hols :)
It may not have snowed, but there was some impressive ice!
I became a little obsessed with icy leaves...
Kings College Chapel, no matter how many times I see it, I still adore it
Gamer son coming to terms with -2C
It was a misty, frosty day the day we left.This is Parkers Piece next to the bus stop
As a contrast, this is not frost or mist. This is a sandstorm which is also an impressive sight and happened yesterday (housework today!)