Well, it’s been about as busy as ever here on the farm, with not a lot of actual words being produced. And it’s about to get even busier. I feel like a broken record, but it really is true.
So, what have we been up to? Where do I begin?
First off, the poet changed his job in January. The new job involves quite a lot of driving to get to whichever site he’s working at on a particular day, and sometimes – about once a week at the moment, but we’re hoping that will reduce a little – he’s away overnight as well.
This new drive is taking around two hours each way for his commute to work. Two hours. That’s four hours per day, or up to 20 hours per week. Sometimes longer.
He’s getting up at 6:30am and quite often getting back home at 6:30pm or later. By the time we’ve had tea and sat down to relax, it’s 9pm – or later! And while he is very resilient and conscientious, it’s potentially killing him.
So we’ve been looking for somewhere else to live.
Yes, yes, where we live is beautiful. But we’ve not had time to enjoy it.
It’s a tough act to follow, but we’ve found another house, this time a bungalow, on another farm that’s at least an hour closer, on average, to where he works. And one of the sites – his base site – is only 20 minutes away.
The house-hunting and then the admin all took time, but we go to sign the contract on Monday, and we collect the keys a week later. We have a two-week overlap between the two properties in which to chicken- and dog-proof the new place, pack down the old place, and move house.
We will miss the lambs and sheep, the antics of the pea-fowl, chatting with the cows and horses. But we won’t miss the mess (peacocks dunnarf make a mess), the noise (peacocks dunnarf make a racket!), or Mr Reynard the Fox worrying our chickens. And the poet certainly won’t miss that two-hour commute.
As I say, we’re going to another farm, but this one is agricultural. It’s nice and flat, quite close to both the canal and the river. There are three big bedrooms, one of which will be the joint office. And the small pocket of land that comes with it (not a huge amount, but land all the same) is directly joined to the property. This time we have no neighbours at all. I’m going to “walk to work” in the mornings, and “walk home” again in the evenings – that’s how flat it is.
We’ve also had the usual family stuff to worry about, which I won’t go into here. We’ve had the band – the band rehearses as well as plays – and we’ve both been back and forth to the hospital (nothing to worry about, but a nuisance all the same) for various treatments and operations, which is still ongoing at least for the near future.
And we’ve been trying to fit in our Alphabet Adventures too, which is going very slowly. We have ‘F’ to write up, but the pictures and video are pretty much ready apart from a couple of voice-overs. We have ‘G’ to do.
I’ve already spent some time this week trying to get on top of things, or at least have all my ducks in a row so I can slip back into a normal (for me) routine. However …
This time next week we break up for a fortnight. That means I have just one week in which to try and catch up with some work. I’ve done quite a lot of that too, including other and new clients. But all invoices save one are paid and I could do with issuing a few more. I have:
- the ‘F’ is for … alphabet adventure to write up and post, so we can post the video too
- my Cadbury book author edits to turnaround (I also need to insert the picture tags)
- author/proofreader/editor edits to collate for lovely already client
- 2 books to edit or start editing for lovely already client
- at least 2 book reviews to write up and post (including at least one for 52 books in 52 weeks)
- my short material schedule to get back up and running (outline, #1, #2, #3, edit & submit)
- 2 appointments next week
- shopping/band practice (I drop him off and pick him up)
- a music festival to attend on the Saturday
- Father’s Day on Sunday
- and packing …
… give me a broom and I’ll … sweep the floor anorl.
One thing we absolutely need to do once we’ve settled in the new house is revisit the work-life balance. We need to make more time to enjoy our surroundings and our new home. We need to spend less time running around after other people. This needs to be addressed, and pronto. It feels as though we have no life.
Something to ponder for the weekend. Have a goodun. 😎