It has been too long since I have written on the blog – my apologies. Withenay’s Wordless Wednesday has taken on a life of its own but Irealise now that the last time I posted any written words was back in July, as the election was approaching in Zambia and as the shock of the Brexit vote in the UK was still fresh.
And today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. How the world has changed. I cannot deny that on some levels it terrifies me, as people seem to be voting in a most insular way. In the US, this is seen in Trumps advocacy to ban Muslims from entering the country, building a wall on the Mexican border and imposing high import duties on goods made outside the US. In the UK, the anti-immigration rhetoric of the Brexiteers is unabated, as is their clamour for ‘our laws’ and ‘our government’, while not being prepared to put the referendum before parliament. There is a swing in both countries towards the far right and that is a deep concern. I will fight that whenever I can.
Of course, six months of non-communication is not just down to world events, however seismic they may have been. Home life has carried on with ups and downs, some of which I can relate but many not so. My daughter’s health and well-being has been a particular challenge. She has a statement and learning difficulties (problem 1) and added to that some development issues (problem 2); and new to the list since I last wrote is orthodontic issues (problem 3: the adult tooth is growing the wrong way, so will need to be removed and braces required to fill the gap) and – most excitingly – in the past week we’ve discovered that she has an arrhythmia of the heart (problem 4: bigeminy). Never rains but pours.
The rest of the family are fit and healthy, thank goodness. Their stresses arise from work (too much of it, too many hours, too little actually achieved) and exams (mocks, and then the first exams that actually have an import in life – GCSEs – in the summer).
My job is juggling them all… and hopefully squeezing in a little time for my own work.
Which leads me on to writing. (I’m skipping over paid-employment: that’s also been stressful in the last six months, but once January deadlines are over I’m optimistic of some improvement!) Writing. I feel this has a school report style of summary: should do more. I have excuses (please see above…) but it has rather crawled to a halt. My New Year resolution (‘write more’) also crashed when the heart problems arose last week.
But I am determined to be positive, and I am determined to turn the corner and move on. Even before the issues with my daughter last week, I had written nearly 3000 words towards my novel. This is, of course, nothing compared to the 100,000 target, but it is a step in the right direction. One day my novel will be written, and then all my blog posts will be about the endless tedium of editing it! (I’m resisting doing that as I go along, but undoubtedly it needs a lot of first aid!)
And I am delighted with the ongoing success of my Zambian books. It is such a privilege to be able to chat with some of you about them, about the times my family shared out there. This week a postcard arrived from my father-in-law, which he had posted last July when visiting my sister-in-law. He wrote it from the banks of the Zambezi river, enjoying the tranquility of a flowing river, beautiful sunshine and being surrounded by wildlife.
It ended with the question: When are you moving back here?
So, a postcard written last July; and the last written blog post about the same time. From Brexit to Trump. Life is full of circles.