Darlings, thank you so much for your support in my last post, I have news about the mentor, that's coming below. Again, thank you for your kind words and virtual hugs, they were so appreciated.
Z and LT have left me in charge of the Rampaging Rabble, which meant this afternoon I took the bins out for bin collection day tomorrow. As I walked to and fro I was struck by a sense of deep gratitude and appreciation to be trusted to be here. The Zedary is so beautiful and has healed so many of the broken parts of my soul, in so many tender moments, it held me in the moments of my deepest fear. Being here has meant more to me than I have words to express. And it's spring.
Darlings, there are so many snowdrops. I didn't realise a single place could have so many. Dotted around and in clumps. The narcissi have popped up, egging their later flowering cousins on, some of whom have risen to the challenge and refuse to be out done.
My chooks are laying again. They started last weekend and the noise they've been making about it, honestly, I thought something had got in there and was attacking them. I suppose they're a bit rusty yet. Happily, bantams don't lay all year round...or at least mine didn't. It means they'll live longer than their more profuse relatives. Z's velociraptors kept going through the winter and age doesn't seem to slow them down much at all.
The DEFRA regulations have lifted the most stringent of restrictions, tomorrow, I'll take the covering off their run, but will keep them all in. I would rather be safe, plus I've discovered how convenient it is to have them in all one place, not racing around creating havoc. With the coop being mobile, I've been moving it around, giving them new ground and a new view every week. It's working quite well.
The pheasants still expect to be fed. They congregate at the hedge when they hear my coffee grinder go off and then get closer and closer to the house the longer I take to feed them. We had some snow about three weeks ago and they were all but banging on my kitchen window. Daft things. They noted I was feeding the rabble and milled around hopefully. Feeding them twice a day would be too much, they're portly enough I feel.
And for my three bits of totally awesome news:
1. Dave met with his oncologist late in February. He remains cancer free. Not only that, his poor baggy kidney is returning to its normal size and shape. A welcome surprise especially as that explained some of the discomfort he was having. Of course I cried. As much as I would like to tell you I've been big and brave about this particular follow up appointment, I can't. I'd be lying. I was worried as hell. Dave will continue having quarterly follow ups and after two years, will go down to bi-annual checks. I take every day as it comes.
2. Social media to the rescue! (again) Thanks to Twitter, a lovely lady responded and offered her services. We met yesterday for the first time and she has been exactly who I was looking for: she's an artist herself, she works in education at the levels I'm looking for and she's just lovely! Thanks to her, my tentative plans are now better formed.
I'm going to spend the next 18 months arting my little (hah) backside off. This time will be about building my practise as an artist, experimenting wildly, producing masses of work with the intention to put a portfolio together to apply for a Masters of Fine Arts at A.N. Art School (to be determined). Having a mentor means I can focus on doing work I'm drawn to, rather than working my way through a curriculum set by other people. I don't need the discipline put upon me. I just need some guidance and to be fed information occasionally. Having a mentor will do exactly this for me. I will also continue taking as many art classes as I can to continue to build upon my skills.
I'm working towards a ten year plan and I'm quite happy to have the next three years accounted for; I know the seven years after that will be a slog. That's fine. If my foundations are strong enough I can deal. Besides, it's not like I'll be thinking about retirement. That is simply not going to happen.
3. Remember I told you my friend Chris the astrophotographer and I were planning to work together to do an exhibition? I submitted the application a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, I got an email accepting us! Put the 13th to 24th November 2018 in your diaries darlings, you're all invited. It's a conditional offer, as we haven't got the body of work ready to hang, they want to see one of my oil paintings next year. That's fair enough. They are taking a risk with me, I've only just started to explore the subject. Nevertheless, I did a happy dance around my living room. Shortly followed by the stunned "oh bugger" dance. Now the work really begins.
At the end of November last year, I was struggling somewhat. I put together an action plan to help me get my shit together. December didn't happen because of that bloody virus, pretty much wiped out five weeks of my life (which I deeply resent), but there you go. In January, I discovered the joys of Bullet Journalling which enabled me to chase down my ducks, round them up and get them lined up in some semblance of order. It's meant I'm building a daily meditation practice to keep The Crazy at bay and got me moving again. I'm now beginning to work out again in the mornings, I've had to go back to the beginning with Rosemary Conley, but I'm moving and the best bit is that while I've been frustrated at my general lack of fitness, it turns out I'm a lot better than I thought. My resting heart rate has come down considerably. Three years ago, the best I could manage was 82 bpm, Now it's 68 bpm. Hopefully, that will continue to improve the more I move.
The ridiculous part is I'm getting up the same time and I do all of this stuff first thing...it's still second and third thing in the morning before I'm able to get on with the other things in my life. Having said that, I am not on the sofa very much at all, nor am I on Facebook or Twitter and it's been much better for my general wellbeing. There's some crazy shit going on out there.
Darlings, this month I aim to do better. See you next week. xx