We sat on a bench on the prom, overlooking Llanelli Beach, with an assortment of food beside us. We weren’t hungry, and neither had we particularly wanted to go out again, but we dragged ourselves out of the Travelodge at 7pm, to make the most of the day. Our last evening.
We picked at the cheese and cocktail sausages, and mustered some enthusiasm for the chocolate-caramel doughnuts. The sea was advancing across the bay and the sun sinking towards the horizon. It was like a race, watching which would reach the finish line first! We were still. We were silent. To move or to speak would have burst our bubble.
I was tired by that point. When I’m at home, I usually escape to my room at the earliest opportunity! We had taken it easy for a lot of the trip, but I was still feeling slightly over-socialised and my mind over-stimulated, not helped by broken sleep. There are many advantages to being slightly introverted, but the lack of social stamina can be frustrating at times. Somehow, this week, it didn’t matter so much… Continue reading
I could never handle the summer, or the school holidays in general, particularly in my teen years. The alluring break from work is dangled in front of you – six weeks that you look forward to for most of the year, during which there are fewer things that you must do. Mum used to smirk when I said the words, ‘I can’t wait for summer.’ She knew… Continue reading
Mum was going to be 40. Such a big number. It seemed strange to me that she could be that old, because she had been in her 30s for as long as I could remember. It was deeply significant.
I remember clearly one day when I was 13. Mum was parking the car at Morrisons for our weekly shop, and I always went with her – I may have bought a whole can of Pringles to eat in one evening, or a nail varnish, or both. Or perhaps I was in my rice pudding phase!
We were discussing plans for Mum’s special birthday, thinking about what it all meant, Continue reading
I am lying in bed at half-past nine on a Wednesday evening. There are so many things I could be doing right now – I won’t say should be doing, because I’ve accomplished everything I had on my to-do list, and more. I still have some energy though. I didn’t expect that!
Today has been busy. I’ve been organising a concert, and I did the final lessons before my pupils’ exams, accompanying them on piano. I was nervous beforehand, with the pressure to say and do the right things, and to leave useful thoughts lingering in their minds before the ‘big day’ (if we must view it as such). They were calm and measured, even with mistakes. I was so proud of them. Continue reading
Priorities are complicated. I promised myself that I would work as hard as I could in the final year of my degree, because I wanted to know that I had done my best to get the desired result. As so often happens in life, it wasn’t that simple.
It’s not about what you’re prepared to do; it’s about what you’re prepared to give up and what you’re prepared to become. I was prepared to work hard when I was tired, to spend Saturdays chained to my desk, and certainly to bury myself in revision at the end. But that’s all.
There were things I was not prepared to do for the sake of educational status: Continue reading
I’d like to congratulate anyone who has made a resolution for 2017 and is keeping to it, because it isn’t easy. Many of us try to start afresh in January. We get excited by the idea of the ‘year for change’, the time for a ‘new me’. Although some people manage it, I suspect that the majority don’t. We set our standards too high and often give up at the first sign of resistance. Or failure.
This quick surrender, ‘Decide what you need to do, face a slight setback: give up’, isn’t acceptable in other areas of life. Yet it seems to be socially acceptable (and expected!) at the start of January. The concept of New Year’s resolutions has become popular; we think them up quickly and it is just as easy to shrug them off. If something is truly important to you then it deserves better than that. Continue reading
‘You know, Hannah, I don’t know what happens to the time – it just disappears,’ said Grandma, with a sigh, on Saturday evening. ‘There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.’
‘Well…’ I laughed. ‘From my 23-year-old perspective, there seem to be far too many hours in the day!’
After a brief pause we discussed the exchange, which seemed to us like a role reversal, and chuckled about it. I wasn’t being completely serious, but there was an element of truth, particularly in this season. Continue reading