Little Boy by the Waterfall

Saturday 7.7.18

The little boy kicked his feet, splashing the rock in front of us.

‘Please put water all over it,’ he said. He needed my extra long legs to complete the operation and was pleased when I obliged.

‘Look! Those ones are yellow.’ He pointed to stones submerged by the shallow water. They looked almost golden in the bright light.

We sat on a large rock, hot from the sun, near the hidden waterfall in Penllegare Valley Woods. There were several people at the rockpool – families and dogs. I wasn’t planning to paddle, but I couldn’t resist Continue reading

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News: A Change

While I was away for graduation in November, I made a big decision: I’m going to stop conducting the Beginner and Intermediate Bands at the end of this academic year.

I sat in the Holiday Inn in Cardiff with my friend and began to talk about the future. It was clear that something needed to change.

I’d struggled for quite a few months. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to Continue reading

Silence and Silliness

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

The Summer Blues

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

What Will I Be At 23?

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

Quiet Moments are Legal

28.6.17

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