It has been quite a while since I posted last.
Not long after the late June one, we took a week off, part of it spent in Wiltshire (deep in the countryside - deep space). It was there that I realised how exhausted I was after the academic year. A kind of depletion that I've not known that frequently - and I'm thankful for it. After Oxbridge, certainly. After I'd found a new job, having been made redundant. You keep going, respond to all the demands. It's when the pressure eases that you are walloped.
So, I've continued to work but I've also tried to make as much time around that for myself and J and for healing.
I've found reading therapeutic - including the beautiful, involving, shocking, universal The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller. I've not yet finished it but I read at every opportunity. It's so good to find a novel like that. It reminds me of the excitement of reading that made me want to study literature and to write fiction myself.
For a time, as mentioned in the previous post, I had to stop walking because I hurt my foot (I had a relapse too). That was a challenge. But now, after a few weeks of walking and cycling again, I'm feeling much better.
I've started walking the route I rediscovered in June again - it's one that I think I avoided because of the memories of walking it with Tufty.
The photo of the pyramidal orchid was taken on this walk back in June - there are quite a few catch-up photos to be posted. I only ever saw the one plant in the old water meadows but one was plenty of itself!
One of the biggest delights recently was taking our new dog on this walk for the first time. Newness within the old traditions. Completely reinvigorating.
In the garden, things have shot away, what with all the soakings. Amazing lilies - and flowering rushes - in the pond. Lots of apples, including some fruits on the new trees for the first time. Blackcurrents from the allotment, and scrumptious firmishly-skinned and buttery-inside broad beans. Fulsome spuds and first courgettes and runners. The allotment is not pretty, what with the weeds and so little opportunity to pull them in between downpours, and some crops have failed, but overall, much that is abundant and delicious!