I spent an idyllic weekend, working on, among other things, my relationship with Weiden. Things are going well, now Spring is here and there’s no frost or ice or need for boots and a heavy coat just to leave the house. It is warm in the mornings and light outside until late evening, better, more pleasant conditions under which to get to know each other. Three months into our courtship and things are more comfortable, companionable. It works. It’s no raging, dopamine-fueled love affair we’re having, there’s no passionate push and pull, but we’re getting along just fine.
It is a very quiet existence, this one I currently have. Not teaching, I have a lot of time to spend on various writing projects. It is a wonderful luxury and one I am trying to squeeze every last luxurious drop out of. But writing is, by nature, largely a solitary exercise, one that isn’t necessarily conducive to leaving the house if you have tea and coffee within reach and working internet. With this in mind, I have to be particularly conscious of how often I actually leave the apartment – with open windows ushering in a warm breeze and broad blue skies, it can be easy to trick oneself into thinking one has been outdoors when quite the opposite is true. And so I make it my business to take a daily stroll somewhere, even if only for twenty minutes, if only to the shops for a bottle of wine. The practice of daily strolls does little to lend any sort of wild action to my quiet life, but I suppose wild wasn’t what I was signing up for when I put my name down for Weiden.
One of my old-lady strolls led me to a new park on the weekend, one that is so sweet and so unfortunately a meeting place for Weiden’s idle and troubled youth. Sulking teens hang out on the swings and only old people too cantankerous to care about sullen teens populate the other benches with their old and equally as cantankerous dogs. On the day I rolled up, three police cars had clustered around two track-pant wearing boys of about 16, attracting a crowd of rubberneckers (and associates) from the nearby skate park. I rubbernecked for a while before deciding the boys were probably guilty of nothing greater than being mildly rebellious on a public holiday and therefore the lone point of excitement in a long and boring day for Weiden’s law enforcement. On my way out of the park I noticed a brown handbag just sitting on one of the benches, not a soul in sight who could possibly own it. I have seen enough crime shows to know you leave such things as abandoned handbags in public parks, well alone.
On the way home I encountered a weeping willow (the very kind of tree I fell out of headfirst on my 11th birthday, nearly breaking my neck) and a new street of macaroon buildings. I decided a town that paints every single one of its buildings cannot take life too seriously and Weiden and I became even firmer friends.
Sunday brought with it weather perfect for sunbaking – blue skies and 28 degrees. Sourcing a meadow and baring pasty skin to the sun’s gentle rays was agreed upon as the day’s priority. SG’s bollerwagen, from a very successful Vatertag which saw the wagon and its creators feted by the local press, had to be collected from what had been its final resting place after a day of being wheeled through Weiden’s countryside. Nearby the wagon’s final resting place (a friend’s garage) lie acres upon acres of fields and meadows, running up to a little, hilly forest. Here is nothing but varying shades of green, millions of dandelions and the occasional pockets of trees shading duck-inhabited ponds. It is the stuff fairy tales are made of. We took a picnic blanket and joined the bumblebees until it became too hot and the bugs too bothersome and it was time to go home.
Over at O&S Publishing, things are getting exciting. The stories for our debut anthology are coming together and are brilliant. I wanted to share with you two pieces of artwork from Sincere Forms of Flattery, which will be published as an ebook before the month is out. The artist is Amandine Thomas and you can find more of her beautiful work on her blog.