Last weekend Mike and I went for a long walk in surprising 16 degree sunshine. Life went in a blink from drizzly winter’s end to blazing summertime, with exuberant dogs splashing on the riverbanks, posh people gathering over fro-yos and bottles of Pinot in Richmond, black-haired teenagers smoking weed and kissing on benches, and rustic riverboats covered in flower pots and drying laundry floating past, leaving behind a scent trail of barbecues and beers. I climbed onto a seemingly abandoned wreck and immediately got told off by a river hobo. We walked for five hours from Kingston to Barnes, and finished with a golden and well-deserved pint after the sun had set over Kew Gardens. Turns out the Thames is a hella lot longer than one might think.
Though I’m fairly certain I would be a happier, more confident person if I lived in a sunnier country, I could never be without the seasons. I’d love to always be skipping around in flowy dresses and flip-flops, but there is nothing quite like the relief of spring and people flocking outside to soak up the long-awaited rays.
Now the cloud cover is back, and I’m snuggled up on the sofa with Mike and coffee and fairy lights. Mike practices Swedish (“kvinnan läser tidningen … flickorna dricker mjölk”) while I write. There’s nothing I love more than the sound of a clicking keyboard, effortlessly shaping thoughts into words. I just wish I could find a direct link to the creative muse, so that I could open the download stream and get into flow at will. My book seems to be trapped in a pressure cooker and I’m scared to remove the lid, so instead I read others’ stories to see if I can replenish my creative dam and avoid stagnation. As a clinical people-pleaser, it’s a significant effort to wash away projections and assumptions and just write how I want it to read. “Gotta get to the center… Run off with a dancer…”
Otherwise I mostly spend my days in useful writing sessions and inevitable pint o’clocks with Zoe at Dial Arch, and having a writing companion is immensely helpful. We read and review each other’s work, vent our frustrations, share stories and ideas, and justify each other’s drinking. What fortunate timing.