Aaahhhh, summer! Now that Christmas and New Year are over, the time for self-indulgence has finally arrived. Long summer days to relax and read. Here is my summer reading stack. Have just finished Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – this would have to be the most delightful book I think I have ever read. A big statement, I know. A friend recently recommended it, then while visiting Great Escapes Bookshop in Airey’s Inlet last week, it jumped out at me and I was gone! Picked it up and began reading immediately, and way too soon it was all over. It’s a rare gem that you just can’t put down, slowing down as you near the final pages because you can see the end coming and you are overcome with the desire to push the inevitable conclusion out so the pleasure can continue. That’s a rare talent indeed, as authors go. I remember the same joy when, as a child of around 12 years old, I picked up Sheila Burnford’s The Incredible Journey – I began in bed one night and didn’t get up the next morning until I’d finished it. Two absolute treasures for someone who is addicted to animals, reading and historical fiction. For me, historical fiction set in WWII is the magnet, and so The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a perfect hit. Both of my parents weathered the war in Holland as young children, and I find myself constantly drawn to and immersed in this period of history, trying to understand how their experiences affected and shaped them – so much so that it has become the subject of some of my own writing.
But for now, loving the quiet time.
Better get on with it!
The year of working differently!
End of year affords us time for reflection on the year that was. For me, 2017 began with anticipation about risks one cannot afford not to take. Just over a year ago I took the leap of leaving my regular employment in favour of some timely flexibility with the aim of improving that ubiquitously challenging life/work balance. Plenty of opportunities presented themselves and I was mindful to take note when they did.
It's been a fabulous year, filled with plenty of wonderful time back in the classroom, some intensive writing projects, a big bucket-list travel adventure and that most important precious family time, with evenings available for family instead of work. I've affectionately dubbed it my 'year of working differently'. It really has been one of those life-changing choices that leaves you grateful for the combination of good fortune and happy risk-taking that has befallen you.
2017 has been so rewarding on so many levels that my new year's resolution is to install 2018 as another year of working differently. Bring it on!
Happy New Year, everyone.... make it great!