Saturday, 5 January 2013

A little time out

I should be feeling guilty. I am on day 16 of my 18 days leave and I have yet to write a single word that isn't a Tweet. 18 days off work, a book to revise and not a word written. Shameful.
But for once I don't feel guilty. Well, only a little bit. I am British after all, middle class female brought up with a strong Protestant work ethic in an agnostic kind of way, nothing is ever truly guilt free.
A little bit of my devil-may-care approach is because I have had very little time. Yes, 18 days off but those 18 days have been filled with cleaning, baking, a lot of cooking and entertaining (and eating and drinking) and long dog walks, taking the daughter sale shopping, seeing friends, family, more friends, more eating and drinking. Sinking into a cinema seat on New Year's Day with 3 hours plus adverts of Middle Earth adventures before me (handsome dwarves were a thumbs up, endless orc battles a big snoozefest. I am available for detailed film critiques any time.) I found myself relieved that for now, for one blissful afternoon, all I could do was sit still and be. It's been a little busy.

But more importantly its been 2 weeks off with my daughter. Two weeks at home, often just her and I (and the pup) as my husband worked much of it. The massive downside of being a working parent is the holidays. Termtimes have their own routines and as long as there is no deviation we manage, plus I am lucky enough to work hours that allow me to drop off, pick up and write on Fridays.  Holidays are the difficulty. Making 5 weeks of leave cover 13 weeks of holiday is a maths puzzle too far for me and I start trying to puzzle it out in Jan as I fill in the new year's calendar. To actually spend 2 weeks with her at home is a rare, rare treat. Amongst the eating and drinking and entertaining and wrapping and cleaning and shopping there have been long puppy walks across flooded paths, shared tears as we snuggle under blankets to rewatch the Hunger Games, an expensive introduction to Yo Sushi, a new addiction to the Sims. And did I mention the long puppy walks on grey, drizzly mornings, watching her race the pup across the common, legs flying, eyes alight with laughter?

I have a lot of writing to do and, come next week, I'll start again, just as I'll log back into and step back onto the chauffeuring-child-to-activities treadmill again. But right now I have 3 more days at home and I intend to make the most of every second of them.