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Summer 2017

The year didn't start too well. The usual turmoil of Christmas clashed with the run-up to a new job, with the associated run-down of the old one. The girlfriend and I, after just over six years of relationship, broke up - a not unexpected yet unexpected event (if that even begins to make sense).

The months that followed were not the easiest. I have always believed myself to be someone inured to emotional shocks, overcoming them resolutely and with capacity to spare. The truth of life is not always so clear cut.

The new job was... difficult. After 8 years with my old company, doing work I knew backwards on a project I understood and very much had the handle on I suddenly realised that the transition to something completely new was not going to be easy. And it wasn't, and still isn't.

Reality embodies a host of unpleasantries for those who face it.

My brother, my sister-in-law, my niblings continue to be a wonder to me, a grounding in the magic of the chaos of family life, with all its impenetrable mysteries, rituals and rules. They are amazing beyond words and continue to love me despite my erraticness and long absences. I don't think they know how much I love them, and I absolutely do not see them enough.

I had done things wrong over the last few years. I had let go of people I shouldn't have done, lost friends to apathy and disconnection. I have made mistakes.

And yet... this summer has been better than expected. I rediscovered the harbour, a place and past-time both from my distant past. I discovered pilot gig rowing, with a fantastic bunch of people who made all of us nervous and awkward newbies welcome and part of the family. I kept in touch with old and new friends. I took trips off by myself to the coast - basking in the nearness of water. I walked on Skomer Island in the wind and rain, ate breakfast on the beach, watched amazing sunsets and listened to the waves lap against the shore. I paddle-boarded in the harbour, catching the silhouettes of friends against the setting sun. I filmed our return trip from Beeses, a 75 minute journey by pilot gig compressed into a mere 150 seconds. I went to the beach with the family, eating enormous ice creams at the seaside. I took time lapses, videoed harbour life, had bacon butties on the quayside of a Sunday morning, hung out with Hugh and his daughter Freya in Cheddar, walked up mountains, took lots of photographs and slowly came to the realisation that this summer was turning out to be a good one. And it was.


October ramblings (from a cafe bar)

the long, sad demise of yesterday