Whilst I was of course devastated by his death, it had a huge impact on my life. From the age of 18 I was blindingly aware that life was short and unpredictable. We grew up in a very working class house with a lot of love but not much money and I clearly remember talk about money being put aside each month into his superannuation. I never saw the books being balanced in but I'm pretty sure that money could have been put to good use in many other ways. One of the overwhelming things that has stayed with me is that dad saved hard for his retirement but died before he got the chance to relax and enjoy it - and the unfairness of that has always driven me.
It's driven me to not accept mediocre in life, even if that drives the people around me a little nutty. It's driven me to dye my hair bright colours (currently purple, red and pink) because I like it that way, it's driven me to try and make the most of every single moment, to find pleasure in the simple things rather than "things" and it's what continues to drive me as we journey on in this crazy ass new life we could only have dreamed about 10 years ago.
So many times people have said to me "I'd love to do what you're doing but..." or "I'd love to dye my hair crazy colours too but..." But what? It's so very easy to find excuses not to do things and hard to find the reasons to drive you forward - especially when those around you are telling you you're bonkers to even consider it. I'm not pretending for one minute that this adventure has been plain sailing - I've been redoing the blog index this week and re-reading our early blogs when things, at times, really were desperate but do you know what? I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
So we don't have the cash to buy the latest big car but we've achieved the dream of publishing a book - and there are two more on the way over the next couple of years. We get to walk in beautiful countryside, write and take photos and call it work - it doesn't pay the bills yet but we're getting there. And we get to do things like we did today - Delores needed a habitation check so we dropped her off in Ulverston and set off on the bikes for a day together in the sunshine. We peddled all the way to Roa Island and back, stopping for lunch and snacks in the sunshine.
|Beautiful windows by Wilhelmina Geddes|
|Birkrigg double stone cricle|
|Tea. There was cake too but we ate it all...|
Of course a new car would be nice - ours makes all sorts of odd knocking and grinding noises - but it gets us from A to B (most of the time!) and we're having the most amazing adventure. As I've been writing this blog I've also heard that Prince has died - and there have been FAR too many others this year - just all so very sad, I know she wrote it about something rather different but really - let's do it - let's stop worrying about the small stuff and go out and have an adventure or two. You can all watch this - I'm off to buy my copy of the Woman's Weekly...