(but not further than 5km unless it’s for work)

I spotted this bush with its bright pink berries growing on the corner of our road for the first time last week after living here for 15 years. I’m normally quite observant so I can only deduce someone sneakily planted the bush over night and left absolutely zero signs of having done so.

Also I haven’t seen a bush like this anywhere else in the neighbourhood, or Ireland. Anyone know what it is? It is the same colour as a Fuschia which grows in abundance elsewhere in the hedgerows. Maybe it’s a sort of naked Fuschia, all of its pretty little dresses have been sent to the fairy laundromat.

This past weekend I walked down to take some photos and then yesterday I decided to try and draw it. I haven’t drawn anything in absolutely ages so I’m feeling very rusty. I’m also impatient and I think to be a brilliant artist you need to be patient to the point of obsession. However, at the risk of not being obsessive, I’m willing to never be brilliant and content to just doodle along if it bring me joy.

For me drawing is like rooting through a secret drawer that smells of old books, sharpened pencils and mystery – you never know what treasures lie buried inside but it’s always thrilling to explore.

This week is midterm and because we aren’t allowed to travel further than 5km from home, emotions can sometimes run high in the house with 7 of us (including our exchange student) bouncing off the walls and into one another. It wasn’t easy to grab a quiet hour to draw in a spot which isn’t already occupied with a couple of other bodies, but I fought for that hour and actually won the fight this time.

Thankfully the sun was shining so the kids could go outside for a bit. School holidays are not the ideal time for ‘me time’ – not only do you have to pick your battles but you also need to pick your moments.

I’m making an effort to carve out the time though because I am working in the evenings every day from 5-9. I recently wrote a post about my journey back to work after being at home with the kids and working from home for almost 20 years.

The adjustment has taken a bit of time but we are getting there, right now while I type this the kids are discussing what they will cook for dinners this week (this is why my brain and this post rambles all over our neighbourhood through our house and ends up in my work).

I have been at the job for a month now and slowly building up a bit of confidence but I still feel ill equipped and terrified each evening just before I go on the phones. Last night on my way to work (which is actually further than 5km but considered an essential service as it’s telecomms) I gave myself a long pep talk – I thought of all the jobs I am grateful that I am not doing right now to help me put mine into perspective.

I am glad I’m not a public toilet cleaner, I’m not a night watchman or a politician in any country in the world right now. I’m thankful that I’m not a nurse on a Covid ward or digging ditches in Siberia, or Ireland, or building walls out of stones with my bare hands. I am so delighted I don’t have to pave roads in the desert or take care of a room full of two year olds (although that might be cute for a day).

I am grateful that I have a job to go to, that takes me out of these four walls for four hours a day. How much ‘me time’ can a gal possibly want each day eh?!

All I need to do in my job is is help sometimes disgruntled customers with solving problems with their devices while at the same time reading what it says on the two screens in front of me while trying to remain calm and polite. Come to think of it being a mum has been the ideal opportunity to have loads of practice with that.

Four cheeky monkeys keeping me on my toes

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