Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Moments of Bliss

Bliss is...

Stepping out of the shower with newly washed hair
Spending the whole day in pyjamas
Opening the first page of a brand new book
The aroma of Christmas cake cooking in the oven
Walking at night

A square of chocolate melting in the mouth
Sleeping in freshly laundered bedding
A completed project
The discovery of something lost
Looking through photo albums

A day spent with a dear friend
The refreshing taste of spearmint toothpaste
Curling up in bed while the rain falls down outside
Listening to a beautiful piece of music or a favourite song
A returned smile from a passer-by

An hour spent in prayer and quiet contemplation
Watching the sun set
Beef stew and dumplings
A walk by the sea
Kissing in the snow or under the stars

Dancing in the arms of a loved one
The fresh smell after a heavy rainfall
Reading outside, bathed in autumn sunlight
Choosing and giving gifts to others
Knowing that I am so loved...

The Other Morning

Spud laughed out loud in his sleep, something I have never witnessed before, and laughingly I asked him, 'what are you laughing at?' I regret to say that woke him, and he recounted for me a bizarre dream that his sleeping self had found amusing.

We have been busy. Our time together is becoming short, and rapidly dwindling. We have just five days left. On Monday he will return home, sitting distractedly on a coach, while I sit distractedly in a classroom, our two minds far away from the situation. Perhaps they will meet somewhere on their travels.

This week we have been rediscovering bus travel because unfortunately my father misplaced the single set of car keys, and they have vanished without a trace. Yesterday Spud and I sat on the top deck of a bus, surrounded by pensioners, all of us in search of shops and sea. It was a beautiful day, probably the best we've had in the last fortnight.

We glimpsed the sea and began our Christmas shopping. Spud managed to buy about 8 presents - one of them was for me! A local gift shop was closing down, and all stock was reduced to insanely low prices. We found the perfect gifts for our loved ones. And I found a beautiful pair of angel wings to complete my outfit for the New Years Eve fancy dress night we will be attending. I want to go as

This morning I pulled down the Delia Christmas book and jotted down the ingredients I need. Spud and I are going to make the Christmas cake on Friday. We made last year's, and it's something I wanted us to do together before he returns home. We are off to the cinema again today, this time to see
The Invention of Lying. My brother Matt is spending the day in hospital, receiving various x-rays to investigate his small bowel. He hasn't been allowed to eat anything for the last 24 hours and had to take a form of laxative in preparation, poor old chap. He has put in orders for a giant pizza from Pizza Hut as a treat this evening.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

For Anna

When I think of you, I see a woman sitting contemplatively in a wooden rowing boat, paddling along a river. It is dusk and she turns her face upwards to survey the silver stars scattered across the soft blue blanket of the sky. It is the fall and leaves float upon the water like lilies, in breathtaking shades of orange, red, yellow and brown. The light from her lantern illuminates them, and in the golden light they look as though they burn. The trees that line the river bow to her.

She's not always alone. Sometimes her b-loved sits beside her, and with an oar each they row upriver, talking amiably, and sharing a loving smile that only the stars can see. Flowers line the bottom of the boat, and some sit delicately in her hair. Sometimes she is accompanied by a friend or two and the air is filled with their joyous laughter. And sometimes she is alone, listening to the quiet of the night, and extracting from the air the words that surround her. They glow like fireflies.

I hope you like this...

Friday, 23 October 2009

Beautiful Distractions

'I don't know why the trees change in the fall
I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today'
Taylor Swift - 'The Best Day'
Whenever I'm with Spud my daily routine goes completely out of the window, not that I mind at all. Every day with him is beautiful. This week we've been skipping outside in between the showers to enjoy the brilliant displays of autumn on the trees.
On Tuesday we visited a local abbey, and timed the trip perfectly as the rain ceased falling entirely the moment we arrived. We enjoyed a stroll through the grounds and gardens, appreciating the freshness of the air and the scent of lavender while the sun made a tentative appearance. The abbey itself is a relatively modern structure, fortified only last century, and quite something to look at. It also has the most beautiful stained glass window at the back, but photography of this is prohibited.
Instead I enjoyed photographing the abbey from the outside, and the autumnal trees, their uppermost branches balding gradually, and the leaves glowing an orange hue in the faint sunlight.
We enjoyed a cream tea in the restaurant, choosing to sit outside and make the most of the dry spell. I can tell you, it tasted as delicious as it looks!

On Wednesday we decided to take advantage of the Orange Wednesday offer and go to the cinema. We saw Up, a decision made only on the grounds that neither of us have seen a 3D film before, but it was a very enjoyable film and met our expectations.

Spud bought me a gaint candy necklace from the Works, and so we spent most of the next day eating that and watching films, because the weather was terrible.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Loved Ones

It has been amazing spending the weekend with my b-loved (one of darling Anna's wonderful expressions). I've spent the weekend surrounded by people I love. It's been nice having a social life for a change!

On Friday night we hit the town with a small group of friends. We drank pretty purple cocktails and danced the night away. I just about lost myself in Spud's eyes while we swayed together in time to the music. I think that was the first dance we've shared in the whole two years of our relationship...

Afterwards we crashed at my dearest friend's house as she lived nearby, but it was another hour or so before we made it to bed, where sleep and dreams awaited us. We sat in her living room, drinking tea and chatting with her and my other dearest friend who joined our party. By the time we went to bed, I'd been awake for 24 hours, having been up at 5 on Friday morning to commute!

The next day we watched Overboard and The Notebook - oh, that film makes me want to cry! I just love it! I hope Spud and I still love each other like that when we are old!

And then, today, we enjoyed lunch out at a pub overlooking the sea, in celebration of my brother Matt's 18th! My mother's side of the family came - or at least those who could make it - and there were 16 of us in all. It was a delight to see my cousin Leah, whom I haven't seen in at least three years!

Today was a significant date, too, as exactly a year ago my aunt and uncle (also in attendance) got married.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Restlessly Waiting

There's so much I could've done today, but I've been far too distracted and really unable to settle to one task for long. I spent a couple of hours messing about with my blog after work this morning, time that I could've spent note taking from my library books in view of my dissertation plan, or working on the creative writing presentation I have to give on Monday. I know that it is going to be more difficult to do these tasks when Spud is here with me.

After lunch I 'half' washed my hair - there was no conditioner left - and did try and work on my presentation, but I don't feel I achieved very much, other than locate a page I want to read out from Life of Pi, my chosen subject of the presentation. I managed to finish taking notes from another of my library books, hardly an achievement considering I had just ten pages left to scan through!

I pumped up the air-bed and tidied my room to accommodate it, making space for Spud's belongings. I've unrolled the sleeping bag and laid it out on the air bed with an assortment of pillows and cushions. I've even put his slippers at the foot of his bed. Every time I glance at this arrangement I feel so excited. I'm down to the final two hours now before he arrives...

The question is: what to do? I hate time-wasting, even if it is for a good cause, namely, my fiance whom I haven't seen in a month will be here in two hours! To think had things not worked out the way that they did, I would be waiting another three or four weeks before seeing him again! Maybe I'll use this time to edit my novel!

Introducing Me

My name here is Kess.

I seem to lead a very busy life at the moment! I am currently studying for the final year of my degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I still live at home and commute 45 miles twice a week for six hours of lectures. As you might have guessed from my chosen subjects, I dream of someday being a writer. I am working fervently on a novel, and recently completed a first draft, which I feel for me is an achievement in itself. It will be a dream come true if I ever get it published!

As if life wasn't busy enough, I also have a job as a residential care worker in a specialised college for visually impaired students. This is a real eye opener and does have its challenges, although it is a job I love nevertheless.

In February my boyfriend of two years, known here as Spud, proposed to me in the middle of a snow covered field overlooking the city where I live. Spud lives across the country, 300 miles away, which means we sometimes have to go several weeks without seeing each other, but despite this we have made our relationship work. We plan to marry in the summer of 2012, which seems a long way off from here, but I just know that the next three years will fly by! In eight months time, when I finish my degree, I will be making the big move to Spud's city. This will be an enormous change to my life, one that will open the door to a new level of independence.

I am very close to my family which consists of my parents, my two younger brothers and myself (and Spud of course!) My brothers, Matt and Dave, are fourteen and eighteen, and both taller than me! Having never lived so far away from home before, I know I am going to miss them so much when I move!

I was raised in a Christian family, and became a Christian myself at a young age, a choice that was entirely my own. This is something that is incredibly important to me, and I can't imagine life without my faith.

I have numerous hobbies, writing and reading being the obvious two. I also love knitting, running, walking, beautiful views, nature, music, being among friends and family, taking photographs and cooking. I often give people the impression of being very shy, and I suppose I am, but I do love meeting new people, and it doesn't normally take all that long for me to come out of my shell.

I suppose this blog is my journey into womanhood, and an opportunity for me to raise my voice and publicly write what I want. I'm not writing to gain hundreds of followers, but I treasure any friends and supporters I pick up along the way. Among these are Anna, Bethany and Muffins. If you have stumbled across this, then do go and check out their wonderful blogs too!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Before Dawn Musings

'Night is a silent, lonely time,' I wrote the other day for creative writing.

I have grown accustomed to being awake long before light, and walking the empty streets while it is still dark. Apart from the initial seconds it takes to shake off the last, beckoning dregs of sleep, and clamber out of bed, caressed by the cool air, I like to be up at this time.

On Monday I had the stars to accompany me, and a sliver of a moon, reminiscent of that first night with Spud; our first kiss beneath a clear summer sky abundant with stars. Often I wish I could travel back in time two years and relive that first thrilling week with him, when the feel of my hand enclosed in his sent shivers down my spine. Sometimes I think life is a love story composed by God.

When I walk the quiet lamp lit streets, whether to the bus stop or to work, a ginger cat watches out for me, and follows me as far as the corner, which yesterday morning I rounded to find another potential escort awaiting me; black and white with wide green eyes. Night is the one time the main road is desolate, and the songs of waking birds are audible with the absence of the traffic.

Tomorrow I will pump up the air bed in preparation for Spud's visit, a month earlier than we had previously anticipated. Tomorrow night, the silence will be filled with his heavy breathing, and we will hold hands across the expanse of air between our beds. My early start the following day will be more challenging by far!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Purple Fingers

This afternoon I enjoyed a reprieve from what has been a productive day off. I pushed the Shakespeare, library books, notebook and pen to one side, and set out with my father to enjoy the autumn sunshine.

We brought along an ice cream tub, and shortly we were tugging blackberries from their stalks and depositing them into the container with a satisfying thud. The brambles snagged our fingers, stained purple with blackberry juice. It reminded me of the ink which had earlier worked its way on to my fingers while I was taking notes on Charlotte Brontë.

In my mind I had prospects of apple and blackberry crumble, and homemade blackberry jam. As we walked through the familiar fields, those fields of home, countless memories leapt from the bushes, from the very views, and confronted me.

I was forced to realise this was probably the last time I would pick blackberries with my father, but the warming sunshine cured my heartache before it could take hold. Instead, I enjoyed the precious time with him, seizing the moment, one that I will treasure for always; one that will always be conjured up whenever I am served apple and blackberry crumble.

Pray, Always Pray

When I watch the news, I often want to cry when I acknowledge all the people suffering. Lately, I've heard of earthquakes, landslides, typhoons, rapes, deaths, and more. I cannot even imagine what those people must be going through. Sitting comfortably on the sofa, I often feel so powerless, so far removed from the various situations.

But there is one thing I know I can do, and that is pray. By praying, I have allowed God to help me through some tough situations of my own, and I recognise the big things that He can do if we give Him the chance.

And so I pray, through the big things and the small things, the situations that immediately affect me, and the situations I feel far removed from. And I try to wait patiently, praying until something happens. And I try to understand and accept when my prayer is not answered in the way I hoped.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sweet Memory

The above photo depicts a gate leading to a very decorative cemetery we visited while in Brittany, France. I find it hard to believe that almost two months have passed by since then, as I remember the holiday vividly, as though it were just last week.

Life is merely a moment in time, brief and so swift that it often eludes us. Memory of us may linger for many centuries following our existence, but even that will undoubtedly fade eventually. Even when we are remembered, we cannot defend ourselves. Only our actions in life can determine how others will remember us.

I am frequently described as sweet, and personally that's how I hope to be remembered when I am gone. Not only that, but I want to be remembered as a loving, caring person, who strived to make time for others, welcoming them into my life. I also want to be remembered as a faithful servant of my God; someone you could tell was a Christian just by looking at me.

While I live, I want to make a positive difference in people's lives. I want to make them smile. I want to love them.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Alternate Life

This is my call I belong to you
This is my call to sing the melodies of you
This is my call I can do nothing else
I can do nothing else
Sixpence None the Richer - 'Melodies of You'

Very occasionally, I ask myself the 'what if?' question, and wonder where I might be now if Spud and I hadn't met. Whenever I do this I always feel a painful swell of panic, as though I fear I might accidentally tumble back into the past and relive the last few years without even knowing him. It would've been so easy for our paths to have never crossed.

Before Spud came into my life, and I lived in total ignorance of the happiness to come with his introduction to my life, I often thought about the future, wondering where I might be in say five years, ten years, twenty years time... I don't think I ever thought I would be engaged by the age of twenty. I didn't really believe I'd even have a boyfriend at this stage in life!

Spud is so perfect for me, despite being virtually my opposite, and in some ways my 'alter ego' when it comes to personality, our faith and our long term plan being the majority of our middle ground. Sometimes I wonder, had we not met the way that we did, if God would have enabled us to meet some other way, or if I would have met someone else.

I don't believe the latter would have happened. I certainly doubt I would've met someone better for me than Spud. I think of him as my right hand. I feel lopsided when he is not here with me. For the first few days following those temporary partings I feel restless and disoriented, forced to adapt again to life without his physical presence.

All I know is that our meeting was a blessing, one spurred on by God's approval, and with the certainty that we are two halves that fit together to make a whole. He makes me smile. How he makes me smile. This is love!

Friday, 2 October 2009

October Snows

I love this photograph, taken on the day Spud proposed to me back in February. How it makes me sigh!

I am currently experiencing a snowfall of another kind, one considerably less romantic, and consisting entirely of paper and time, following my first week of lectures. It is Friday and I am exhausted, weighed under by a heavy snowfall of books to read, assignments to write. I will be spending most of my weekend at work, with an early morning run planned for tomorrow to keep up my libido.

Then a 5am start on Monday morning, to catch a bus that will get me to my lectures on time. This semester, I have a total of 12,000 words to write, but on a more positive note, no January exams! I am learning the art of juggling, but rather than beanbags or clubs, I am juggling time.

Hopefully, I will be able to snatch half an hour here or there to knit a couple of rows, edit a couple of paragraphs, or read a couple of chapters of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

This is neither lament nor complaint. I am a busy girl by nature. I wouldn't want it any other way.