The pale early morning sunlight falling on her face woke her from an idealistic dream of a scramble along the Pembrokeshire coastal path with neither wind nor rain. Her husband continued to snore gently as she padded through the small, but cosy house to the kitchen to put the kettle on. As she waited for the water to boil she discovered the distance glasses misplaced the previous week. They had been hiding behind a glass sculpture, a memento from a long-ago walking holiday, on the windowsill backing the sink. Putting them on, she could now see far enough out across the field at the back of their home to absorb the river in more detail. Today the water was less of a slatey grey than usual and reflected the blue of the summer sky; towards the estuary shoreline she spotted a few oyster catchers coming in to land on a spit, squeaking like dog toys as they called to one another.
This reminded her she needed to be a bit more insistent with a particular author. Her latest project was copy-editing a lovely little book about the local history and wildlife of the area. The publication was part of the wider festival celebrating an historic centenary: twinning of the town nearby with another in Germany. The festival was set for later that year; she would have to nudge the author for the final chapters if they were going to meet the print deadline. She and her husband continued to be involved in software solutions development for local businesses, but working with the written word had been her first love.
Sipping the scalding tea, her mind drifted to other, differently creative, projects. Perhaps now she finally had a workshop (shed) complete with electricity (but no running water) her jewellery and other creations might also become a money-spinner…a friend from uni had come up for a couple of days recently to ‘test’ the new enamelling kiln with great success. The final piece was a linked series of blue and white discs, forming a striking bracelet to match an earring and pendant set made years earlier. They had also tested the latest batches of apple and elderflower wine, and sloe gin, with equal success.
Over breakfast, and a second cup of tea, she and her husband chatted about this weekend’s visitors: old friends who were bringing their own caravan. Most guests slept in the ‘van parked beside the cottage as the tiny home didn’t have a spare room, or indeed any spare capacity of any kind. She was looking forward to learning how to incorporate glass into her enamel designs, and was hoping her friend would remember some tips and tricks. The husbands were likely to amble to the pub to discuss the latest caravan gadgets rather than get involved in the craftyness.
The outcome of the glass working was quite close to her heart: later that year they were planning a trip to the North Kent coast – not too far from their old stamping grounds. NCT friends had asked her to produce a modest-sized sculpture for their balcony overlooking the sea, and she could imagine something very organic with sea glass from Folkestone, a stylised Hooden Hoss, hops and other Kentish things – but sorely needed some semblance of technique to bring it all together.
While back in their old patch they hoped to catch up with childhood friends too, even if only for an afternoon on the beach at Littlestone. Motoring around this country and wider afield on the continent in their little caravan, exploring wilder corners of the world and visiting friends and family, this was how best to spend their time.
Their shared office looked out onto the patch of woodland to the side of the cottage and was a calm but chaotic haven for work. Shortly after noon, her husband reminded them both that lunch called – it would be all too easy to become completely absorbed in the computer screens, so this discipline was essential.
She and her husband had to cut short the brief post-lunch amble along the estuary path – their son was due to Skype from a far-flung corner of the globe. He was fulfilling his dream of travelling the world, paying his way by selling wildlife photos, or working as a pool lifeguard. At the moment he was revisiting Japan, hoping to spend some time improving his martial arts with a renowned Sensei. This was a far cry from the weekly Aikido sessions she and her husband took part in at the local sports centre.
As the day drew to a close, she reflected on how things seemed to be gently settled. She was deeply grateful that she and those whom she loved continued to have their health. It was good to know that their friends’ & family’s children, like their own boy (now a man), were happy and successful in their lives – between them they represented a range of talents. It seemed that at least one would do something creative in the fashion industry, others aeronautics and software engineers, musicians and actors, sports professionals, national park rangers, physiotherapists…
She was fortunate…
All in all, life was good.