Tuesday, August 31, 2021

august things

It's an odd month, August.
Never a favourite of mine I'll admit. It's kind of neither here or there really, winter grinds on... we hit term 3 running (even faster this year as the winter holidays were extended due to our 3rd Covid wave) ... the year is halfway gone, one ponders what one's done with it.
Little bit of midyear crisis perhaps?
Though honestly, crisis sounds far too exciting for August really.

I've been riding my bike. With an eye to possibly returning to gym soon(ish) and a desire to not be entirely pathetic when I do, I thought I'd better put some effort in.
What August does have going for it is the stillness - between winter storms that is - and when the bitter South Easter starts blowing again it'll not be nearly as fun out there on a bicycle.

I've been riding my other bike too. I had a fall last November, two actually, on a day out doing off-road motorbike training. Some bruising and a snapped front brake handle were the only two immediate casualties, but my pride was much more badly wounded, and my confidence. It's taken me a while to get back in the literal saddle, but I've ridden 3 different types of motorbike in the last month and that felt good.

We've spent a lot of time with Layla, Zahida's daughter. She and Stella are still thick as thieves, and despite having seen so very little of each other in the last 18 months they just pick straight back up again every time - there is no other friend Stella can spend as much time with, as easily, as her.

Layla and family are moving to the UK soon. Zahida's husband Sam has done so incredibly, wonderfully well these last few years, but he needs a change - and this is the one they've chosen. We're trying hard to be encouraging and excited, but we are sad, for us.

These two punks turned one on 20 August and my god we love them. They live almost exclusively upstairs when in the house, with their own secret routes down to the garden (ours and the absent neighbour's) to avoid the dogs.
Minnow (although Frieda insists she's Mino) is the house cat, always on a bed, always up for a nap with a human. She fishes hairbands out of a basket on my dresser (which naturally we keep stocked up just for her) and chases them around the rooms, she vocalises a lot, likes to drink from a tap, is soft and malleable.

Prince is 100% dude. Playful, curious, often out on an adventure, a total clown, straight-forward and uncomplicated. Not super affectionate - until he is, purring and bumping you and rolling and drooling - Prince spends his days collecting litter from the gardens and often the lake, bringing in 5-8 pieces a day sometimes, some dripping wet, some tiny, some big. Saving the planet is his important work.

August is dramatic skies. The acacia trees are coming back to life after winter and the sun on those green shoots against a brooding sky is one of my favourite things to see.

I have two friends who wrote novels during lockdown. Others who've picked up impressive new habits such as committed cold-water swimming, or weight-lifting.
Part of my midyear crisis was a small what-have-I-done-with-lockdown moment, until I reminded myself that I started a whole new job!
Events are dead (although I am also currently working with clients who are desperately trying to do one - March 2022 maybe...) so I am managing sales and marketing for a family business, a business I've grown up around and had extremely little to do with before, but I'm really enjoying being part of.

To be fair, August has allowed us some magnificent weather for outdoor socialising, which in the global scheme of things for mid-winter mid-pandemic, is pretty generous.
We have been for walks, and outdoor lunches and a couple of dinners - working around people's exposure and the national curfew - and lots of garden/beachside/roadside chats. 
Then last Saturday, a drive-in screening of The Witches, with cuddly car-beds and popcorn and candy-floss for the children and sneaky wine and hilarity for the grown-ups. 

It was bloody cold, snow on the mountains and frost-bitten toes, but the company warmed our bodies and our hearts and it was a good send-off for the month.
I will always be grateful for having so many loved ones so close during this shitshow.

And tomorrow is the first day of Spring, so there's that, but more excitingly - my second Pfizer shot, and that is a real turn towards the light.

See ya August, let's move on.