I’m sitting here in my kitchen, with my socked feet on cold tiles. We removed the rug because of our newest arrival. Outside, a lawnmower is running, although the grass is damp from autumn mists. The leaves are turning amber and burnt orange but our pup hasn’t discovered outside yet, apart from in my arms.
In a fortnight, his vaccinations will be complete and his immunity will be high enough for him to explore himself. His nose will turn to the strange scents and his tiny paws will race ahead of me.
His name is Ziggy, after Ziggy Stardust and the diminutive of Siegfried, a German name (we’re a British-Indian-German family!) Ziggy is soft and sweet and full of mischief. Our 10 year old lobbied for him with letters and artwork under our bedroom door for over a year. We’ve missed having dogs but oh, I forgot how chaotic it is to have a pup. How the nights are short and the days are long, with messes to clean up and training, and taking care that he knows his place in the pack.
I know we’ll be best friends, and that the children, like us, will forge a relationship with him that will stay with them for life. I hope our cats can be convinced too. We’re making headway there, especially with our less wily one. Slowly, slowly, love grows.
As you know, I asked for an extension from my publisher on An Ocean of Masks. The audiobook from All the Tomorrows is now complete and in post-production and I have recorded the ten audiobook listeners from amongst you, who will receive a copy. You’ll find the links to all my novels, including Hidden Colours here.
This past year has been a time for motherhood and family, more than career, but the old beast awakens in me, the sparks of ambition that are never satisfied unless I can spin words and worlds. I wonder sometimes, if I am enough, or if I can do and be more, and I am reminded that life cannot be encapsulated in one moment, one kiss or one achievement. It is a series of moments, an ebb and flow of the tide, a path of both thorns and roses. The trick is to find contentment in the midst of the madness, not despite it.
For me, contentment is: a family dinner where we’re listening to each other and laughing at each other; the spark of connection with a friend; webs of stories on a page; walks in wellies when the world is quiet; sleep at the end of the day when you’ve been your best self.
Tell me, what brings you contentment.