It's an odd thing reaching 65, especially when you're away from home. When I was little, 65 = VERY OLD, probably someone needing dark glasses and a walking stick. I remember old women whose legs bowed inwards from the edges of their skirts - victims of ricketts, a disease which is scarcely mentioned these days.
But here I am, an 'old lady' by my own reckoning and feeling pretty chipper. At this moment we are whizzing over the Bay of Biscay at 23+ knots, I am wearing leggings and a snazzy top, drinking white Cotes du Rhone... could do downward dog if anyone asked me, and hereI am blogging away for my adoring international public on a small plastic computer which (although occasionally irritating) is pretty goddam fantastic when you come to think about it.
All the while we've been away, I've been making surreptitious drawings in a smallish noteboook in my bag - we get so few idle moments, these have almost all been sketches showing how we stopped to get a coffee or whatever along the way. Makes it seem we did nothing but stop and drink cafe con leche or cafe cortada.... In fact, I think we scarcely had a quiet moment. I realise my beloved has an instinct to be up and on to the next thing. I have to really work at it get him to stop and just BE.
In fact, I did get a couple of chances to draw him - my drawings are getting better. I see I am more confident in making mistakes or just grabbing what's in front of me. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Michael Foreman who takes Life Classes in Faversham. He is a great teacher. He kept saying to go on, that 'mistakes' don't matter, that there may be no ssuch thing as a mistake. I have only managed to drag myself to a few of his classes - why?
I learned so much, so fast.
Now I look at these funny inky drawings of cups of coffee, and each one has its own vibrancy and sense of the moment. I don't CARE if they are correct or not, and in fact I can tell you they ARE correct, whatever the line looks like to you...
Going travelling has such a profound effect on me. I want to write NOVELS, paint pictures, all the way along. Life back home is rich and rewarding and I am proud of all the achievements, of course.. but I want so much more.
Maybe you understand this.