I’ve fallen off the radar again…

I could probably write a whole post about why I haven’t written a whole post (not counting intros on reblogs) in… shiiit, nearly nine months, but as it would mostly be a list of bad excuses masquerading as reasons, I won’t. I’ve kept up with my Reader, but I’ve been terrible at writing the comments I want to leave, and even worse at relpying to non-deadline, non-work emails (sorry Atef!).

Instead, this is a post to say ‘I’m alive, honest’ and let you all know that I haven’t abandoned Church and Circle, that I do intend to continue blogging, and that I will write more posts of, shall we say, actual substance.

I’ve got two sneaky plans to help with this – for one, I’ve been saving up for a while and have bought myself an iPad, which means I can clear my desk (again) so my lappy can go back where it’s supposed to be, which means I will have more of a Creation Station than I get sitting cross-legged and hunched over on my bed (like I am now), and also means I can leave my laptop on my desk when I want to go watch Netflix propped up on a huge pile of pillows or Skype certain friends of mine in an… intimate setting, rather than lugging the laptop into my bedroom and then keeping it there. Which is why my desk is a mess again.
The other advantage of the iPad is that it’s helluva lot easier to take it on away jobs than my lappy, which is quite old for a computer and requires one of those cooling fan stands to stop it dying of heatstroke. An iPad is also easier to hide than a laptop case, which is great for when they put us up in hotels rather than self-catered accommodation. Now there’s no guarantee that I’ll actually write blog posts on it instead of watching Netflix, but this is where the second sneaky plan comes in – the Richborough amphitheatre site is happening soon, having been supposed to start on 23rd March 2020 (oh the timing…), then postponed to the same time next year, then postponed again to September.
Now I know it’s a long shot, but if I’m lucky I’ll get assigned to the same chalet as last time, which only has 1GB of internet data available per day. Which generally would suck, but if there’s no unlimited internet then there’s no unlimited Netflix and pottering, which means I can sit and type blog posts without getting anywhere near as distracted as I do when there’s a load of filmic entertainment just a tab away… I won’t be feverishly typing every night, as there’s still books and being social, but having only a small amount of internet does give my procrastinating self a bit of a leg-up.

It also helps that tomorrow I leave for Sidmouth Folk Festival, which is actually happening this year, albeit on a much smaller scale and with only one official venue. But it’s still Sidmouth, there’s still concerts, and I was lucky enough to still be able to steward this year, so I still get my free ticket and unbroken stewarding streak, which always helps with the next year’s application. Now my iPad doesn’t arrive until we get back, but even if I already had it I’d have very little time to write anything this coming week anyway. The reason Sidmouth helps is because it’s one of the two ‘hinges’ in my year, around which everything else turns.
As we all know, there are different ‘years’ that people count – the calendar year starts in January, the financial year in April, the Church’s liturgical year at Advent, the school year in September, my ritual year/point I start at on the Wheel begins at Yule, and then there are all the New Years celebrated by other religions, traditions, and cultures. But my ‘secular year’, for want of a better term, doesn’t really have a defined start – instead it has two halves that revolve around these two ‘hinges’. One is the Winter Solstice-my birthday-Christmas-New Year sequence, and the other is the (overall) nine days of Sidmouth (technically seven full days of festival, with two half days either side of arrival and departure). Sidmouth is always the first full week in August each year, and while it’s not a completely equal split, it’s still pretty damn close to fifty-fifty, calendar-wise.
So for at least a month before each block of hinge days, anything big or complex or requiring effort gets put on the ‘after Sidmouth/Christmas’ list, which also includes stuff like organising seeing people in meatspace. Not complete avoidance of making plans, but unless it’s something with a definite date, like ‘we’ve got a spare ticket for ___’ or ‘party on the ___’, it gets left. So while there’s more prep required in the lead-up to the winter hinge, there’s still a fair amount of prep for Sidmouth, and both have a lot of anticipation and take up a lot of mental space, so when it comes to ‘we should really meet up sometime soon’ being said in July, my response is (unfortunately) ‘yes! We shall sort it out after Sidmouth’.

Which makes my hinges awesome places for me to do leaf-turning. I don’t always succeed very rarely succeed, or at least anywhere near as completely as I want to, but Sidmouth does give me an additional start point/fresh start in the year for me to try and improve myself. So, here’s to a week of unabashed hedonism before I’m back on the diet, back to couch-to-5k training so I can run my local half-marathon next year, back to serious daily spiritual practice, and back to adulting – for I have a tax-return deadline in October, a kitchen on its last legs that needs replacing, a bedroom that needs a lot of rearranging after the windows are finished, and my lodger has a new job and will be moving out soon, so I have to find a new flatmate. Bah. Adulting sucks. Here’s to hedonism!

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