A pause in the workflow

I have been feeling very busy lately and there is no sign of the pace letting up as I steam towards the conclusion of my 3-year PhD, with paper and prints and bits of radio trailing in my wake and a thousand million loose-ended ribbons to tie up. I love it all – the busyness, the exciting ideas, the chaos and the intense thinking that goes on when I have to wrap up a big project. However I’ve noticed the lack of domestic joy of late, as I haul my recording equipment between my place and Mark’s and live out of the boot of my car around Reading and Oxford. When I say domestic joy I do not mean spotless carpets or pretty cupcakes, but rather the quiet industry and gentle focus that I find in unplanned living room time – of which there has been precious little lately.

There is The Sonic Tuck Shop installation, in the boot of my car, awaiting its next incarnation…

Luckily there are days like today where I get to be at home in my wee bedsit for most of the day working in a sedentary fashion and not needing to leave. In the midst of a workstorm I really welcome these times. It’s not exactly a pottering day today as there is stuff to get through and I began the day with dismantling The Sonic Tuck Shop, but there is mercifully enough time to do some of the my favourite things in between the jobs.

Like making bread.

Savouring coffee.

Admiring the cherry jam and rhubarb jam I have made recently.

Darning the SOUNDBANK for July, which somehow seems to be nearly over.

Finishing some socks which I have been knitting for what seems like ages, but which I really LOVE in all their joyous details.

Some things will have to wait… like unpacking whatever is in these bags (and the other eleventy billion which are out of shot and which represent the itinerant nature of living between homes and working regularly on a ROAD!)

Other things – like unearthing my bed from all that stuff – will have to occur if sleeping is going to happen tonight (which it must, regrettably.)

And further things – like this wonderful card from Caro which arrived this week and this gorgeous bunting which Liz made me for my birthday – shall be enjoyed for their comforting qualities and reminders of friendship. So although I feel between things and up in the air, the moments when my feet touch the ground – like this – feel really good. I hope I am never forgetting how essential friendship, bread, jam, socks and coffee are, and I hope that however busy I get, there is always time for these things. I hope you all have plenty of whatever makes you feel good, and that if you are working on a road or any other sort of journey, that you get time out to unpack and repack your bags, to eat some tasty toast, and to slow down – even if it’s just for the length of time it takes to write a blog post.

5 Responses to A pause in the workflow

  1. JoannaD says:

    I love this. ‘Quiet industry and gentle focus’ exactly sums up the kind of time that I have concluded is essetial for wellbeing

  2. Lara says:

    I love love this post – I love that friendship, bread, jam, socks and coffee are essential. Sounds perfect to me… Also I think when things are up in the air and very busy that periods of quiet industry and gentle focus are precisely what is needed. Massive luck for climbing the work mountain xxx

  3. Ruth says:

    long enough to read a blog post and breathe for a while is good enough for me tonight! Thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one juggling types of work, spaces to live in, and things to do. With a bit of luck, next week I’ll get caught up on the unpacking and the laundry 🙂

  4. Clare says:

    I’ve had a little quiet industry and gentle focus today, for the first time in weeks (but feels like an eternity!). And I made bread – I have finally cracked the secret to a gorgeous white sourdough loaf in our breadmaker! And really, you were so right, it makes the everyday yeasted loaves taste like cardboard. Well worth the effort – thanks for the inspiration.

  5. colleen says:

    Will be thinking of you as you motor along to the PhD destination and hoping you find enough time for all the lovely things you mention in this gorgeous prose-post-poem to home and comfort.

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