Friday, 11 September 2009
This is Frenchman's Creek, made famous by Daphne du Maurier in her novel of that name. In it, the heroine, Donna, undergoes a huge life change by running away from London to the obscurity of Cornish life and falls in love with a pirate. Which makes the novel sound like a trite whimsical affair - if you read it, it's anything but. This is someone who knows her creeks and tides, knows the way the wind russles in the trees. She knows her boats and her birds, she can write about tension, love, suspense and escapism, and all of this is evident in her writing.
On Monday a group of us got together for a meal, and everyone there is undergoing change. One of us lost her partner in February. She has been struggling through the necessary change in living without him, discovered she has far more friends than she had dreamt of, and has now decided to work for the Samaritans. I take my hat off to her - the training sounds very hard but I think she will be brilliant at it; furthermore, I'm sure she will gain a lot from it.
Another friend is struggling with a part time course, a part time job and trying to paint. You know those days when you feel you're sinking? I think that's how she feels at the moment. Looking at it objectively, she needs to either give something up, organise her time better or get up earlier. Putting it into practise is the bit that requires discipline, as we all know...
My change is continual, but I like having a life where every day is different. This week I've met a wonderful fellow who started collecting vintage gramophones when he retired, and has now had to go back to being self employed, he's so successful. I've struggled with family problems (still unresolved) and tussled with the novel. The novel is the hardest of all - I love doing it but it's so difficult to know if the edits I'm doing are enough. But all writers are insecure and I'm no different from the rest. It's learning to live with the fact that my writing is never good enough - or to look at it another way, it could always be better. That's either depressing or a constant challenge. I prefer to see it as the latter.
Yesterday we did the Frenchmans Creek walk for Cornwall Today magazine on a day of such intense brightness that the sunlight was almost white. These days are the ones I will hold onto in the grey murk of winter (which let's face it isn't that different from the grey murk of summer in the West Country). These days make me so very glad to live here.
My third friend has met a new man, is incredibly stressed at work and is struggling to cope with all that. She knows the work side of things will calm down and being a philosophical person, has accepted that she will go through sleepless periods when she's so stressed she can't think straight, and that very soon she can give it all up. Hooray!
Her new man sounds lovely if shy and so she's suggested a topic of conversation for when they next meet. The fact that she's chosen polygamy is perhaps unfortunate, but that's what the wine and sex diet does for you...
What changes are you going through, and how are you dealing with them?