Wednesday, 2 July 2008

I'm back...

Where have I been? Well, I could make excuses -- too much work, too little time -- both of which are true, but the real reason is I've been feeling unexpectedly bleak. I was going to say depressed, but that's not quite the right word for it. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, but I felt a kind of greyness around and about me.
I think it's something to do with the emptying of the nest (as alluded to in my previous post), and a sense of getting older (I've just turned 47, therefore closer to 60 than 30), and also a kind of inevitable post-natal depression after finishing a book in which I'd been so deeply immersed. So the blues were bound to happen.
Anyway, I'm surfacing, and suddenly realising how lovely the summer is, again. I've also been writing a piece about J.M Barrie -- prompted by the forthcoming publication of Piers Dudgeon's book, 'Captivated' (and a very dark story it is, too). Of which more soon...

14 comments:

oxford-reader said...

The piece on J.M. Barrie sounds very interesting, especially on the back on the conversations going on around yours and Henri's blogs.
It's so easy to feel down (I don't use the word depressed, having friends who are medically so sort of puts my own 'downers' into perspective) and quite often it's about things one can't help. I'd like to say it will all pass, except I'm afraid of sounding patronising.
To cheer you up slightly, why not pop over to my blog and put your name down on my book draw? As it's my first one I'm giving away two, if not three books, so you'ld be in with a good chance!

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks. Will go and have a read!

Gondal-girl said...

we have missed you Justine! Glad to hear you are back. Wishing you all good things

HelenMH said...

Welcome back, and good luck with all the literary festivals. Look forward to hearing more about them.

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. A problem shared is a problem... you know what I mean...

dovegreyreader said...

I think this sense of loss after such a big project like Daphne is inevitable Justine.It must be like releasing your baby into the wild and then you're doing the real thing with your children too. I was pleasantly surprised to find the new pastures there when my nest half-emptied (except it keeps filling up again!) but I couldn't have imagined where they might be beforehand. Now about approaching fifty (forget the 60 bit)Speaking as one now getting to the mid-way point I can honestly say my fifties are feeling like the best decade yet. Family independent and lots of time to do things for me and a liberating attitude to life suddenly pervades, there's a lot of angst to let go of and let the bright young things sort it out!

oxford-reader said...

Justine, don't laugh at me, but I'd happily swop ages with you ... I'm sick of being 23, and as I act in my 40s anyway, I can't see that it would make much of a difference.

Justine Picardie said...

Dovegrey -- I think you're right: I've had a book leaving home at the same time as a nest emptying (though actually, as you say, they keep coming back). You are of course a very inspiring example of the pleasures of discovering pastures new (or whatever the internet equivalent is of a pasture), with the ever-widening circle of your blog. Oh dear, am mixing my metaphors.
Speaking of which, Oxford Reader, the grass is always greener on the other side...

Primrose said...

Sorry to hear about your bleak spell. I do love that word, bleak however. It's so descriptive of that state isn't it! I can only imagine having to face that transition of your child leaving home - my daughter is still a toddler. I hate to think of her leaving me ever! Having the double whammy of your book and your child would pull anybody into the dark woods. Be kind to yourself and know that this time as the more joyous times - will also pass. I am wondering what state Daphne was in when she completed novels? I'm sure you would know! Bestest to you and I always look forward to reading your Blogs so much x

Primrose said...

Oops, forgot to mention when it comes to Ageing, I like the slogan that Dermologica are using: Ageing? Be Gratefult to be given the opportunity.
I was down about turning 30 but 40 felt great. When I start to feel depressed about ageing, I think about Jane Birkin and Helen Mirren and tell myself that I can age with style as well. Of course, I'm probably totally deluding myself but it gives me a little comfort.
It is better to age than the alternative, however. x

Francesca said...

I'm in danger of sounding like a crazy stalker woman but I have loved your writing for a long time and we share a date of birth-along with children moving on and teenage years in South Wales. Have been enveloped in a grey cloud of melancholy for about a month which has started to lift. if I wasn't such a sceptic I'd say something to do with being a Gemini! Delighted to have found your blog.

Justine Picardie said...

Primrose -- thanks for your lovely comments. It seems like yesterday that my sons were toddlers, and now they're six-footers. Like you, I felt fine about turning 40 -- and I agree, far better to age than die young, or to attempt to hold back the years. (I really don't like the idea of Botox et al -- it seems so desperate, somehow...)
Francesca -- you don't sound like a stalker at all! Maybe the melancholy was a Gemini thing -- at least those of us who have June birthdays and are feeling middle-aged. Is your birthday June 20th 1961? If so, we are twins...

Gondal-girl said...

Gemini's always have twins of the heart , though perhaps Henri would know better- my partner is a gemini and my niece is a gemini- when they get together ( though there is a 33 year age gap) they brain storm and rhyme and make up songs.

also, thinking of this twins of the heart and mind thing, posted a bit about the Bronte sisters shared mind or somesuch on my blog fyi

Justine Picardie said...

What a lovely phrase -- twins of the heart. Like soulmates...