The Nest

Once again, this blog starts with an old draft from 2014  – keep reading, there’s a point…

FullSizeRenderAfter a slow and unfortunate start, this year soon became one dizzying whirl of happenings, events and activity which is only now starting to settle into some semblance of a manageable diary and I’m really looking forward to some hibernation time.


The storm at Christmas set things off to a bad start – we all know the score at Christmas: months of ignoring the commercials, a couple of weeks of ill prepared and mainly unsuccessful shopping trips, family time decorating the tree (ie the family helping to get boxes down from the loft then heading out for the evening leaving one standing amidst unassembled tree parts, threadbare tinsel and a scribble of tangled fairy lights, determinedly listening to Bing Crosby), finally wrapping presents and finding a spare that noone remembers who it’s for, then real family time on christmas day with games and food galore, the queen’s speech, and x-box playing absentees being nagged to come down for tea half an hour after lunch has been cleared away. Not so in 2013 – the storm put everything out of kilter as well as putting out the electricity, ‘phones and internet. I think it was mid January by the time we realised that Christmas had been and gone and this was the New Year…so my ‘year planning’ started. I had planning meetings for Gallery North, Arlington art group, Hailsham Festival, the Open Houses in Eastbourne and the Dicker Players started rehearsals for our play in April. Jim attended lots of business networking meetings, I spent time painting, tutoring and ran a workshop and we still found time to go to a party, have dinner out and go dancing. So far so good.

So far so good…

Then February hit. The dog was unwell and it turned out he needed some teeth out. A worrying and expensive time but afterwards he was a new dog and we could now come within a yard of him without retching from the smell of his breath. Unconnected, our middle son, Lawrie left home. Our eldest, Chuck, moved out a few years back and I took it in my stride right up until the moment he walked out the door, then I unexpectedly sobbed uncontrollably. It was different with Lawrie, I was just really happy for him because he was starting a new life with his girlfriend. I still sobbed uncontrollably, it just wasn’t unexpected. My back had been steadily getting worse and the pain was so bad I couldn’t be much help with the moving and it continued to get worse until 4 days later I suffered a rupture ovarian cyst and the rest of February was pretty much written off because I felt so awful. My back was fine though!


Back to the present day…

We’re now in 2018 and our third and last fledgling (Billy) flew the nest and Empty Nest Syndrome struck. Our dear old aged dog, mentioned above, had died and, after a year’s grace, we adopted a young and energetic rescue dog but even with her and the 2 cats to keep us occupied, there was a void in the house. With perfect timing, surely nature’s plan, I started the menopause so the uncontrollable sobbing is just a way of life now. But, out of emotion comes creativity. In fact, our art/music/design studio is now what was Billy’s bedroom. Jim and I now write and perform music together as Milton Hide and the Empty Nest has proved juicy songwriting fodder (as did Brexit, Donald Trump, Southern Rail and the NHS).

In fact, and here is my point (finally), all of the above is creative food. I had forgotten about the rubbish start to 2014 but I am now distant enough from it to use it to write a song or to paint a picture. Actually, it was raw at the time I wrote it which is why the blog was still only a draft. Most of my recent pictures start from a blank canvas and evolve, with my dizzy overfilled brain whirling away from subject to subject, creating ever new and weird scenarios on the canvas. So, look forward to lots more songwriting and strange canvases and see if you can work out the inspiration!



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