“There is a wildness in the air, a spice that belongs to more than lilacs or the sweet woodruff blooming beneath the trees. Ferns glisten with morning dew, and somewhere, lovers conspire to meet at sundown.”
– Michele Morgan
May brought with it a taste of summer: after a few weeks of much-needed rain, the clouds have parted to bring heat and light to the weeks. I had some time off to rest, and then some illness to balance it out. I completed my final examination for my course, leaving just essays and portfolio submissions to be handed in. Exciting and scary in equal measure!
Reflections on the Journey
i. Read 12 books: 1/12 – I’m close to the end of two books, but I’m definitely still behind in this challenge. I did begin a habit of reading a page or two before bed most days this month though, which is definitely leading to progress.
ii. Edit second novel for submission: 1/1 – I’m working on re-drafting the beginning of a novel so I can fix the timeline before finishing it, and I’m awaiting feedback from a short story submission.
iii. Track my wordcount and aim for 100,000 words: 21,782/100,000 words – I wrote 1,751 words, which is my lowest monthly figure this year so far. I’ve definitely been struggling with my concentration, and I actually forgot to write one day: my mind just slipped. Still, with coursework, an exam and illness this month, I’m happy I managed to write most days, even if I didn’t achieve all I’d intended to.
iv. Build upon my wellness routine: I walked throughout the month, despite not making it to the bouldering wall during May. H and I had a week off together, which we spent exploring some pubs, restaurants and general visity places around Southampton and Winchester. There were some beautiful days and we also planted a lot of vegetables and flowers.
Across this month, I actually walked an extra 38.2km above my usual routine. I’ve also been changing around my caffeine, alcohol and sleep routines to see if I can improve that concentration issue; but I’m still finding what works on that front.
v. Take Photographs: We had a weird.. hatching? which I managed to grab some footage of: stag beetles! I tried to capture some of the bats, but I won’t use the flash with them, and they’re fast movers!
May’s Experience Collected
Total XP for May: 1,150/1,250
Total XP towards Level Up: 3,650/7,500
Smoke and Embers
The cats are well: Ember has moulted into her lighter summer coat, and they’re both picking cooler areas of the house to rest in. We’re having to re-teach Smoke to use the microchip cat-flap, as he tries to open it with his paw, while his neck is still way too far back for the sensor to recognise him.
They’ve been very laid back this month, and Smoke even made friends with a neighbour cat: they sit a metre apart and lazily look around together. By the end of the month we were dripping extra water into their food bowls (they don’t drink from the water dish or taps) and we think they may have eaten some fly eggs; so they definitely kept us on our toes, but seem back to normal now!
Jumping the Wall…
- I continued with the secret project from April: it’s good to have something non-day-job and non-novel to focus on when I need a break. However, this may have added to my lack of concentration!
- We did a lot of gardening throughout the month.
- I completed my examined presentation for University.
- H and I had a week off to explore our local area a little and try new restaurants.
- I experienced some wonderful flu-type-of-thing which kept me off work for a week.
- We grabbed some things from ikea, including a little storage shelf unit for the kitchen.
The Path Ahead…
- We’ll still be gardening throughout…
- I have an essay due in June.
- The project shall continue.
- I’m hoping to finish at least 1 of my reading books!
- We also have a big storage unit to make (flatpack) this month.