Why is it that before you go away, children are at their very sweetest? We are about to go away for 2 nights, on our own, to a perfect little hotel in Spain. I went there initially, on my first honeymoon. Few rooms, delicious food, discreet service and peace in the sunshine. It took a little encouraging to persuade my husband that just because I'd been there with my first husband, shouldn't mean that we can't ever go there. Once over that rather odd hurdle, we had a wonderful time there a few years ago. This morning at breakfast, as the youngest child was asking if I could bring back a toy, "Spain doesn't have toys,darling". "Ok, a keyring?", "I'll try", I said to my husband " maybe we should have just one more". There was a stunned silence, and then " 5th child means a 3rd husband". Good to know. I carried on listening to the type of keyring that Spain might have on offer.
After 12 years of having children at home, suddenly all 4 are at school. The world has suddenly opened up, and I am working out what exactly I am going to do with myself. The dog has started being taken for walks, the house I think is a little tidier, perhaps, and I have time to think. I know that fleeting thoughts of a 5th baby, are really there as a way of preventing me getting on with the rest of my life. Of course I couldn't have another, and I have to concentrate my energy into other projects. It is an exciting time, but there are moments of wondering what on earth I should do.
The best thing about this year, without a doubt, was going on that silent meditation retreat in March. Since then, I've been doing an online course which runs until the end of the year, run by the same teacher, Guy Burgs. Developing a part of the brain that has never been used before, and seeing what happens when you do, is extraordinary and fascinating, I am quickly turning into my grandmother who not only practiced yoga for 40 years, but was a keen meditator and was either standing on her head in a yoga pose, or in a state of bliss whilst meditating. She lived until she was 94 with very good physical health, something I think must have been as a result of her practice. I am going back in November to Wales for an 8 day Vipassana retreat. I cannot wait. A non profit organisation, for anyone interested at what they do, have a look at theartofmeditation.org.