I’ve got a bit bad at updating this… oops!
I’m back home for what I think are the 5th and 6th weeks since early 2007. Every time I come back, Salisbury seems a little more alien to me. It’s one of those places where anyone who makes it out for university doesn’t come back, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I don’t have any friends here anymore. They’re all in London, or Birmingham, or Sheffield. Which makes walking through town a strange experience. Salisbury’s changed a bit, but not enough to make it feel unfamiliar, and that leaves a slightly hollow feeling: while I used to hang out in certain bars, or mess around in the parks, going to them now isn’t quite the same.
Of course, it’s always great to see the family. Sometimes being at home is like a crash weight gain course. My mum’s cooking is healthy, but it’s also one of the most appetizing things you’ll ever come across, and that means I end up eating a lot of it, and go home a little more substantial around the waist. My ‘lil sis looks bigger every time I see her, and my mum’s allotment – or two of them, now, for those who enjoyed the old school message board allotment watch – has ever more advanced watering systems, and ever more abundant planting.
Usually coming home is pretty relaxing, but I’m so weighed down with writing work now that I find myself stuck in front of a computer screen for at least 6 or 7 hours a day, producing articles on different destinations or assorted bands. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it seems a shame when I’m here so little, and the English summer – though undeniably rubbish – is still substantially better than it is in Ireland. There’s even been the odd time when it was nearly worth going to the beach. I live five minutes from the beach in Galway and I’m yet to have the urge to go and lie on it…
Anyway, the busyness…I’ve picked up two fairly significant contracts for content writing, and while it’s not glamorous, it is the kind of more consistent workload I need if I’m going to make the writing work in the long run. So needs must. I’m hoping to build contacts that will allow me to write consistently for a few web content providers, and then make the effort to do more high profile things – newspapers, bigger magazines and the like – in the time in between, without having to worry about it not making an income if it doesn’t work. Creative freedom, if you like.
When I have got away from the Mac, I’ve been hitting tennis balls with my mum and sister in the park, or eating at Anooka, which is probably the best Indian restaurant I’ve ever been in (in fact it’s only rival would be the Mango Tree in Hampi, and that’s after more than three months spent in India…). I’ve perused the Oxfam bookshop, and picked up a Lonely Planet guide to the world coffee book (two pages per country), which is sending my wondering eye (travel eye, Helena, don’t worry) crazy. Iceland, Chile, The Seychelles… I need to hit the road again, and build a strong enough writing background that it’s not only an affordable, but also a profitable thing to do. It’s going in the right direction, and I’m starting to feel more confident I’ll get there one day. I just hope that day comes soon.
From England, for a change!