It’s in the Cards – Summer is Time to Dream and Create

It’s been over two months since I blogged, which really is two months too long. 

I have, however, been busy, relocating back to England, settling into my first university job, and moving several times already.

Port Meadow

Island life to city living has been a surprisingly smooth transition. I’m enjoying 24/7 shops and restaurants, and I love the convenience of so many free libraries, museums and galleries. If anything, I’m regressing back to my youth, when I lived in one room places in Liverpool and Leeds, and life was simple. 

Commuting to work has always been my biggest pet hate, and something I spent much of my life avoiding, but it’s a small price to pay for a job in the heart of the city. I work in a beautiful old building on a quiet, leafy square, reminiscent of my beloved Primrose Hill, and have sunny lunch breaks in the park. Just ten minutes away from there is the heart of the city, the chain stores of Cornmarket Street and the old university buildings on Broad Street, or, in the other direction, Jericho, an artsy village with cafes and boutique restaurants, and Port Meadow, a long flowery common that surrounds a picturesque stretch of the Thames.

The park next to my work, perfect for lunch breaks.

Accommodation is a definite issue here, for a woman who likes nice things and cannot afford them. I spent the first two months living in Headington, first in a tiny single room with a sunny window, then a dark basement double. It is definitely one of my favourite areas.

Tiny room portions

Now Carl is visiting for 6 weeks from the US, and we have a gorgeous but extortionately expensive house in Sandford-on-Thames, complete with bird-filled garden. It’s weirdly animal and jungle themed, but somehow that works. The owner did her thesis at the Durrell in Jersey, naturally.

After this, we move to Wolvercote for a week, at the other end of Port Meadow. After that, who knows? I’m still on the hunt for a magical solution to my living situation.

Extortionate beauty in Sandford-on-Thames

Despite living out of suitcases, life here is good, but I’m mindful that I’m not making the most of living in a city with so much literary history and culture. 

Yesterday, I attended the Pride celebrations with my adult LGBTQ+ child, a wonderful and emotional experience in itself. In the midst of it all, in a little ‘chill out’ zone, we had our Tarot cards read. Our reader was clearly adept at his craft, reading with confidence and care in a gloriously heavy Eastern European accent. I entrusted my fate to him immediately.

Pride Day 2022

My reading was a lecture in creativity, to focus on one project at a time, intuitively and emotionally, to pour myself into it. Now is a time of great energy in life, propelling myself and all my endeavors forward. The advice was to meditate, take walks in moonlight, and find happiness in the creativity (which I’m aware sounds like the card of David Lynch as much as The High Priestess). It was the advice I needed to hear, and the spiritual energy will be gratefully welcomed, if I can only climb out of bed long enough to attach myself to its tail.

Today, however, I am working hard to clear my mind of maudlin things. Over the past few weeks, I have begun to focus on renewing energy, losing weight, eating better, and coming off my medication (already massively reduced). I have been fasting, albeit lazily and erratically, but fasting, and it really is helping.

CS Lewis’ Aslan statue in Bury Knowle Park, Headington

Now, though, is the time for creativity. I wrote my last book 6 years ago, my last newspaper piece 5 years ago, my last online article god-knows-when. I am filled with ideas, and am in the city of Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, and Tolkien. How can I fail to be inspired?

While Carl is here, we will immerse ourselves in culture, and enjoy all that there is to do on a budget. Many of the libraries and museums are free, and my work pass offers many more discounts and benefits. I’m hoping to absorb literary and artistic talent through a kind of osmosis. And then, of course, actually sit before the screen and work!

If I can’t be inspired here, in the city of dreaming spires, then where?

Bodleian Library

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