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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Letting the masks slip

It has been a really strange week for me, with the mind buzzing, and so much to do that it has at times seemed almost overwhelming.

It is always the same before I go on holiday - so much to do and so little time. Cars to fill up, laundry to be done, bags to be packed and a million and other things to do in between, including for me, the village newsletter that I edit.

Most people it has to be said, have been very good and sent me their contributions in good time, but still it has been a rush to get it all done and organise the pages. I have had to be ruthless this month and stick to just 24 of them, even though it is a double edition for 2 months - July and August, but I think I have achieved a good mix. As well as the usual contributions from the National Trust and various local groups, I also have a piece on how to amuse the kids on long car journeys and an anonymous piece entitled I Believe, which was sent to me by my friend Barbara Stone.

Barbara is what I would describe as a networker, as she spends a large amount of time circulating various interesting snippets to the growing number of people on her mailing list. This is useful for me, since the stories all have a spiritual slant, and I do like to try and bring at least some spirituality into each issue. I think this is important, since there are three regular pages on Christianity - the church services, the letter from the Parish Rector and a piece from the local Christian Fellowship. Don't get me wrong, they are interesting articles, written by lovely people, but it is nice to have a balance between religion and spirituality and represent more than one view.

Lundy then is looming again - all being well I shall depart for Bideford early on Friday morning. If the weather is good, which it has been so far this week, I shall then hit the beach at Saunton Sands before going on to my bed and breakfast just outside Barnstaple. It is just a 10 minute drive to the boat at Bideford the following morning, which is just as well given the early start, at 8am. I have to be there at 7am, so that means an early morning call around 5.45 am. I expect to spend the afternoon then zonked out in the sun outside the pub !

I really need this holiday though, since I am just so tired, with so much going on, waiting for news about work (will I come home to find a closing down sale in the window?), worrying about whether Gardners will order more books while I am gone, and whether my partner will know what to do, wondering for that matter how he will manage on his own for 2 weeks. He has not been too good of late with this stomach playing up and getting a lot of headaches and aches and pains.

We both though relish the time alone and crave and need it, as if it is part of us, and so I know that he will cope, and cope remarkably well, because that is the type of person that he is. Despite his fears, he knows that the silence and the enforced solitude makes him stronger and closer to who he is, not further away. It does diminish, but enhances, as it gives both of us the opportunity to relax and let the masks slip, masks which we wear from day to day, even with each other. It is this that I find the most draining of all, playing all the different roles - the sales person, the writer, the blogger, the sister, the friend, the partner. On Lundy I don't have to play any roles at all, but can just be me, and nothing else.

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