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  • iaindryden1

my dwindling readership

Beer, Devon, as the sun set

For the first time in ages, four days ago I looked at reader numbers of this blog and discovered that thousands have disappeared. Maybe it’s the writing, possibly the randomness of the subject matter, or perhaps it’s the fact that Vlogs and podcasts are popular. No matter that I learnt recently to link and hashtag my postings, looking back, numbers have remained very low. It made me stop and wonder what value these words have in the plethora of information we are all faced with each time we log on to the internet. Maybe life is complicated enough without having to absorb the thoughts of some little man scribbling on his strange little website.

I write because I enjoy it, because doing so is a distraction from my conditions, but also it hones my skills. Even though these are rapidly written pieces, the format trains me to be concise, to order my thoughts. Writing is also a fun activity for a man who no longer has the energy to socialise and who knows nobody in the locale he has recently moved to. Perhaps, then, from time to time I will continue these entries, but don’t expect them to be as regular.

I will, however, continue to put my diminished energies in to completing two books which are almost done. My memoir awaits editing by my wife and my French notes are 70% done, and will then need that editing. My erudite wife ought to have worked for a publishers, but she forgets to read my work and I don’t like to remind her too many times. In January she took one look at my memoirs and told me to make chapter three the first and suddenly it all fell in to place. The same incisive glance at the French book sent it into a reorder which works well.

I am also busy trying to generate income making greetings cards from my abstract artwork, so I have enough to distract me from the grunge of hourly struggle with poor health. And of course, there is nature. The other day, exhausted from all that has happened to us, we went to a beautiful little bay 40 minutes drive from here and slept, dipped in the sea and lazed about until it grew dark. It was absolute bliss. No thinking, just being, letting the mind unwind.

For a single day, it mattered not that the pandemic has ruined our lives by trebbling the cost of renovating this old house, thus eating all our saving and throwing us into deep debt when, as pensioners, we have little money to get through each week, so have had to put the debt on the house. Mmm.... For a single day it mattered not that that the unexpected renovation work put such a strain on my already rotten health, which was why we moved in to a town, that I am now severely weakened. There in that idyllic bay it mattered not that over the past seven months I’ve been rushed to hospital in fear of dying and other serious conditions far too many times for my own good. It mattered not that our neighbours, who we hardly know, have thrown a costly legal conundrum at us because they don’t like the fence we erected to stop us from falling on to their heads 5 metres below. Everyone else, including a planner and an architect, loves the fence, saying it is light, airy, arty.

What mattered was that we were alive, breathing fresh air, that we were together. In the moment. It was bliss. We all need such escapes and we’ve decided to do more, no matter that I find it difficult to do anything much. Life is for living and we must find ways to make the most of it, regardless of the problems we might face. The mind is capable of lifting our attention from our misery, but we have to want to leave its self-absorbed egoisms and enter the calmness brain/body. My body isn't an easy place to reside, but, strangely, doing so with pure perception, without agenda, without judgment, just being, is refreshing if I stick at it for long enough.

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