1st September

We haven't moved into a new season yet but today it feels like autumn, crisp sunshine wrapped around the cherries and apples in my garden. I'm in the middle of a commissioned script and with my children still at home (they return to school next week), I'm snatching moments around them to do my work.

My mind is on the month ahead and my to-do list looks like this:
  • Complete my script and send it off to the client.
  • Write and send out the quarterly newsletter for my business.
  • Re-brand my business and make some alterations to the website.
  • Complete another script for my business.
  • Return to my work in progress, my darling novel..

That's quite a lot when I apportion time needed to complete these tasks. I really should be applying my nasal extremity to the grindstone and yet...

For this first week in September, I always feel a stillness and a sense of anticipation. It's like the way my Auntie Ethel used to prepare herself before she drove up a hill.

Ethel was a wee woman, under five foot, and for as long as I knew her, she had pinned up, grey hair and always wore a home-made dress. She had a similarly sized Fiat car and every summer, she would pack it with her animals (two dogs and a parrot), suitcases and food for her trip to her caravan at the coast. Beneath her feet would be a block of cement for her to rest her feet on (it was the only way she could reach the pedals). Her rear view mirror occasionally fell off but as the complete volume of the rear of the car was filled with her things, she couldn't have seen anything. She had never learnt how to reverse her car so I suppose in her mind she didn't really need to see behind her. Ethel never struck me as a person who looked back anyway, always onward, to the next challenge.

With her car packed, her dogs jumping around in the front seat and her parrot attempting to stay on it's perch in the back, she would drive along at a speed that suited her but frustrated the drivers who followed. Her route to the coast would take her cross country and up one particularly steep hill. Pulling over at the bottom of the hill, she would climb out of her car and have a cigarette while other drivers whizzed by, oblivious of her plight. Cigarette finished, she would climb back in and, with a grinding of gears, begin up the hill. Her car would complain, putter, choke, then continue, all in second gear. This courageous little woman, her mouth pressed into a tight line, would peer over the bonnet of her car as she drove, hands clenched on her wheel, one leg stretched out to reach the accelerator which she clamped to the floor. 

Eventually her car would reach the crest of the hill and Ethel would return to her normal, feisty attitude as her tiny car sped down the slope on the other side.

This week, I'll have my Ethel moment, preparing for the next few months. It looks like a challenge but once I reach the top of my hill, see the wonderful view and feel the wind in my hair as I speed into the fresh season, I'll know that not only is the future manageable, it's also going to be brilliant.


  1. My husband is a teacher and staff starts today. Then they are off until Tuesday. My daughter's pre-k orientation is next Tuesday and then she starts Wednesday. :(

    It sounds like you have a busy month ahead of you, Fi. Good luck with all of it. August was a busy month for me, so naturally (did the sarcasm come through there?) now that September is here and I have more time, my workload slowed down.

  2. I'm sure it'll pick up again, Kelly. Hope your daughter enjoys school.

  3. I love your Aunt Ethel story! Sounds like you have a very busy month ahead. I hope you have all the fun (and required rest) you can get. =) I understand how it gets with worrying about your business and your works-in-progress.

  4. She should be a character in one of your books.

  5. She was certainly memorable. At one point, she lived in an old abandoned train carriage.

  6. I really enjoyed reading about Aunt Ethel. I'm pretty short and shrinking from either age or growing children on a regular basis. I'm scared using blocks might be the only way I will be able to drive eventually too...

    What script are you working on? Are you at liberty to say?

  7. Thanks, Karen. It's a mystery play (no murder, just another crime) set in 1953 (Queen Elizabeth II's coronation). Normally a customer will just let me know the available actors they have and perhaps a theme or stage set, but this time round the client not only wanted it to be based around the coronation but also had a very exact stage and auditorium, and lots of ideas about characters too. She's been a pleasure to work with so I hope I can supply a script that she and her group will love.

  8. I agree, Aunt Ethel and that scene need to make their way into a book.

    It still feels like July here. Waiting for September weather.

  9. Julie, here's a fact for you. Ethel's surname was Farrar.

  10. Sounds great! Good luck with it and hope you can keep us posted.


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