All Change: going solo


Occasionally, life gives you lemons, as they say.

Mine have arrived all at once: tart and sour, yet with all the aroma of adventure. Charmed lives can change at any instant, and mine changed forever in April.

After 25 years, Im going solo again. Now there are three human occupants of our household: myself, Maddie and Felix. And the two dogs. And a cat.

I have the unaccustomed luxury of snatches of time all by myself. I have searched for, and found, my first full time job since Maddie was born. I’m still loving spending time in my little recording studio. I still spend every moment I can at Britain’s ancient places.

And I hope I shall have more time to write.

Raise your glasses with me, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the future.


76 thoughts on “All Change: going solo

  1. Sorry you are having to adjust after having a co-pilot bale out. Hope there is an efficient autopilot for when you need to leave the controls from time to time. Anyway, the ‘more ancient places’ is good news.
    The future! *slurp*

      1. I loved those books – but Biggles is partly to blame for me trying to be over-ambitious when at the controls of my dad’s Hornet Moth. I tried a dive. Father was not amused.

  2. In reality, I don’t know you – but as a long-time reader, I feel that I do.
    Lemons, yes, but when you add the sugars of hope and resilience, you will get through it all. I hope that Felix and Maddie are coping as well as you appear to be.
    While I was gobsmacked to read that post, I do hope that your optimistic outlook and sense of self-worth will see you writing much more.
    You have the kids, the pets, a home and a job. Cheers! From here in Australia where tomorrow is the first day of Spring, to you in England. Here’s to a fulfilling future for you all.

  3. Thanks for telling us. It happens. For some reason this poem, from Karlo Mila in New Zealand, was good for me, though if it feels more like salting the lemons, dump it! Think it helped show how the old road just led to a new road, lots to discover, enjoy, appreciate what had been as well as what might come. Best wishes to Maddie and Felix and everyone in the mix of extended family and friends who have to adjust. We all do best when we are all doing as well as we can. Be well Kate.

    For the father of my children

    It would take more than a
    sharp shock
    to unravel us

    more than
    what might catch the corner
    of a cardigan
    or fray fabric

    parts of me are stitched inside your hem
    your name sewn on
    the bottom of my feet

    even a sly glance
    misplaced kiss
    foul rumour

    could not

    we are
    not just
    limbs, tongues, lips

    all the cells we have to offer the world
    are intertwined into something more certain
    than the sum
    of our own thin threads

    together we have walked the line
    of descent

      1. Although it can be hard to find them for a time, the things that are/were solid remain. I hope I know enough from your wonderful blog and writing to know you are full of ways to live life, explore, meet setbacks with humour and courage. What gifts – that you often share with us all! I think that you know that a change offers a ‘suddenness of opportunities’. Enjoy your new job, keep your options open, and know we out here in cyber space look forward to whatever you send our way.

    1. Thank you are Lou, for this and your previous message too. It is sometime hard to put these things in writing, and I have been comparatively silent for months now. It’s good to know your thoughts have been with us.

  4. Ah Kate, I too am stepping off a precipice, an adventure a little different in nature but filled with unknowns new place, new circumstances, a little afraid, but made braver by your post. I shall be thinking of you. Tart and sour yet with all the aroma of adventure….that one line bespoke such bravery and determination and has given me courage! Drink to you indeed! To and with. Thank you! Chris

  5. You wondered how to post this news. You’ve done it with your exceptional positivity and grace, and that’s perfect. Here’s to all the things you’re going to do. And to Cheez-Its and a teasmaid when you need a boost. xoxo

  6. To the future, Kate! *raises mug of tea* It’s a Brave New World and when the dust has settled, I hope it brings you and the family much happiness. xx

    1. Oh Jan, how I have been missing those tweets and visits to your blog. The garden nightie update especially. I hope to be back in the blogging saddle (oh, dear, how I torture those metaphors) once again and visiting soon.

  7. Ah, Kate . . .

    Been there, done that, and when the game changes, we pick up the pieces and make a new plan. Sounds as if you’ve done just that. I can say no more than those who are here before me today, but know that I’m believing in your resilience, wishing you well, and sending a huge hug!

  8. I am surprised to hear of this BIG change in your life as I confess I did not see it coming. Best of luck as your traverse the ever changing landscape.

    To the future! And the NOW!

  9. All the best to you and Maddie and Felix and the animals. Like more than a few before me, I feel like I know you from all these years of tromping around with you and Mac, from listening to your stories — you have such magic to offer, and for what we’re worth, quite a tribe to see you through the blacker bits of all this. And belated congratulations on your new job (which sounds like a perfect fit for you)!

    1. Thanks Cameron. The stories dried up a little while before April and each one since has come from a very dry well. But I think, now I have made my pronouncement, I’d like to get back to writing them again. It has been lovely watching your Felix start school again this year. You do that so beautifully. Thanks for the wishes on the job: I can’t believe they’re letting me loose on a whole cathedral! Hurrah!

  10. Glass raised, dear Kate; here’s to the future, to strength and enough thread to stitch all that needs to be refashioned in your new tapestry of life. What dignity and fortitude you have here in your expressions. Love, hope, and prayers coming from across the big pond.

  11. My friend – I am so sorry for your loss, if I may add my two cents worth …. give yourself time to grieve and to gather your heart & soul as you wander down this new path. Never forget how fabulous you are and that your kindness and courage will carry you through this turbulent time to a future filled with light, love and laughter. Wishing you, the children and the beasties only the very best that life has to offer xx

    1. Linda, you are one of my oldest online blogging friends and you never fail to bring wisdom to any thread. Thanks for your words. Grieving is happening, in the moments between the furore of a maelstrom-life.

  12. Well, bother. Strange how people grow apart and don’t seem to notice until the day that “d” word is uttered. As unpleasant as it can be, it beats the other “d” word which can be far more painful and extremely permanent. I expect you, the kids and critters will adjust, find ways to not just carry on but excell. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. All the best.

    1. Hi Christine, Phil chose to move out, he’s fine and still fit and well. These things happen, and our age – late forties – is a time of re-evaluation. Thanks so much for your concern.

  13. I’m very sorry to hear this, Kate. I will always remember fondly when you visited two years ago. I wish you well as your life starts this new chapter. From the ashes rise the phoenix.

  14. I reise my glass of lemonade for you Kate, and expect you, who could frame even this not so great event into just the right words, to come up with something more innovative than lemonade from your lemons. I know you will! Best of luck to you!

    1. Thanks Solveig. The fact that you got in contact so early on and your ever-wise words really did hold me up for a little while there. It also shaped the way I have handled Felix during this whole thing. I cannot thank you enough for that.

  15. Wow. Eloquent words as always. I am certain that you will do well and that your children will thrive. All changes are hard but I wish you the best Kate.

    1. Thanks Tammy. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of reading your blog: all great food and ethos, all the time. Hope your busy life is proving as rewarding as ever x

  16. Oh, Kate, I am so sorry and yet I sit in admiration of your spirit. I recently reconnected with someone I don’t know very well, but I had worked with her husband a few years ago. Of course, I inquired about him. When she told me they were divorced, all I could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open. So she had to say it again with an aside that she would cry if she had to repeat herself a third time. I felt so awful at my dumbfoundedness and her pain. But I was also struck by how beautiful she is, how warm and friendly, with a smile that makes anyone smile back. And then she told me about a new job, something she didn’t think she’d ever want to do (totally off her career path), but she loves it. And she loves the people she works with, and I see her life opening up and becoming richer for it. And I see that for you as well. Life is beginning over again and you have the advantages of being a beautiful, intelligent, warm and ever-curious soul. I wish you the very best.

    1. What a wonderful comment, thank you! I should write it large on the wall! I believe that you are right and that sometimes new beginnings are the right thing for us – even if they don’t fit into the well-worn grooves of centuries of tradition. Though leaving a quarter of a century behind is a hard thing to do, it also means I can cast the mill wheel from my shoulders into a deep river, and walk upright. Sometimes we need to shed the expectations of the past.
      Thank you for these lovely words.

  17. My heart sighed at your news. I’m so sorry that you must master ruddering your ship solo. And I also know you will travel this course with grace dignity, and what we in Oregon call “kick-butt” resilience. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you on this journey. Here’s a hug.

    1. Solo can be hard, Barb, but it has its compensations. And there are ways of navigating the currents. I missed my morning cup of tea which was always made for me: and lo, a Google search revealed the Teasmaid, a contraption which makes a perfect steaming hot pot of tea each morning. In one fell swoop, the male of the species rendered defunct. I wonder what other man-replacing machines might lurk out there?

      1. Kate . . . this comment made me laugh out loud. If I had any doubts about how you’re “holding UP” you are dispelling them comment by comment.

        You Rock!

  18. Just seen this, Kate, but you know I add my voice to those other readers who raise a glass to you and to your future and wish you all the very best. You are one hell of a person and I know you will have a fulfilling and memorable rest of your life. Cheers!

  19. Mid January Father and I moved 900 miles north from Miami, Florida to Greensboro, North Carolina. I am 66 and father is 91. It was a brave move, very challenging and worrisome. I am astonished how things have fallen into place. I felt I was stuck . Stuck in the diminishingly appealing milieu of where I lived for 60 years. I leave behind a daughter and three grandchildren but am now with my son and his little daughter. He needs my emotional and financial help. I don’t regret being in my new world remaking who and what I am in my later years. Found new and high quality doctors, a Masonic Lodge, a Presbyterian church, a great arts and crafts supply store, pharmacy, grocery store, bank, movie theater and several pizza joints – what else does anyone need ?!

  20. Wow! Kate, I hardly know what to say except that I feel you’re one strong and resilient woman and I’m very much in your corner! Thank you for sharing this life change. We are a committed little blogging community, and there are so many of us who truly care for you, Maddie and Felix. I hope you’ll sense that support when you need it! ox

  21. As usual I never know what to say in this situation, It seems so sad to me especially with children involved, I have no doubt that you will bounce back bigger and better than ever and your myriad followers will continue to enjoy your tales.

    I hope too, that Phil comes through the ordeal equally as well as you have, (it’s equally hard for the man in a marriage breakdown speaking from personal experience from many years ago),

    Perhaps he may just need to be out from under the great shadow you cast to realize how lucky he’s been the last 25 years…………

    I’ll raise my empty glass in token, (I’m not allowed to drink alcohol yet and anyway I haven’t got the stomach for it anymore πŸ™„ ) and wish you both well.

    1. Brian, you mirror my own hopes, and I am very grateful for the compassion you show my ex partner in this situation. I know that only a maelstrom can cause change like this and men often find it very hard to channel that. Thanks for raising your glass, empty as it might be, and I hope life without stomach is shaping up ok xxx

  22. I’m crap at keeping up with this party Kate, but then life is full of crap and some people seem to get more than their fair share. So I will not only raise my glass to you, I will open a whole new bottle so we can raise several glasses together.

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