Tomorrow (January 26th.) is a public holiday here for Australia Day. I explained all about Australia Day on this blog in other years, so I won't go through it again, but after tomorrow it's back to school for most Australian students and it isn't always easy after their lovely long summer holiday.
Already, their happy memories of Christmas and holidays at the beach will be a fading memory. Families will be scrambling to buy all the books and pencils and uniforms necessary for the new school year. Dads could well be assembling new flatpack desks from Ikea or somewhere similar. Some kids will be nervous about a new school. Some will be excited about seeing all their friends again. Some could be trying to pretend it isn't happening.
Meanwhile, teachers (including many of my friends) will be enjoying one last weekend of summer freedom -- or possibly the conscientious will be planning lessons.
The back-to school busy rush always seems such a hassle when it's happening, but there's always an edge of excitement for everyone facing a new school year, isn't there? I can't believe my grandson Thomas is starting high school this year. He'll be doing a German immersion program -- v exciting.
But where have the years gone? It was only a moment ago he looked like this on the right.
There are many times, when we think back on those years, when E and I really miss our kids, as kids. So much. They grow up in a flash and then they're gone.
I can't say I've suffered from the empty nest problem, but there are times when I wish we were still all together. Just the same, I thank heavens that I have my writing job and that it keeps stretching me and keeping me fulfilled.
And when I hear from readers that one of my books has given a few hours of pleasure, I feel very grateful.
That said, I've been lazy, lazy, lazy lately -- at least lazy about writing. But I've planted lots of lovely things at Tarzali. And Elliot and I have wasted hours with tape measures and pen and paper, dreaming up a plan for a master bedroom that hangs off the edge of the hill (on poles). And I actually have a beaut idea for a new book, but I've dithered around and let it go stale.
But I know once I immerse myself in the new story (which I must do very soon) the characters will take me by the hand and show me the way.
They always do... and it's been nice to have a laid-back January.