On Saturday, the gentleman caller and I celebrated 10 years of married bliss in one of our favourite seaside places, Southwold. On Sunday, I helped him move into his new home in Suffolk, then drove 130 miles home and left him to it.
Jokingly, I tell people he’s up for parole. But it’s more exciting than that. He’s thrown in his office job in favour of following his dreams of making a living by building and restoring wooden boats. This dream begins with a year at the International Boat Building College in Oulton Broad, Suffolk. You can see his progress on his new blog, Scantlings.
He’ll be home for the weekends, but during the working week we’ll be doing our own things, sharpening tools, honing our crafts, assessing raw materials and shaping them into something useful.
In my case, that means finishing my novel, which has been hanging around in first draft form since last September. To which end I’ve enrolled on an exciting new course of my own, with inspirational writer and tutor Gillian Slovo. I met Gillian on a short Faber Academy course a couple of years ago and found her fierce, funny and resolutely encouraging. This time I’m in for the long haul; a UEA/Guardian fiction writing course of three hours a week, every week, through to the Spring.
Little time, then, to mope around the suddenly-empty house. No, really. My role in this boat-building business, as I keep telling myself in my best Enid Blyton voice, is to be an absolute brick about the whole thing. It’ll mean I can write all evening without feeling guilty about neglecting the GC. And if I don’t feel like writing, I can watch repeats of Doctor Who and Sherlock without anyone raising an eyebrow. And we will have loads of things to tell each other when we meet on Friday nights.
But perhaps I can be excused just a tiny mope, just for today. Goodness, but I’m going to miss him.