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Downtime

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Like last year, I took time off this May too, to recuperate, rejuvenate and restore some semblance of sanity in my life. We were lucky this year to finally make a return trip to the UK, five years after we relocated from that island. It was a trip not bereft of nostalgia, but the presence of our four-year old (on his first foreign trip)  kept us from going overboard with the waterworks.

Because we were travelling with a child, we did a lot of child-friendly things. Like visiting dinosaurs, going on lots (and lots) of train rides, picnicking in Hyde Park on a beautiful sunny Bank Holiday and of course, making a special trip to see the real, the fabulous, the very blue, Thomas the Tank Engine. I had very little occasion to shop, though, sadly. It is not easy to spend time in stores with a cold and cranky kid begging to be carried home.

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So I came back home with souvenirs of creamy magnolia petals, cherry blossoms in impossible pinks, Pooh books from charity shops and vivid memories of a red fox who came visiting every evening.

A fortnight later, we are back, thrilled at having accomplished this planned-for-ages trip.

It’s still only the middle of May and I’m not yet back to writing full-time. How can I, with this lovely child at my feet, singing tunes from the ZingZillas, making up adventures with his trains and asking me constantly, “What did he say?”, where ‘he’ is the train or bus in question and the dialogues are mine to fill.

So I’ve been catching up on my reading, mostly online and with a few magazines for “research”. Writing is never far away, though. I’ve got an assignment to hand in before the end of the month, but most of the work has already been done on that, so working on it will not break my languorous mood. I’ve been working on ideas, making lists for next-month’s pitches, tidying up spreadsheets (have I told you how much I love Excel?) and most gratifyingly, painting. Both M and I are deep in primer and acrylics and are glad to have quiet, paint-splattered quality time together. 

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I’m rather loving this downtime. I’m in bed by 10 these days, catching up on sleep, filling the reservoir for the coming weeks, when life will go back to the work-until-1-am routine. I wish we could tank up on sleep and call upon our reserves when we are worn out.

For now, we watch the sky and pray the rains don’t show up before our pre-monsoon preparations are in place. Hot and humid it may be, but solace can be had in darkened rooms, tall glasses with something chilled in it and a table full of only fruit for lunch.

When it is mango season, it seems like a waste of time to eat anything else.

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