Life Lately: May

Life Lately, musing of joys found lately.

Life lately and current joys. Just under the fence for May. Things I’ve been loving lately. My most favourite things at the moment are very simple; sunshine and all the lush greenery that is Spring into Summer. I’ve been marvelling at how new shoots appear and then accelerate. Within days, what was the bare bones of a plant is wrapped in lush greenery. The older I get the more life feels as if it is speeding up. I’m trying really hard to stop and appreciate the small things that nature produces.  Our garden is a scape of green, sitting outside with a cup of tea and looking for the changes in plants, a few inches growth, buds and flowers, it a current joy.

This time of year is the best for being outside, I’ve enjoyed blossom, lilacs and wisteria, each a reminder of their small window of blooms. Stop. Enjoy the moment, before it’s gone.

Currently, I’m reading; Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín. It’s a very simple story and I really like that. Meanwhile, my boy and me are almost at the end of our Roald Dahl journey. Having only ‘The Witches’ left to read. It is tricky to find an author that captures his 8 year old attention span. Dahl has done that, book after book. Not sure where we go next. At school he is reading ‘Stig of the Dump’ which I remember really loving as a child. So much, including Harry Potter, doesn’t cut it with my boy. 

Re-finding voices and social media

Podcasts; which is a medium I’m not crazy for.  However, having occasionally dipped into the Scummy Mummies, recently, I’ve had a glut of catching up.  I’m a slightly obsessed Guardian reader. Helen and Ellie (the Scummy Mummies) must have some hold over The Guardian, as they’ve featured several of their writers. My favourites have been Tim Dowling and Zoe Williams. I listen while cooking and avoid radio saturated by Euro-squabbling.  Side note: I met Helen on a train and she helpfully opened by gin in a tin for me. She probably travels first class now.

Listening to voices is very absorbing, there is an element of  imagination that is invested. Since living in Bristol, I’ve re-found The Archers and through it (re-found) twitter.

The Archers was the background to my childhood, my mother was life-long listener and fan. Into adulthood my relationship with the farming folk of Ambridge waxed and waned. It does make a good Sunday morning. Think: Sunday pottering with The Archers Omnibus in the background, (ideally, followed by Desert Island discs). The Archers Rob/Helen storyline has reeled me in. The story has extended beyond Radio 4 and been widely discussed on various other mediums. If you aren’t familiar; Rob/Helen story is domestic abuse in the form of coercion and emotional manipulation. It is very uncomfortable to listen to and there are times when my heart has raced and my palms sweated. Other times, I’ve not been able to turn the radio on. Some days, I check twitter first to see what how other listeners found it. I read #thearchers tweets and join in discussions. The Archers has reignited an interest in twitter and making connection based on similar interests (mostly, a whole hearted loathing for Rob Titchener).

Twitter and I have been ‘on and then very much ‘off’ and now back ‘on’ in short bursts at 7.15pm.   Instagram has definitely been my Social Media of  choice, I’ve always loved it. That said, over the last year or so, Insta had literally boomed as a platform. Much has changed and hanging on to what I love about it and the sense of community has been tricky. At times when I’ve felt like a total ‘fail’ because my follower numbers aren’t all that. I have to pull myself back and remind myself what I love about it: Lovely Squares and Connecting with others. I’ve found an equilibrium with it and while I still get the “not good enough” thing when I see someone celebrating a ‘million thousand’ followers, I have to remind myself; each to their own (I’m helloitsgemma btw).

In April, I took an photo-walk with some fellow instagrammers (organised by Lori Wildandgrizzly and Laura Cardboard cities). A reminder of how good it is close the screen, make proper connections and have face to face conversations.  The joy of taking photos with other people who have the same interest in photographing doors and each other.

A pit-stop on our photo-walk was the Clifton Lido, which a very lovely place to hang out. Cups of tea, good cake and food, while other people swim past. There must be some benefit in watching other people exercise.

Snapchat. OK, I was completely sceptical and frankly hoped it was another fad that would pass by. Curiosity got the better of me and this week, I’ve dived in. I have to say, I am really, really enjoying it, in a way I haven’t with any social media form for a while. It is slapstick fun. I’m helloits_gemma. Should you wish to see video of me as a dog, of course you would……


  1. Lianne

    try the David Walliams books…Gangsta Granny and Grandpa’s Great Escape are amongst Pippa & Ike’s favourite books. They have both read it several times and have listened to the audio books about a gazillion times. xx

  2. Jean

    I have a love/hate relationship with twitter these days, I long for the old chatty twitter of long ago (well 5 years).  I read Nora Webster recently and enjoyed the leisurely pace of the story, hope you enjoy it.  Love the photo of the bluebells x

  3. Emma

    I wonder if F would like The Tom Gates series.  I know my Small Boy can’t put them down!   I still have a love hate relationship with twitter, but I adore Instagram.   Those with millions and billions of followers have usually bought them so I am told.  I prefer a smaller organically cultivated community! 😀   May is gorgeous isn’t it? 

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