Birthday time. 32 was:

Buzzing with post-performance high after supporting packed out Butch Hancock show; sharing make-do suppers with my mum whilst journeying to gigs near and far; wearing black and hanging out with a Canadian Mountie (not a real one) on Halloween; seeing Alt-J play the day after they won the Mercury Music prize; experiencing my most drunken night ever, being grateful to a friend for saving me, spending the next week recovering, feeling low low low; deciding to pull myself together; deciding to try out my local life drawing session; feeling nervous, not knowing what to expect, worried I would get embarrassed; drawing my first naked stranger, whilst in a room full of more strangers.

Singing at Catweazle; singing at George’s Jamboree; singing for my supper in a foreign land; singing to friends and loved ones; singing to small children; singing to myself. Moving into my first house share with strangers since living in university halls of residence; planting carrots and beetroots, watching them grow, eating them, yum yum.

Falling in love… for the first time. Seismic shift.

Binding a book, weaving a bangle, sewing a bag. Getting stuck barefoot, knee deep in a quagmire of mud in Port Meadow. Painting a picture with said mud. Developing an obsession for Scrabble. Developing an obsession for life drawing. Celebrating hellos and goodbyes by the warmth of fires by rivers. Seeing The Ladybird Tree; watching a ladybird larvae do a wiggle dance; watching a ladybird emerge from its pupa. Dining on picnic blankets by the water’s edge on a deserted beach at dusk. Noticing every full moon. Noticing every new moon. Noticing the changing seasons. Learning to identify flowers and trees and shrubs that I’d walked past a thousand times without noticing: dogwood, guelder rose, deadly nightshade, broom, hogweed, yarrow, aspen. Still learning. Excited about which plant I might identify each time I go on a wander.

Being reminded how temporary and precious life is. Been reminded how lucky I am to have my health. Crying for loved ones.

Riding a bike for the first time in 15 years. Getting confused by some joggers, crashing into brambles; learning to turn left; not learning to turn right. Trying cherries from every tree on a cherry tree lined walk. Filling the hood and pockets of my sweatshirt with said cherries. Eating too many cherries. And blackberries. Loads. Pies and straight in to my mouth.

Starting many songs; finishing six; nearly finishing nine. Deciding on the title of my next album.

Realising I have too many memories of being 32 than are possible to share.

Realising it’s midnight . Realising it’s my birthday. Realising I’m now 33.




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