A Newsletter? What!!!
After thinking about it for a number of years and been prompted daily by the likes of David Gaughran and Joanna Penn, I finally dived in today. A free newsletter for the moment…
I’ve loved sharing life online. It’s why for years I’ve written a regular blog. Since 2010, I think. Over the years, the blog changed from being purely writerly subject matter to tie in with me being an author, to things that interested me (and probably only me, if the truth’s known). But it enabled me to slow down and observe life.
In my head, I’m writing a post all the time. I see life in words. Always. And so when I finally decided a newsletter was the thing (it was either newsletter or podcast and despite a career in broadcasting, I’m not convinced an Australian accent is comfortable listening - for me anyway. And so newsletter it was!) I signed myself into Substack on the absolute spur of the moment.
Why Knots In The String though?
Two reasons - if one gets a knot in anything - garden twine, wool, embroidery thread, a fishing line, then one has to stop, take time, be mindful. Think about what one is doing. So my little newsletter is my time (and yours) to stop, take time, think. And hopefully relate.
You may ask what will happen to the blog? I hope the archive’ll be merged with the newsletter - by my Website Wizard. Certainly not by me - I’m the original techno-dunce. Luddite extraordinaire.
Today, OH and self took Dog for an early walk to one of our favourite beaches further down the coast. All the incomers have gone and we are able to enjoy the solitude, selfish as we are. From now on the beaches are reserved mostly for wild creatures, and the rhythm of a much more subtle existence returns.
Today the sky was dove grey with hints of tissue-thin blue far above, the wind sea-humid and smacking of life beyond Maria Island, maybe as far away as New Zealand. Somewhere in the Mercury Passage, we could hear a throaty chug and decided it was a squid-boat with its myriad lights circumnavigating the decks. It was returning to moor in Triabunna and offload the catch. There were two tiny dead terns on the beach, battered and bedraggled but evidence that there is a rhythm on the coast, coming and going with the regularity of the waves I can now hear out my window as I write.
It’s that rhythm that sustains me on a daily basis. So many times I’ve said that the coast, its sights, sounds, water and air heals me from whatever I’ve run flat bang into. The first month of this year, The Month That Shall Not Be Named, has been dire and I’m just beginning to walk long miles again. Dog thanks the Doggy Stars above as with me slow to the mark, he’s had short walks and being a Jack Russell, it galls him no end!
The truth is that the first gulp of sea air and the first swim after returning from hospital were like an intravenous life drug! Touchwood, I’m back. And a nice way to be back is by beginning a newsletter which I’ll send out weekly.
My days are ordered by what the weather’s doing. If it’s sunny, I swim with my two beach friends of long standing. We sort out ourselves, the world and its issues. If its dull like today, I write, walk the dog, garden, cook, stitch at night. It’s an existence that has its own rhythm - it feels good.
When I worked for the ABC, so did my then-to-be husband and one of our jobs in the Rural Department was to present the weather on a rota.
On our engagement, the staff gave us a little weather house - depending on the weather the man or the woman would emerge. How relevant that is to my life even now. Ruled by the weather! If it’s fine, ie no rain, I will be outdoors no matter what.
As you can see from the way I live, I don’t prefer crowds of folk - I find myself shrinking into a hermit’s shell and turning away. I’m at a stage in my life where I can please myself to make it so. It’s taken me almost seventy years to find a shell that fits comfortably - its edges softened by a newsletter to whomever might like to read it.
Shall we give it a go? See if we can unknot the tangles?
Hurrah if you think so.
I’ll occasionally add my reading list to the newsletter. I’m a slow and very eclectic reader, which audio has sparked along. But I refuse to wear earbuds outside, so audio is for driving, meal preparation and ironing only . Why wear earbuds outside? I value the symphonies of sound from the birds, from the sea, the crickets, frogs, even the breeze as it whispers through the trees.
Currently on Kindle, I’m reading Henry Beston’s The Outermost House. How beautiful it is. Written in the nineteenth century about a year spent living in a little wooden beach shack hanging off the edge of the Cape Cod sand-dunes. Oh my gosh, I relate to every single word he says! Its not dated at all and is infinitely good reading when one wants one’s soul warmed.
“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.”
― Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
In print, I’m reading Robert Dinsdale’s Paris by Starlight. I purchased it because I had read and thoroughly enjoyed The Toymakers. I think it is magical realism infused with legend and myth. It’s enigmatic thus far. I’ll let you know what I think later.
“The world, and everything in it, is just this extraordinary outburst of the imagination.”
― Robert Dinsdale, Paris By Starlight
And in audio, for my sins, I’m listening to Jeffrey Archer’s The Fourth Estate. It takes very little to work out which media moguls he has used as inspiration. My God, what awful people, the privileged wealthy can be! I’m enjoying the cut and thrust which Archer always does well, but I take great offence at the quality of the Australian accent within the narration. It’s a good galloping read for the car that doesn’t stress the grey matter at all. In fact, when I was in hospital, I had it near my ear and quite a number of times lapsed into a good sleep! Having missed maybe a chapter here and there, it mattered little - I caught up with ease.
“Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”
― Jeffrey Archer, The Fourth Estate
Thanks so much for accompanying me on this first foray into newsletter-dom. I hope you’ll stay with me weekly and help me unpick any knots of life.
Cheers and see you next week!