Today I drove to Oxfordshire for a training session with a volunteer at an estate office in a quaint and lovely village.
I got only lightly lost, right at the end of the journey, only one turning away, but it didn't make me late, so that's ok.
It went really well, and I was complemented on my training style. I really enjoy the training component of my job. It's rewarded seeing someone get excited by the possibilities of all they could do.
I also noticed today how driving has become second nature to me, which is a good thing I suppose. I don't think anything of slip roads, roundabout and motorways. I'm not enjoying it mind, it's just a thing I do.
The grey morning mist along the A34 was entrancing this morning, like a neutral wash on canvas for the flaming colours of the leaves on the trees that line the road. Fabulous.
I got home mid afternoon and got stuck into my piles of proofreading, and when Tom got in, we went off for some more DIY shopping. M&S sucked us into their Two can dine for £10 offer. We'll see how that works out. Some fishy thing, garlic mushrooms, chocolate mousse millionaire shortbreads, and Tom turning his nose up at the wine option, posh orange juice.
So let's have the real writing of the day:
What is your secret (or not-so-secret) passion?
Passion. It's a strong word. Obviously. My not so secret passions are fairly obvious, no? Dancing, I love dancing, I love how it makes me feel vibrant and alive and happy and strong and me. Knitting, I love the magical creation of fabric from sticks and string, and the hum and the harmony of it swishing through hands. I especially enjoy knitting socks and baby hats, simple tubular things with minimal sewing up. (LeeMee, your gloves are done and just need to be posted. Sorry for not being organised!)
I love art. I suppose I'm drawn to colour, intricate surface design and the promise of capturing emotion for ever. I enjoyed my trip to the Afghan exhibition with Cecil and Tom because Cecil bought out the muso in me, and we discussed the pieces both for their artistic and historic merit.
I love entertaining. I like the rush before, getting the house ready, dreaming up the perfect dish and the perfect drink, and then the mad whirl as people arrive, and that glorious moment, normally after the main course, and fuelled by wine, where people start really talking to one another. Sitting surrounded by friends and laughing, laughing, laughing together.
But secret passions? I think I wear my heart on my sleeve too much! Ok. A guilty, dirty pleasure - I love squeezing blackheads. Mine or someone elses. Disgusting I know, but there's nothing more satisfying. I even have one of those metal tools that the beauticians use to get really stubbourn ones. I know it hurts, but I think that when you see the really deep blackened ones on old men it's horrid! Get them while you're young folks, and keep hydrated to make removing them easier.
Another love, much less disgusting, is fashion. You may not be able to tell this from the lack of fashionable clothes in my wardrobe, and the fact I rarely wear make up these days. However, I love the thrill of dressing up, and the pleasure I derive from textiles in general means I take real pleasure from the feel and texture of silk scarves, or good quality woollen coats. I like playing with colour, and seeing how shapes work on people. It's art but on the human form for me.
But a passion? Something consuming, that I love to dream of, work towards, evangelise about? I suppose it's people really. It ties in with my love of entertaining. I'm passionate about getting people to eat together and get to know each other. I dream of community and deep friendships, and acts of love. There is nothing I can think of that is more sustaining and joyous than that.