I never thought it would come to this; even now it feels so good to write again, but the facts are plain to see, I have too much on my plate and something really has to give and over the summer it became obvious that it was blogging I would have to say goodbye to.
I foolishly accepted a promotion so I have a lot of number crunching to do on top of what was already a very difficult job.
When I began to blog I was really only playing at teaching, but with the new management comes accountability and so I have had to raise my game. On its own that would be fine but I am now looking at a second year on an MA course plus my daughter is now at Secondary school, which comes with the need for lots of help and guidance.
So much has changed since I began to write not least my relationship with Emin which is now almost 80% positive, if you have been reading from the start you will know it barely scraped over 10%.
I have managed to fill in that mother shaped chip on my shoulder; it is now in a box marked Not My Future. I need to thank many bloggers for teaching me that my mother was not my future and that her only gift was projecting her hatred of Emin on to me. Thank you all for that, now my relationship is considerably more secure.
I have also filled in the other chip on my shoulder that of the embarrassment I felt at being a teacher. I have read more books than I thought possible since starting this MA and I now know that far from a negative, teaching has been a great positive. I would no more cherish the dream of starting out in life as a full time artist now than I would of flying. Teaching has given me stability to raise a family, had I painted from the start I would not have had three beautiful daughters who since writing this blog have blossomed so much. It has taken my many years to grow into my painting and although it is very frustrating to have to negotiate work before I can put brush to paper I would rather it was on my terms than that of the critics and clients and public funding and all the hideous hurdles working artist have to deal with.
I have managed over the years to realise that my lot is a very good lot indeed compared to many, those glamorous lives I envied are so not as glossy as they seemed.
I have had more dialogue with bloggers than with my own family and talking of family I have reconciled with my father and met for the first time my half-brother. An amazing day for all I think.
As for my half century tour of Europe:
· Madrid 5/10 great wine, bland architecture but housing with some good art
· Amsterdam 3/10 get a bike and cycle as far away as you can
· Berlin 7/10 always a pleasure, I just wish I could find a decent restaurant!
· Paris 3/10 great and I mean great art, but not much else left for me now
· Venice 12/10 truly the most beautiful place on the planet, I would move there tomorrow if I could, and easily the MOST stylish of women I have ever seen
· London 10/10 food, theatre, art and the Olympics, they were just AMAZING and yes, I was there.
· St Ives 6/10 sadly council cutbacks have resulted in a tired lack lustre town and no waves!! (Not the councils fault I know!)
And finally sartorial style, I have changed beyond all recognition, I have to toot my own trumpet and say I rocked in Venice. Blogging has opened my eyes style wise and I have aged most artfully and gracefully into my next half century.
I will try to comment a little bit and will leave the door open maybe for next year but for now I am waving farewell.