Thursday, 17 January 2013

End Notes

As I began to wake this morning I remembered that it's coming up for six years since I started this blog. I did so at the suggestion of Kim in order to practise my writing. But it's been much more than that.

It got me though the hardest five years of my life,* providing me with community, friendship, and a reason to write about positive things. It helped me find goodness in my darkest hours, and I found it enormously beneficial as I struggled to process and harmonise all the conflicting elements of my life. And, crucially, it drew interesting, artistic, engaged, engaging people which allowed me to believe I couldn't possibly be as dull as I'd thought I must be. Or as monstrous as my husband tried to tell me I was. For a long time I thought it would always be my only social life.

But then I was asked to set up and run creative writing classes for community learning and development, and I met actual people in my home town every bit as interesting, artistic, engaged and engaging as those I met on the blog. The classes were a success and I was asked to do more in another nearby town too. And those people were great. And the odd thing was all of these people seemed to like me. I started being invited out for coffee, to lunch, and to the pub after classes. And there I met Dave, last January, on the very first post writing class pub visit.

By this time I knew my marriage was over (thanks to very illuminating relationship therapy sessions), but assumed I'd live alone. I have never lived on my own, and was really looking forward to it, even though I had no illusions about it being in anything other than a low-rent bedsit. I had talked to my sister about moving back to Kent where I grew up, and was positively salivating about being so near to London, so falling in love with a bloke four doors down came as somewhat of a surprise. Him falling in love with me even more so, and when he asked me to move in, and I heard myself saying ok...

2012 was my year of magical living, if I'd been given a year to live at the start of it I wouldn't have chosen any other way to spend it. Now this blog has done its job. I should probably have put it out of its misery last spring, yet I kept it limping on. However, for various reasons I will do so now. This is to be my last post here. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your lives with me. Thank you for your support, and friendship. I see many of you on Facebook where I have more control over who can eavesdrop on conversations, and I have email contacts for some of you as well, so I'm not abandoning the friends I've made here. Should anyone not yet a friend on Facebook want to become one you need only ask, and I can also be found on Twitter and Pinterest where I indulge in different types of dialogue (Twitter, for me, is mostly about trying to save the world, Pinterest is about luxuriating in it).

Here's one last photograph:

Snowy Sunday on the river.

Bye, bye.

*You know the story: husband's long term affair discovered; attempt to repair marriage; philosophy degree; masters degree (creative writing); realisation that marriage wasn't responding positively to fixing attempts; frantic rethink about repair methods; near death experience; realisation that I wasn't able to help husband...


Ms Scarlet said...

I will be knocking up 5 years blogging this year, and like you I have been drifting in and out... it's always very sad to see blogs close... but, oh what larks we had :-)

elizabeth said...

Dear Eryl!
We must not lose touch. Your blog was/is wonderful.
Yes, quite a year for you and you seem so very happy.
I love your photographs and this winter one is a winner.
So wishing you well in all your creative and personal adventures.
Lots of love

Kim Ayres said...

I didn't see this one coming, but I know it would be pointless to suggest you do otherwise. There are few blogs where I have read every single post, but this is one I know for certain I have. And I've enjoyed reading each one too.

Even though I know you outwith blogging, I will miss your writings. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest don't allow for the longer, more reflective writing, which you are so good at.

Thank you for the past 6 years of blogging entertainment, philosophising and insights.

With warmth,

Kim :)

savannah said...

i miss you already, sweetheart! i know we're both on fb, but this is where we met. *hugs* all the best to you now and always. xoxoxoxoxox

angryparsnip said...

I think I saw this coming, you have been hinting at it, I think, for the last year.
As much as I am so happy for you, I must admit to being selfishly sad.
When I first started my blog it was because of reading your blog and Pat's, Past Imperfect blog. I feel like you are a friend and I have really enjoyed reading about your life.
I never knew what was going to pop-up on any given post. From the fabulous food, musing on a book or thought or what was going on in your life good or heartbreaking.
Today's photograph is lovely and very interesting in what it is saying to me.
Wishing you all the best in your writing, teaching and most of all the new adventures in life that are ahead of you.

woofs from The Square Ones
love, gayle

angryparsnip said...

Also... I might have to look into facebook just so I can keep up with your adventures.

hugs, gayle

Anonymous said...


phyllis nobles said...

long before i ever started blogging i read your blog [maybe when Kim Ayres received blogger of note & i first discovered kitchen bitch] and i guess you were the first blogger i read and thought - she would be so cool to know. and you have been and are so cool to know. i will miss you here! - and since i never say goodbye to anybody i'll simply say i'm looking forward to seeing your new photos on facebook, twitter, but really looking forward to seeing your book xx

Avo said...

When it's time to go, it is time to go.
It's been great getting to know you online, thank you for the privilege it has been.
Knowing you are out in the world thinking, reading, feeling, tasting, taking picture... fully alive, makes it a better place. : j
I wish you all the best.

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Anonymous said...

I shall miss your blogs.
Although you do not know me, and without you knowing, you have helped me through some dark times too.
I wish you all the best.
thank you for being a friend.

Rachel Fox said...

Don't think of it as putting anything out of its misery... far from it! It's good to make change if you know it's for the right reasons.

Everyone seems to have gone to Twitter... not for me, not now anyway. Good luck with everything.


The World According To Me said...

I will miss reading your posts and drooling over pictures of your food.
But I'm glad you're in a good place now and it's onwards and upwards for you!
Take care out there.x
I'm on twitter, GeorgeAndNikki if you care to follow one of these days?

The Unbearable Banishment said...

We lost another one. Damn. Do you know how hard it is to find readable material? There's so much junk out there, but I've always looked forward to your posts. Okay, then. Adios. I'm glad I sent a copy of Thunder Road so now you won't forget me. I see you got one last piece of comment spam. It figures. All good wishes.

Pat said...

Never say never.
See you on FB.xoxoxooxooooxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh dear ... *mwah* Take care.

Golden West said...

Wishing you all the best in your adventures ahead. You're a strong writer and it's been a pleasure reading.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I've loved your blog, we've been at it for the same amount of time too. A ciao for now xxx

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Philip Dodd said...

Well. That's a proper end of an era for me. I sort of learnt how to blog from you. I've always found your writing engaging, and your approach to the marriage of words and pictures to be a true thing of beauty. I'll see you on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for your fine company on here.

nick said...

I'm glad your blog has been so productive and enjoyable in so many ways over the almost six years. But if you feel it's outlived its purpose, then there's no point in flogging a dead horse. I shall just have to keep up with you on Facebook!

alphawoman said...

Oh I want to be your facebook friend!! I hardly post on FB but I love to keep in touch et al. I have been blogging for going on 10 years and I have totally petered out, but I keep hoping a change of venue will be all I need to pick it back up. It has been a fantastic pleasure reading your on line journal and I will miss it. RIP.

mary theresa fitzgerald martin (how to find me on facebook - hahah, I think I have the longest name ever!!)

Kass said...

Found you through National Poetry month and our attempts to write poetry every day. I've enjoyed what you've shared. Sorry to see you go from this format, but I understand. I've found it more and more difficult to justify posting.

Kass said...

How do I find you on Facebook?

Meri said...

My question is the same as Kass's-- how do I find you on facebook?

Eryl said...

Hello everyone, and apologies for my utter silence here. And thank you, all of you for your kindness, and support.

Anyway, you can find me on facebook by my usual name: Eryl Shields.