I am back!
Back from a week of no computer, no responsibility, no children and no routine. Back from an unintended break from blogging, sewing, crafting, and cooking. Back from a fuzzy head – almost.
So – where have I been? As promised/predicted/threatened I went on a road trip to Byron Bay to attend Bluesfest – a five day festival of music based loosely on a celebration of blues and roots music. In reality there is probably more non-blues music than blues – but no one cares. The countryside around Byron Bay is spectacular, the weather is temperamental, and the lifestyle is very relaxed. The people who attend Bluesfest provide a lovely cross section of society – ranging from older retirees in their neatly ironed shorts and shirts through to the barefooted, dreadlock wearing hippies, with everyone in between. I reckon I fall right in the middle of the range – and I am okay with that! I did get good wear out of my two Tova tunics – and actually remembered to get a photo of myself in one! (My photographer went a bit crazy….. and I am pulling a face in most but there are a couple that show the shirt….)
Camping on site at the festival is part of the fun – you get to know neighbours, compare which bands you have seen or want to see, and share the joy in finding a clean toilet, stocked with paper….. and compare gumboot styles as the rain hits and causes mud that has to be squelched through to be believed.
So did I enjoy it? For the most part – yes. Driving there and back on my own was tiring (it is about a 15 hour drive including breaks) and affected my enjoyment (I slept early on the first night and missed seeing Chris Isaak, which I regret). On the way there I stopped and camped overnight on my own – and enjoyed the experience. On the way home I pushed through and did the trip in one day – not as enjoyable. I did find that looking for geocaches was a good way to break up the trip, so will be doing that again.
My ‘campanion’ (pun intended) was suffering from ‘man-flu’ and ended up leaving on the fourth day. The rain was depressing and meant that there was mud and hot steamy crowds….. so I found parts of it quite challenging. There was a moment on Sunday night when I put myself to bed early and lay in the tent listening to the rain, and the sounds of a Ska band blaring through the rain, when I wondered what on earth I was doing there – and whether I really needed a life lesson in coping with anxiety and depression right at this point in time. But – the next day the sun was out, I ended up having a nice day on my own and I got to hear/see Paul Simon singing, which moved me much more than I expected, and it all seemed worth it.
Highlights? Meeting some lovely new friends in the campground, finally seeing Ben Harper in concert, seeing Robert Plant and Paul Simon, and Busby Marou, discovering new music through the band Current Swell, and hearing other legends like the Counting Crows, the Steve Miller Band, Bonnie Raitt, and a plethora of great blues artists. And going into Brunswick Heads for a swim in the ocean. Such a simple treat!
So now I am home, and back to the challenges of life as a single parent. By yesterday afternoon I was completely overwhelmed – yet another meeting with teachers at school about my son, making new childcare arrangements after the babysitter’s timetable changed, trying to think about groceries, homework, housework, gardening, paying bills, caring for animals……..etc. So I went to bed, convinced that I was getting sick. This morning I felt dreadful but got up and went to work, and then to an early morning chiropractor appointment. I quickly realised that in fact I wasn’t sick, or overwhelmed. I was in pain. Once I was ‘adjusted’ properly the world seemed quite decent again – and all the little bits and pieces that had been threatening to pull me under last night were quite manageable again. A good lesson in being aware of the impact of pain on my mental and physical wellbeing! (and a good reminder that dancing in gumboots, driving long distances, getting tumbled in the surf and sleeping on an inflatable mattress for a week aren’t good for my back…….)
My mum will go home on Saturday after her epic effort in looking after my children, then in a week the children go on holiday to visit their father. So my mind is slowly starting to turn back towards creative thoughts. Some bags, some patchwork, a kindle cover or two…… my sewing fingers are getting itchy…..!
Lessons learnt? Keep things simple, enjoy the moment, and don’t forget to dance.