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Books. It always starts with books. The ones that are as familiar as dear friends, the ones that I don't know so well but would like to spend more time with and get to know better. The ones that I dip into, the ones that look good and make me feel good. There are all kinds that line my shelves and make me feel all manner of things and when I'm feeling restless and in need of a pick me up, that's where I turn. Half term is around the corner and these days I like to prepare early and build in a time for me to escape and re-charge, even if that means just half an hour. I know from experience that having that little bit of time makes me a nicer mummy and also a kinder wife. I've spent the last few weeks reading and note taking and dipping into several books at a time. I've been gathering images and photographs and cut out articles and newspaper clippings and old drawings and old songs, snippets of sound pieces and bits and pieces tucked under books on my bedside table. I've been trying to make sense of the many things that I have foraged over these months that I know are part of something, my next story, my next creative chapter. So during half term when I'm lost in busyness, I will spend a little time looking closely at these treasures that I have gathered. Sometimes when I'm in the thick of this foraging and sifting and pulling it together phase, I like to think of myself as playing many parts, like an actor. I think of my artist self, my writer self, my mother self. I think of all of these selves and what role they each play, sometimes certain selves feel like they're sinking, struggling to come up for air, another self is taking all of the attention. Swings and roundabouts. Swings and roundabouts. Sometimes just to breathe, I picture myself as someone else, maybe me, another me. I throw on a pair of jeans and a vest top, drive to Mexico with the rooftop down, hit the nearest and cutest beachside bar, order myself a mojito and smoke that cigarette that I promised myself I'd never smoke. It feels good. Oh so good. I close then open my eyes and it feels like a fleeting moment and a lifetime all at once and that's when I remember. You really don't need to leave home or travel far to have an adventure and be inspired. This I know.