Bernie Divall | This post was originally written 28 March, 2012

A few weeks ago, I had a minor rant about the difficulties of working illegally, by which I meant working at times that are usually reserved for my other, parent-focused life. Well, this week I have outdone myself in the illegal stakes: I have run away to Northumberland for five days of uninterrupted thinking and writing time. I know! The guilt!! And the freedom!! This has come at just the right time for me, as it’s been a tricky couple of weeks.

Quite aside from my ongoing struggles with confidence in relation to actually getting the thesis written, I also had to contend with a damaged knee, followed closely by a sickness bug. I currently feel like I’m running at about 60%, but I’m hopeful that the sea air will help with that. So I’m writing this while sitting on a beach, under a bright blue sky and with the sea gently rippling in the background. I’m sure people have many different definitions for their personal heavens, but this is clearly mine. I have no idea what it is about this place, but somehow it ignites a spark in me, and that unleashes a creative itch that I have no trouble scratching! Usually when I’m here, I’m surrounded by my family, but on this occasion I have only my own existence to worry about. And as anyone out there with children knows, that is indeed a rare thing, and a moment to be cherished. Of course, the guilt of doing something just for me is ever-present, but actually my family have been very supportive of my disappearing act. I expect in some ways this will be quite a relief for them as well – the looming submission deadline has an effect on their lives, after all, and I probably bore them half to death when I’m trying to work something out in my head. Mostly because I keep trying to do it out loud, at the dinner table. So here’s to the act of running away, and the freedom it has given me. I have a feeling I may be doing this again before September…

Images Credit: Cuba Gallery/Creative Commons