It’s been wet. And dry. And hot. Then very hot. But there still isn’t much weather to speak of. The sun is out most days for a bit, the air is warm, clothes dry and flowers on the balcony need watering. But one thing that is different is that I am learning to be still, for a little while at least.
I haven’t changed my character completely. I still miss going out to the theatre, the cinema, to dinner – but if I don’t I am minding less and less. I can sit and read, I can sit and paint. I can just sit – but that’s the hardest, and I won’t be doing much of that. I am learning though, and it feels rather good when I manage it.
On the doing front, however, I continue to fill my days. Before 6.30 pm or so, when the sunset streaks the sky with purple and gold again (we’ve had quite a cloudy time of it for the last month or so), I do Pilates, I do pottery (bliss), I try to improve my Bahasa Malay (slow and steady, slow and steady), and I have found an art school where I take myself and my paints, puff up three steep flights of stairs and try to do something with a blank canvas.
I have coffee and lunch with new friends (they’re all new except for visitors from the UK, of which there are going to be many, hooray), and do the shopping which involves markets and several shops in several different places.
Today, I had my weekly Malay class, which reminds me how little I really know, and I am about to make caponata for supper, with local vegetables and various adapted ingredients.
I have done a bit of of my novel, which is growing steadily. I haven’t reread anything as my first aim is to get most of it out of my head and on to the computer. Then starts the real draft, in every sense.
My friend Susan and I have had an idea, which we call #WordPower Sabah, about every possible way of using English to communicate, and we want to show that all disciplines can learn from each other, and learn how to use the language well. Not just a book festival, more a way of life…
We have drawn up a proposal and are flogging the idea to anyone who will listen and who might give us some money. Nothing concrete, but it’s early days: we need to be affiliated with an NGO in order to collect funds and we are edging nearer to this.Response, apart from actually cash to date, has been pleasingly positive, so we are working away on all fronts. I am giving a workshop at a SPARKS event next week (Society for the Performing Arts) which I hope will contribute to a bit of WPS profile raising.
Now I’m off to the hairdresser which is always fun. This country has more public holidays that any other I have ever heard of, so a girl has to look her best to do nothing much, non?