Well hello there! How are you? It’s been an age. I haven’t been blogging for sometime because I have been so busy and so very poorly sick. In fact, the truth is I don’t have time to be here today but I have missed you and I have missed my blog. So today, I’m making time to touch base and say ‘hi’. I’m thinking about you all. What’s been happening?
2016 is the year of #CleanEating, exercise and less alcohol. I am working with Clare Oetiker, personal trainer from Move It Look Fab and she has been putting my through my paces with HIIT exercise which is hard work but so much more fun than running.
I am committed to a #GlutenFree, #SugarFree, #DairyFree (except butter) and on the whole #AlcoholFree lifestyle and I LOVE IT! In fact, I don’t even think of it as a diet. This is now how I eat. I feel so much better in myself, and my skin is glowing. I test drove the ‘diet’ in November, with a view to losing a few kilos before a Christmas ‘do’ I was planning to attend and my body in my dress was looking decidedly bulbous. It was the best thing I had ever done and I did indeed lose enough weight to be able to rock my frock. Of course, having not drunk for a month before hand, the minute I stepped onboard the Jaeger train I lost all recollection of the evening, danced like a mentalist and eventually had to be put to bed by two of my very lovely, gorgeous friends.
Sobrietous January began and also, the preparation for the performance of my first ever play “Take Me To The Oscars” for Juno Theatre which was a very interesting, learning experience on many levels. Not least because of managing the complexities of female interactions, which were not as egalitarian as I had anticipated, was exhausting; but also handing over control of my work to a director and an actress and not being wholly satisfied with the outcome. The audience wasn’t disappointed and at face value the piece was delivered in a very predictable way but I think the nuances of my voice were lost in it’s delivery. Only I would notice and those that were close to me. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to showcase my work and it was a great learning experience, which has created new connections for me which will serve to be invaluable in the future. I didn’t fight the process, I let the process play out without interference and offered consultation when requested. The whole experience has led me to think a lot about the place of theatre in our society, the commercially viability of theatre and the demographic of rural theatre audiences. The Juno Theatre “Circling The Square” showcase sold out and was a triumph for everyone involved and I was proud to be a part of it. I am delighted to be a part of Juno Theatre and to be working with women to support the finding of their voices through playwriting. I think it’s important to keep this in perspective.
In the midst of this I popped over to Paris for the press conference launching the 2016 #VendéeGlobe. I actually rang the footballer Emmanuelle Petit to see if he wanted to attend with me but he was in Normandy, with his poorly maman and so unable to join me. I really want to work on this edition. I am passionate about the Vendée Globe and have been since I first learned of it in 1998. It is by far one of the most interesting and enduring of sport occasions.
This day trip to Paris by Eurostar was also the inception of a severe bout of poorly sickness from which I am still recovering.
The doctor sent me to bed for three whole days. I asked him if I was sick because I was really old (44 yrs) and he said that it was because I was really ill. Hagar had to come and look after me and the kids. It was quite interesting to have unscheduled illness because I had no time to create any contingency plans and suddenly, all the little unseen things that I do every day became very visible when the ‘tidy up fairy’ was tucked up ill in bed. For 24 hours I was appreciated by all and they were worried about me. After three days in bed, everyone had enough and the ‘tidy up fairy’s’ illness hiatus was over and it was back to the grindstone for me.
I have also been writing regularly for Wiltshire Life and working with cloven hooves by this I don’t mean Satan himself, but in fact lambs and goats. I went to visit the baby lambs at Roves Farm, Swindon and then in the up and coming edition, (April) I meet the regimental goat of the Royal Welsh. He was a very grumpy goat indeed and his poor goat major had got dressed up in full rig to hang out with me on the steps of the Officer’s Mess. It was indeed and a privilege to see inside the British Army, which is steeped in history and tradition to which it clings like a tree frog; but I couldn’t help feeling that it’s time to let go of the past and move into a new era, where the ceremony is relegated to the annals and the business of soldiering is modernised to reflect the budgets and needs of today.
My latest tome #LookingForMrRabbit now sits at four completed chapters and a prepared overview of the whole book. I am now ready to start approaching agents to test the water and see what they think. Once upon time I was in a hurry to get the book published but a wise man told me to be patient and work with an editor. He said I was to write the best book it could be and I have taken my time, listened to the feedback and developed my writing. At the moment, every day is a school day but I am not giving up. Writing is an emotional roller coaster. I emphatically want to be a successful and accomplished writer. This ambition is a like a noose around my neck. I yo-yo between creating content with a commercial imperative and writing from my confused heart. It’s the slowest ladder I have ever had to climb. At the same time I want to honour my children and be their guiding light so they can be the best versions of themselves as they grow. Whilst negotiating an elitist and traditional culture and not being able to give it my all. Daring to be different but at the same time fearful that being different is too much. I’m scared that the readers are diminishing and the writer’s significance in a creative contribution is ever increasingly undermined. It’s so frustrating and there are times when I question myself and my ambition. The burden is heavy, the washing is infinite and I am a hamster in a wheel. The constant self promotion is exhausting and those who are over exposed are tired of my battle to have my creativity acknowledged. In fact I grow tired of it myself. There is no-one more over exposed to me than me. It’s a been a tough few weeks for me and I have been close to having a complete hissy fit and slamming the door. I just want you to know that it’s laborious, lonely journey being creative and independent. I struggle with it despite constantly ‘smiling and waving.’ The words torment me and it’s not a case of just stopping and moving on. The need to write would still haunt me and the words would still circle my soul, tugging me this way and that way. I can’t stop but at the same time sometimes it’s hard to carry on. Onwards and upwards. Thank you for supporting me through the highs and the lows.
And finally, last but by no means least, there is my lovely client and friend Kate, from The Balance House. I have been working with Kate since November and I am very proud of what we have achieved transforming her brand into a stylish, eye catching and relevant business. Speaking of the Balance House, I have to go and draft some articles on ‘Women in Leadership’. Whilst Britain debates BrExit the EU is committed to 40% women non-executive directors on the boards of big listed companies by 2020. Now, this is a target I can buy into and I love writing articles that help smash the glass ceiling. I won’t leave it so long to blog next time so please keep popping over.
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Big Love, Macnaughty
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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