in-between times

We have just finished work on three large projects here at KDD. Two are a couple of books which you’ve already heard about and which I’m happy to say we’ll be launching very soon – Wheesht and Knitting Season. The third is a really exciting project we’ve all been beavering away on in the background, which has involved a lot of collective hard work, and which we are all incredibly pleased to have brought to completion. Though I really can’t wait to tell you about it, I won’t spoil the surprise by saying any more about it right now: but do look out for a big announcement at the start of January!

I often find the gaps between completing and launching projects rather strange. Part of that is certainly an issue of my own constitutional impatience (once I’ve finished something I just really want to get it out there) and part of it is that feeling of being bereft of something which has occupied my time and energy for so many months. Because I’ve been managing three large and very different overlapping projects, and because it has been a difficult year generally, this particular in-between time feels quite intense to me.

I know my own bipolar self well enough to be aware that such in-between times can be very dangerous for me mentally: its always at such moments that, free from my customarily intense work-related pressures, I can crash into a melancholy which can prove difficult to shake. The dark months of the year are also routinely tricky for me. But I know how my mind works and I also know that I’m able to manage such moments by quietly focusing on some very simple things: allowing myself to take the rest I need; not putting any further demands on myself (frankly much more easily said than done) and doing things that I really enjoy doing just for the sake of doing them.

I’ve been doing a lot of those things this week: reading; watching films; learning Spanish. Most of all, I’ve been enjoying taking long walks in the cold air and winter light.

This week I’ve seen the birch trees festooned with hoar frost transform, in the rays of the rising sun, into a thousand dazzling multicoloured prisms. I’ve stepped out onto an icy, salty spit of land and listened, in the stillness, to the burbling incoming tide.

I’ve marvelled at the movement of the day from blue to gold and watched a thin new moon rise into the rose-coloured half-light of a darkening afternoon.

Really, the in-between times can be truly magical. Especially when they are spent with the best of companions (one of whom is behind the camera).