Before I dash off - thanks so much for the three warm, thoughtful, helpful comments on my previous post. I'll think about all this while I'm away, and of course any others will be greatly appreciated too. Here's a picture of Harvey's plaque with three late Dublin Bay roses from the garden - I took them down the road to mark our wedding anniversary this month.
I've been writing about the experience of losing Harvey and learning to live on my own for a little over a year now. My first post after he died went up on 16 January 2011.
What I need to work out now is, do I go on with this blog in the same way? Or do I broaden the focus a little and use it more as a writer's blog where I try things out?
I don't have to decide right now, and in fact I'll be away again from next week until the end of March (I was lucky with the timing - it perfectly suits a visiting academic couple to look after the house for me). So I won't make any decisions about it until I get back. But I would really appreciate any comments and thoughts you would like to send me about what you want to read here. (Just bear in mind that because comments here are moderated, they may not appear till I get back and put them up.)
Meanwhile, today I went to a book launch in the same local hall where we launched Harvey's last two books, and also had afternoon tea following the private funeral on 31 December 2010. The publisher, Steele Roberts, was the same one that had brought out Harvey's anthology, These I Have Loved, in October 2010. In his speech today, Roger Steele moved me greatly by recalling that occasion and paying a gracious tribute to Harvey. Thank you so much, Roger. It felt like a kind of gentle closing of a circle.
I missed posting here last week because I was feeling too low, in that awful state where everything seems completely pointless. I think it was partly the aftermath of being ill, and partly the fact that my wedding anniversary was coming up and I wasn't sure how I would cope with it. The frightful "summer" didn't help eiither - this week it was officially confirmed that Wellington has had the least sunshine and fewest warm days on record.
But dear Ali came round last Thursday and that made a big difference. Then on Friday I was whisked in to TVNZ's Wellington studios to appear on Close Up, talking about adoption. And fortunately, weeks ago I'd organised a long late lunch for 3 March, as a belated 50th anniversary present for friends (see Golden). I produced a five course lunch and thoroughly enjoyed myself (I'll put a post up about it later this week over on Something Else to Eat).
I knew I'd probably feel rather flat when everyone went home, so I arranged to go round to my neighbour's and watch a DVD. As my contribution, I took round delicious leftover bits of the last course (strawberries, slices of chocolate salami, and a few stray truffles), plus the dessert wine, and that all went down very well indeed. All these goings-on seem to have turned the tide, and I've felt much better since.
My partner of thirty years, Harvey McQueen, poet, gardener, educator, 13/9/1934 - 25/12/2010
The Colour of Food: A memoir of life, love and dinner
This is an e-book - click on the cover to see how to buy it.
This Piece of Earth: a year in my New Zealand garden
Harvey's memoir, now available as an Awa Press e-book - click on the cover to see how to buy it.
At my book launch - Lois Daish, me, Mary Varnham of Awa Press. Click on the photo to go to the book's Facebook page.
MY FOOD BLOG
Click on the lemons to go to Something Else To Eat
Harvey's last anthology, These I Have Loved: My favourite New Zealand poems, published by Steele Roberts, was launched on 10/10/2010. To see what Beattie's Book Blog has to say about it, click on the cover.
"I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most." — Margaret Atwood