Having offered some initial thoughts and also posting a couple of ongoing blogs, it became clear to me that, as a freelance, the opportunity to put anything into regular practice would be compromised, so in an attempt to ensure a healthy balance, I decided to take charge of my diary at the end of the spring term and to make sure that I had a clear week, just before the school holidays began in my local county, in order to travel to my small house in la France profonde, to do some heavy duty tree work and gardening. It was a head clearing experience, as the loudest noises were the dawn chorus and the cuckoo, which arrives earlier in that part.
The other thing that I have been able to fit into a variable timeframe has been some reading. For many years, I was an avid collector of the novels by Georges Simenon, who is best known for his Maigret detective series, which eventually ran to over seventy titles. I have managed to collect all but one of the books in English and a large proportion in French too, so that I am able to dip in and out of the two languages, especially in preparation for travelling.
For the past couple of months, my relaxation reading has been the Maigrets in order, reflecting on the development of what became an ever simpler, cinematographic style of writing. Once the stories were taken up by television and film, the style almost created the background script. They are a reasonably light read, especially before bedtime. They fall into the oldie but goodie category. However, I may well delay getting into the 200 or so novels which is the larger part of the rereading project.