15 seconds.

Okay yes – I pushed the boundaries a little too far. I haven’t posted in 23 days. This is the longest hiatus I have allowed myself since I started blogging. Maybe I needed a full-time break, or maybe laziness won me over. But whatever the reason, I have chosen not to be hard on myself. I didn’t have a summer break after all. (excuses, excuses…)

By the way – yes, this is me playing a loose, improvised version of Hallelujah. I promised many of you I would record myself playing and I have 2-3 video versions of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody but I’ll admit I am not 100% proud of them so I shall reflect on whether or not to share one with you. (there’s nothing like a little perfectionism…)

I was in Sofia for two weeks, 5 days of which were spent on a mother-daughter road trip along the northern coast of the Black Sea – a region I had not yet explored. It was no longer bathing season but I am proud to say a did go for a 15 second dip. And in fact, I think that 15 second memory is the one I want to share with you today.


My mum and I are gazing at the October sun slowly dropping towards the horizon. The air is crisp and salty. We have only brought one beach towel. We lay it down and sit, side by side. I close my eyes and feel a certain warmth on my skin. It is no summer blaze, the Autumn sun is more timid. I bury my feet in the cold sand and imagine the sun beating down on me, so hot the sand is burning. I yearn for the scorching summer days, the heavy August afternoons we used to spend hiding under a straw umbrella, the tanning sessions and hourly sprints to the sea.

A breeze sweeps in, gentle on the skin but strong enough to break the spell. I look down at my bare legs. Pale. A string of clouds has rolled in, as thin as a veil and yet, the difference is palpable. Mum whispers my name. A wasp has chosen her thigh to land on. We sit as still as two statues planted in the sand, sharing a knowing smile. The insect is so bored from the lack of panic and gesticulating its kind is used to that it flies away within seconds.

bird flies away

It’s gone 4 o’clock – time to try the water. It is cold. Not quite Brighton-cold where I have seen a few brave souls swim in December but cold enough to make our legs jerk backwards. There was a time when the Black Sea was as warm as a mineral water pool but those times are over for this year. Are we brave enough?

As we stand there, our feet slowly getting used to the water, a plump man and his young, blond kid run to the water as though it is made of candy. No surprise, they are Russian. The man is already far out when I put my foot down.

“I’m going in!” I take a superman pose.

Mum grins. She wants to follow, I can see her eyes twinkling, but she’s afraid for her back and so she stands there, water up to her knees.

“I can’t just dip my whole body!” I exclaim, “I have to swim for 10 seconds!”

She knows where I’m getting at. I have inherited her love of superstitious challenges.

“If I swim for 10 seconds, I’m going to find the perject job, soon, and it will be in my field!” A triple stake.

Mum cheers! She loves it, my determination and undoubted craziness. I’m exhilarated. All of a sudden, the water doesn’t seem so cold any more. With the added stakes, the temperature is more than bearable. And so I take a deep breath, squeal with excitement and dive in.

One, two, three… It is so easy to accomplish what you want. Four, five, six… All you need is a set goal. Seven, eight, nine… and a little trust in the universe. Ten, eleven, twelve… And of course, the more you fight, the bigger the reward. Thirteen, fourteen… so you keep swimming, because you need more bonus points.


I have spent the week since I have been back reworking my whole portfolio and designing a brand new CV. No more waiting.

I have a good feeling…


Thanks for reading.
Hop on my Facebook and Twitter caravans.


22 responses to “15 seconds.

  1. Love your improvisation, as I look out the window of my Canberra B&B at a huge red rose. Love your account of the dip, and the sense of your mother’s presence. May the dream job pounce on you. (I’ve had a blogging break too – wonder how I’ll return to the blogosphere.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful post :) I have listened to and read it several times. It almost brought tears to my eyes. This visit has been good for you. You sound better.

    You must share your video versions of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody. You can’t tease us like that. They may not be perfect, at least in your eyes, but who cares. I for one would like to see and hear them.

    Good luck with the job hunting. I too have a good feeling :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I’m so glad my better mood is showing through and that is it back!
      Ha ha, fine I’ll share it but you have been warned. :D
      I spent all of today crafting applications and sending CVs away. Fingers crossed. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful rendition of the song! Sometimes I think that blogging doesnt necessarily have to be a forever endeavor. But even if you go long periods of time without posting, it’s still a document of your life’s works.


      • I’m touched beyond words to read this. So many of us don’t belong there in the sense that we’ve got some other dream to chase but I like to believe it has been a stepping stone for me. Customer service teaches you a lot of life skills (including how not to strangle someone who treats you like crap! 😄)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh that made my heart beat a little bit faster! I cant listen to that song without tearing up, its so deep and emotional, and you played with such passion. Carys listened with me, she was dancing! Wish you could have seen that… she adores music.

    A lovely, beautifully written post, Ellie. I admire your courage to immerse yourself in that cold water! I couldnt. And I believe the universe will smile on you. You will get what you ask, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now that’s a moving special kind of post; music (jealous,? me? you bet!) And I’m with your mother – let the daft children do the frozen noses bit, but hey go for that job it will happen. Really enjoyed this one and the music… wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Ellie, and great music (I’m a big fan of Leonard Cohen). I do like to hear music played well, and I’m always impressed when I hear it – haven’t got a musical bone in my body.
    Incidentally, I had missed you – and this was an inspiring way to get back in the game


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