Better Late than Never

It’s strange to think it’s a year since I last wrote a blog post – it feels like the time has gone in the blink of an eye. I didn’t mean to disappear for so long, but somehow, I felt like I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say. Studying seems to have that effect on me – the more I learn and the more I am immersed in other people’s words, the less I feel I have to contribute.

I’ve spent the past year writing and creating works for performance, hanging out with people mostly a decade younger than me, and generally living a life that is about as far away from my old one as possible. Walking away from the path of ‘supposed to’ has been incredibly freeing, exciting and not a little bit unsettling. My peers all have big and important jobs, and impressive salaries. They’re all moving out of London, buying houses, getting married, having babies. We’re in our late thirties now – the time for experimentation is supposed to be over. While I’ve chucked in my secure job and gone down a path of uncertainty and precarity, everyone else I know is settling into security. It’s been hard, sometimes, to be so out of step with everyone else. Going against the grain isn’t easy. But I can’t deny it’s also a lot of fun!

So here I am, embracing the artistic life, and totally uncertain about what the next year will bring. But one thing I do know – I’ll be back in this space, documenting my thoughts, discoveries and adventures – and I’m looking forward to sharing them all with you. Thank you for waiting for me.


  1. Elaine Pew says:

    I admire your spunk and desire to move out of the box as it were. I went back to school to study art history in my thirties, it was one of the most enjoyable time of my life. Go for it! Cheers, Elaine Pew Alna, Maine

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you so much Elaine!

  2. Caroline says:

    How good to hear from you again! I have dropped by here from time to time – finding no news, I assumed that you were completely immersed in forging your new path. I admire your courage and determination. It is encouraging to think that the time for experimentation has no expiration date. I am glad that we will hear from you again occasionally. I am looking forward to that.

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you so much Caroline – I really appreciate that. I’ll be around much more from now on, I promise.

  3. rowana10 says:

    I checked out your blog site yesterday and here you are again today! Well done for following your heart and changing direction. I’ve done the same myself, retraining at 50 and finding myself in a final career when I was nearing 60. I wish I’d done this earlier and you’ll have many years ahead to follow your artistic interest.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks so much, and welcome! And congratulations on your own life change – what a courageous thing to do at 50! I hope I’ll keep changing as I age and never stand still!

  4. Jane says:

    What a great choice you’ve made, although it isn’t easy to go against the grain. Looking forward to reading your posts!!

  5. Hurrah! Lovely to see you here again, my friend.

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you 🙂 x

  6. Good to hear from you again, Rachel. Welcome back!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks Debbie! It’s good to be back!

  7. Dianne says:

    Brava! And it’s so lovely to hear from you. I’m looking forward to all your new adventures and posts.

  8. Pamela Bentley says:

    So glad you are back. I’ve missed your posts. I just stayed at Goodenough College and found a link to Square Hauntings in your email. My fabulous public library in Columbus Oh has the book. Can’t wait to read it and come back

    Sent from Mail for Windows

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks Pamela! Oh how wonderful – I just walked past Goodenough today on my way home from the supermarket (Waitrose at Brunswick Centre) and thought of that book and how wonderful it is. I hope you’ll enjoy it and that it’ll bring back happy memories of your trip!

  9. Jenny Holden says:

    It’s lovely to see you back. Very refreshing to hear about someone doing what they want and not following the herd as most do. Can’t wait to hear more! Jenny

  10. Welcome back, and good luck!!

  11. Deborah says:

    Glad you are back and have sent your newsletter to a daughter who is spending several months in Britain soon – one who also left a more standard position for creative freelance work in writing and content creation and more. Wishing you well!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you so much – and wishing luck to your daughter too. If she needs a friend then don’t hesitate to let me know!

  12. BookerTalk says:

    Lovely to have you back with us again. It takes courage to turn your back on one path of life and to begin down a completely different path. So glad you are enjoying it!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you so much!

  13. Christine says:

    Welcome back!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks Christine!

  14. So glad you’re back! I’ve missed you. Sounds like you’ve had an exciting year. I can really relate to moving away from ’supposed to’. It’s wonderful that you’re doing something for you. Looking forward to hearing all about it and of course what you’ve been reading x

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thank you so much! It’s very freeing to not have the shackles of expectations around your ankles anymore isn’t it! x

  15. Barbara Fairfax says:

    This all sounds very exciting and adventurous and I’m sure you are having a load of new experiences. Look forward to reading about them! Wishing you all the best x

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks very much Barbara! x

  16. Mary says:

    How lovely to see you back, Rachel. Your new life sounds great – and don’t worry, you can always do middle age in your 60s if you feel you’ve missed out!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks Mary! Lovely to be back 🙂

  17. dianabirchall says:

    Really glad to see you back, Rachel – it is like seeing an old friend, even though we are only virtual! I have missed your stories and observations about your life and reading. Also I’m glad you resist the pernicious idea that the time for experimentation ever ends, or “should” end – who thought up that one? It is a gift to be able to pursue your artistic path; many people are prevented from doing just that, and often stick to deadening jobs, for reasons ranging from family pressures and financial constraints, to fear of being different. As an older person, I can tell you that my happiest retrospective thoughts are not about my “day job” (though I had a very good one), but about my reading, writing, and traveling life. And my family – but that family most definitely chose the artistic path: my husband is a poet, and I was the family earner! Yet I don’t know a happier long term marriage than ours, so I testify that the road you choose yourself, even it’s not following the herd, can have rich satisfactions. And I look forward to reading your adventures again!

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks so much Diana – I always appreciate your words of wisdom and as always I find you an inspiration and an encouragement! I will hold on to this excellent advice 🙂

  18. Steve Clark says:

    It’s super to hear from you again. You’ve been missed.

  19. Elle says:

    Welcome back!

  20. Hugs to you, old friend! And as much as it can feel like there’s one correct path or script that everyone else is following, it’s of course not the least bit true. You’re doing amazing. ❤

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks Jenny! 🙂 xx

  21. Aileen says:

    I’m so glad you’ve posted again, and I enjoy listening to you and Simon on the Tea or Books podcast. I don’t think it’s ever too late to make a major career change and I hope you find fulfillment in your new path! I chucked my career at age 53, 10 months ago, so I’m still feeling some uncertainty, but I would never go back to my old job.

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks so much Aileen – and congratulations on your new start, as well! I wish you all the best with it – I totally understand the uncertainty – and I’m still dwelling in it at the moment, but I’d rather that than feeling stuck and stagnant!

  22. pdgromnic says:

    I’m in my early seventies now, retired for about six years. People who are ten years younger than myself seem unrelatable to me. The abrupt changes from the sixties to the seventies seemed to make an unbridgeable gap, even at the time. How did you get along with your younger friends? I do get along quite well with people older than me though.

    1. Book Snob says:

      That’s very interesting. I’ve found it not very difficult at all to get along with people ten years younger than me, though I think they look to me for advice I’m not necessarily qualified to give! I’ve enjoyed feeling young again!

  23. gina in alabama says:

    How wonderful to find you back1 I really missed your blog. Did you ever revisit the lost garden and the abandoned country house you visited a few years ago? It has stayed in my mind ever since.

    1. Book Snob says:

      Thanks so much Gina! Oh – yes – my sister has moved house now so I’ve not been back in a while, but I did do some more exploring and found further structures in the wood – it’s hard to tell what they were and I’ve never been able to find a proper site plan of the grounds – but it’s certainly a magical place with more secrets to uncover. I should go back this autumn – it’s a great place for blackberry picking, too!

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