Five Days – Day 5

Time spent in idle repose (read feet up on a sun drenched verandah) staring at the mountains and accompanied by an armful of trashy novels leads to flights of fancy and whimsical fluff.

I meant to pen a punchy romantical interlude full of moonlight and roses, beating hearts and butterflies yet my internal engine is in idle mode and has led to a vacuum of inspiration. Perhaps it’s because that first flush of romance is a thing of the past? The emotional roller coaster that is a new relationship has evolved into a comfortable partnership between two like minded people who disagree about certain things but agree about so much more.

Some might call comfortable settling for second best, I say to each his own – comfortable is my first prize!

It’s the little things

So I was having a think this morning over a mug of tea (cue fanfare and loud comments of “oh no not again”). I hooked up with my best friend this week for a chai and a chat as she having multiple marital issues. In a nutshell, plenty of money, gorgeous offspring but a total ratbag of a husband. We were sitting on her patio overlooking her newly renovated home with everything material that your heart could desire and she turned to me and said “I’m so very unhappy”. There are various good reasons why she can’t leave his podgy backside and make a new life for herself but that’s for another session, enough material for a book and a movie series.

This whole convoluted cornucopia was the source of my early ruminations. DH and I live in a very old house, it’s a reasonable size mind you (especially for two) but it’s well worn. There’s a lot of DIY work that needs doing and the job jar remains alarmingly bulbous despite everybody’s best efforts during the odd spare 5 minutes grabbed at the weekend. On some days it irks me to the point of despair but on most days I don’t even give it a second thought. You might wonder why, given my type A personality (if I have it correct type A people are those who like everything just so, well-ordered and neat and tidy – if not type A then whatever letter goes with those characteristics, also known as pain in the behind by some.) Well you see, it’s because of those darn little things:-

–          When I get home from work and my husband greets me with a loving warm smile, every day.

–          When we’re at a function and his eyes will find mine from wherever, just to check in.

–          Because he knows that, no matter how upset or miserable I might be, a cup of tea will always cheer me up.

–          Because he respects me and my opinion and we talk, a lot (I think the talking is more a result of us having been together for a goodly while than a natural thing but whatever).

Don’t get me wrong, this is not an all out love fest and there are days when he irritates me so much that if I owned a pair of Jimmy Choos I would be sorely tempted to crack him over the head. On the whole though, when compared to a freshly laid floor, the little things win every time.

The story in a photograph

 

The photograph is from a recent birthday break in the mountains, the story is whimsical flim flam.

 

“Gramps, where are you” she cried. Anxiety made her quicken her pace as she hurried around the corner of the house.

The old man wasn’t answering the phone and Mrs Dimble from down the street hadn’t seen him either.

It was two years since Gran had died, two years today since the sadness took over his every waking moment.

The patio was deserted, the only sign that he’d even been out of the house were his spectacles and his books.

He never went anywhere without his specs.

Her gaze turned to the mountains, strong in their silence and a constant presence.

Surely not,

he couldnt,

he wouldnt,

everybody knew how dangerous the path was – especially after the rain.

Thief of souls

Alzheimers – my mother-in-law has recently been diagnosed with the disease. A bitter and twisted woman on a good day has now transformed into a forgetful, paranoid, bitter and twisted woman – it’s a dreadful situation. My 80 something father in law remains stubborn about accepting help and continues to deteriorate on a daily basis with stress and exhaustion. DH’s siblings are all out of the country and continue to proffer thoroughly useless advice. DH is at a loss as to what else to do and we have settled on providing moral and logistical support to his father as best we can.

My best friend lent me a dvd to watch the other day called The Notebook and despite my initial misgivings (romantic love stories are not really my thing) it turned out to be a wonderfully warm and loving film with huge relevance to the current mental health issues in our immediate circle. Watching the inconsistencies and uncertainties manifest themselves in the lead character was like an obscene snapshot of life in DH’s family home – it brought me to tears, often!

And walking a familiar route, when disgruntled and discombobulated, I must populate a bit of paper with a whirlpool of unco-ordinated thoughts ……………………………

“The plate lay shattered on the floor, food scattered everywhere

Silence

The silence surrounded them, a cloud of confusion swept through her eyes

She was afraid,

He could see that, her lip starting to tremble as she turned to flee

My love, he said, dont leave me

She started at the sound of his voice,

Who are you, she said, her voice rising hysterically with the coming storm.

Where am I, her head twisted from side to side, eyes wide with terror

Jen, he groaned, its me we’re at home my darling

And then, she was gone

The girl with the honey brown eyes and generous laugh,

His lifetime companion,

Stared through him and she started to scream.”

~ xxx ~

Reality Check

I am really busy – life at the moment is a whirling hodge-podge of work at the office, work at home, eat and a sprinkling of sleep. The cliche’d rollercoaster, merry-go-round, hampster wheel, treadmill were never more appropriate! DH is in the same leaking canoe and we pass the hours ensconced at a desk in front of a computer.

Two nights ago, I was to be found perched on our bed with my laptop trying to reconcile a client’s unadulterated abomination of a general ledger. The night was crystal clear and the attraction of my study had lost its appeal hence my migration to cosier climates. On the television was a BBC documentary about a group of wounded soldiers preparing to mount an unaided expedition to the North Pole. The range of injuries was diabolical and despite my best intentions to focus on why one and one wasn’t making two I was drawn to their enthralling story. Their courage, determination and positivity was quite spectacular, especially in the face of incredible odds.

I looked at their faces and it was as though I had been doused with a bucket of cold water. Here I was, complaining about how stressed I was, how much I had to do, how jolly unfair life was in general – reality check! Before I could talk myself out of it, there was hot chocolate in a thermos, blankets under my arm and a very reluctant DH in hand. To be honest, the thought of smacking him with the thermos was in the forefront of my mind because of the repeat commentary “I don’t have the time for this”. We sat on the patio, toasty and comfortable and the heavens provided the light. We talked and we laughed (quietly, it was late and we have neighbours) and just for a while there was him and me.

 
“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson

PS: I see in the last two weeks all I have managed to do is still be busy  – perhaps it’s time I actually listened to myself instead of just writing it down!

Shoot the moon

“Darling”, he said as he came through the study door “what on earth are you doing?” A reasonable question I suppose given that I was precariously balanced on the window sill, arm outstretched through the burglar guard, camera in hand – aiming at the sky…. or a ufo for all he knew!

“Darling”, I replied in my most Annie Leibovitz like voice, “I am trying to shoot the moon”. There was a momentary silence – I was expecting a witty retort along the lines of “Gunfire at the OK corral” instead he offered me a cup of tea and a passing comment that went something along the lines of “I love you, mind you don’t drop the camera”.

Its night shot practice week – I’m sure it should be terribly easy and there’s a wonderful function button on my nikon to facilitate the process but considering I haven’t (yet) worked through the tutorial disk I can only blame myself!

Its a complicated subject the moon – frustrating as a novice “photographer”. The tea was good though – we had it in the garden, prone on the grass, searching for that elusive man in his cheesy surrounds.

Mondays Moon Fact (courtesy of moonconnection.com) – In China, the dark shadows that are on the moon are called “the toad in the moon”.

 

In memorium

Not for any personal loss but for a year that lies on its deathbed. In that respect, there is also the whole rebirth/renewal thing in a few hours time that goes hand in hand with a tsunami of allagorical references.

Can you simply flick the switch on 365 days of life and living or is it human nature to minutely scrutinise each and every episode?

Without rehashing the good, the bad and the ugly, I think an all encompassing summary would be:-

Marriage – good, tightly bonded, approaching two decades.

Career – Obscenely busy, I will catagorically state too busy – the treadmill is out of control.

Social Life – See career – largely non existant.

Health – Surprisingly springy and “in the pink”.

Family – Fraught with upheaval. My SIL has had an epic late midlife tantrum resulting in a ridiculous fall-out with my mom and a gargantuan rift which will require serious patching. My MOL is exhibiting every sign and behavioural quirk of early dementia. It is being denied by the rest of the clan – we face a difficult 12 months.

On a purely personal and self indulgent note, i’d sincerely like to say “thank you” to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and chat on twitter. It’s been my privilege to connect with you and I’d like to extend my heartfelt wishes for a most auspicious 2012!

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darknesson other nights.” Hamilton Wright Mabie