Thank you all for being so lovely about my last post. I don’t like leaving grim posts up for too long. They’re useful as catharsis, but not to brood over, so I thought I’d counteract the earlier gloom with some of the things that have worked to make me feel better. It’s not that I can’t see the good things, even on the bad days. It’s just that it’s hard, and sometimes it takes until I am in a calmer place for me to really find the peace to appreciate them fully. It’s quiet now. Everyone is asleep and all the demands of the day have fallen away. My head is quieter and my heart is fuller and here are the good things.
Tilly seems to be having a lovely time in France being an au pair. She is being eaten alive by mosquitoes, roasted by boiling temperatures and oppressed by rules about French swimming pools, but otherwise good. She is in charge of two small children and everyone is still alive and smiling. Plus, there are chickens.
The other two are also managing to have a lovely time despite my health handicaps. Oscar has become the most popular child in the world and is hardly here, rotating as he does between the homes of his friends, and fulfilling many of his dreams by going rock climbing and water sliding and paint balling. He comes back to throw stinky clothes in the wash basket, eat me out of house and home and use all the hot water, and then he’s off again. It is a foretaste of the years to come.
Tallulah is spending her time teaching herself to cook, redecorating her room, refining her skincare routine and shopping with her friends. She is content. I know this because she is very good at letting you know when she isn’t.
They all surge backwards and forwards, give me consoling kisses and then vanish. I was feeling guilty about not doing stuff with them earlier, until I realised that actually I’d only cramp their style and they are perfectly happy.
So that is making me feel better.
Also biscuits. Biscuits have been key this week, along with toast made from cheap, white bread. I have a bread maker, but my heart desires Warburtons’, and that is what it is getting, toasted with lashings of salted butter.
I bought a bangle yesterday for the grand sum of 39 pence. I think it may be silver and turquoise, which would be grand. Even if it isn’t, it is thin and delicate and pretty and beautiful to wear. I’ve worn it all day today, running it up and down my arm. It’s such a tactile pleasure.
My mum and aunty came round earlier and took me out for tea and toast, and we sat in the sunshine outside a local cafe and talked rubbish, and they were kind, and it was easy and I didn’t have to try to be anything other than myself, so that’s love right there.
The weather was lovely today and I got to sit out in my garden with my book. Gardening has stopped until my health is better, but I am more than capable of sitting out on the deck, listening to the bees living it up in my lavender bushes, and speculating how long it will be before I can pick and eat the passion fruit off my vine. The sweet peas are busy twining themselves up my pea canes. The roses on the pergola are going into their second bloom and holding their own against the jasmine. My new, Gertrude Jekyll roses are thriving, and even my hydrangea are not dead yet.
I am reading a wonderful book called The Art of Flight by Fredrik Sjoberg. Sjoberg is a Swede who writes about art and culture and nature. In this book he traces the life of a Swedish painter who went on to become one of the foremost painters of the American wilderness. The book is absolutely enchanting. He is a marvellous writer with a wonderful wit and the ability to write about things I generally have no interest about in a way that makes them absolutely fascinating.
Lined up next on the to read pile is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It wasn’t until I started watching the excellent TV series that I realised that I hadn’t read it. I had confused it with Anansi Boys, which is the sequel. I have been saving it for a bleak time when only the best of books will do. It seems apt to break glass with hammer now.
This evening, me and the smols (Tilly’s word for them) watched an Eddie Izzard stand up routine before bed. They’ve never seen his stuff before and it was brilliant to share it with them. We laughed a lot. It was so nice.
Your comments cheer me. Really they do. It is really good not to be alone, shouting into the wilderness, or locked into the bleakness of my own head. You all help to anchor me. It never fails to astonish me, the power of reaching out to people and having them reach back with a word or two that helps steady you just enough to keep on keeping on. Thank you.