Saturday, April 9, 2011

Homeward Bound

Weird isn't it, how you can't wait till you get somewhere view detailsand once you're there, you can't wait till you leave. My life is weird at the moment because I am not comfortable anywhere. I once spent two hours in Dubai airport waiting to change planes. It was 25 years ago and I was shocked to see soldiers with guns - waiting for something to happen - expecting it to.. menace was in the air.Military soldier holding his rifle

There was an unhappy moment where I squatted down at the top of an escalator to see if what was at the bottom was worth the ride. Escalator-peering must be an espionage technique for I caused a bit of a furore. I wonder now whether they were ready to spring into action lest I decommissioned it by piddling on it, thereby inducing an amber alert electrical mishap with a side order of duty free inconvenience, but if not that then I am clueless. If any agents out there know what havoc I might have wreaked in a halterneck , feel free to get in touch as it has been an irritating ponderance my whole adult life.
Anyway, that's where I feel I am..Dubai airport. I am in a slightly menacing holding bay. I am also in my childhood home, which normally induces a mixture of alcoholism and indefatigable fatigue along with bouts of shopping. I had never realised before I wrote it that both sides of my bipolarity can be in play simultaneously. The last time I was here (not long ago) I noticed that the heady mixture of being in the warm bosom of my (male) childhood friends whilst drinking alcohol, Man raising hand at barset off a manic phase that I heroically struggled to control for 2 weeks afterwards as well as the inevitable depression for 3 weeks after that. It must have always been thus. So, when I saw them this time, I limited my beer intake, drank lots of water and reminded myself that nothing new will happen unless I do something new.view details I feel OK, I feel quite good and I'm not tired. I truly believe that I deserve more than my usual merry-go-round. Will this realisation alone, limit some of my phases? I frikkin' hope so.
Sadly, I came home for a funeral. I seem to be at that age when the older generation are thinning out and we have to step up to take their place. In the ghosts of that crematorium, I was flanked on all sides by friends with greying beards . Where I used to be able to balance my drink on the calm of their abdomens, now middle aged spread fights with waistbands but I felt supported and loved and sad . We have staggered through this life's journey together so far and view details it hasn't been an easy one for any of us. It isn't an easy place to begin a journey. But regardless of years and distance, we have made this friendship work- them and me. They visit1 at a time or together; with or without families in tow and I 'come home' to a place that never was home, even when I knew nothing else.

 They love to see the grey in my hair emerging, they treasure every change. I treasure them. There's something wonderful in growing old together but I knew then, in that crematorium, that the chances of us being uninterrupted by fate were shrinking.The inevitable would be knocking on our door shortly with it's tales of percentages and one day at a time-ness. But for now, we all stand together for our friend who has lost her dad but not her mates, not yet by any means.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PJ's and Primary Schools

view detailsJust done the school run in my PJs and slippers. I know what you are thinking... and you can rest easy. I wore a coat over my dressing gown. I was in the car, so folk only saw my top half and I was careful not to let my daughter out of the car until the pavement was clear and pedestrian parents couldn't squint at my footwear. I am wearing the pyjama bottoms that my dad tells me makes me look like the rear end of an enormous zebra. I would take offence but he only got this view when he made me look at some 'truffles' in my garden which turned out to be toadstools spawned by the damp (and frankly untended conditions) in the front garden. He was all for me entering Masterchef with them before we sought a second opinion.

Off on a journey today and I have enormous amounts of things to do first. Shan't do any of them, I know this by experience. The family and I will turn up with the usual combination of mismatched items that make us look as though we are from the Dennis-The-Menace school of fashion. It's not that we don't have matching outfits, it's just that I am shocking at packing, and I seem to have passed it on.
The house will remain untidy till my return and I may or may not remember to temporarily rehome the Hamster-with-an-Asbo. Neighbours are now used to panicky texts giving instructions in retrospect. They are fine with that as long as they have time to barbed-wire their kitchen cupboards.

Gerbil on the top of its wheel, exercising

The DVDs that I am determined to take back to the library today, will no doubt be due a fine by the time I get back. The daughter I am due to pick up from a dancing extravaganza, half an hour before we get on the train, is only small and easily forgotten.  Her teacher will probably have to post her to me.....Again!!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

To drink or not to drink....?

Hmm. Had a bit of a tough day. Not tough compared to saving the world from man-eating sponges and not tough compared to driving an aerial taxi in your vest.. .... but tough compared to winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Underwear and then going home to cheese on toast and a Lambrusco with Colin Farrell. It was definitely tougher than that.
It has centred around provision for a child -my child- with special needs to go to secondary school. It depresses me just to have the need for the meeting.  Anyway, in the scheme of things, I am hugely lucky with her as she is as happy as the day is long and the more I see of this world, the rarer I know that to be.
Actually, I can learn so much from her. She is unfailingly cheerful and copes with her limitations unquestioning -for the most part by ignoring them. She gets the biggest cheer at sports day from all the parents, reducing some of them to tears with her gung-ho cheerful determination to compete and finish in the best time that she possibly can. In her first year at school, a teacher nearing retirement came up to me (having taught my eldest two children too) saying:
"You have a very special child there". if I didn't know that..:)
And yet..and yet... every physio appointment, every meeting with the paediatrician, every school review leaves me feeling hollow. I want someone to scoop me up and put me in bed and smooth my hair and tell me it's all going to be alright. Instead, I am just exhausted.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eat,Pray, Love

Is that what a coincidence is I wonder? Is it paying attention at the right times?

Recently, I have developed DVD attachment syndrome; the main symptom of which is a complete inability to return a book to the library without the urge to rent 5 movies whilst I am there. view details
Generally, I have the movie constitution of a primary school kid. I like the odd psychological thriller if I am feeling dangerous, or an adventure story, but cannot abide anything with violence, drugs or risky behaviour. Not because I have not had my fair share of experiencing them, but because it's not my idea of relaxation and escapism. It makes me uncomfy when I am sitting on the sofa. 'Passport to Pimlico' is my idea of a perfect film.                                                                                           Sun patterns

However, the films that I am choosing in all innocence at the moment, seem to be popping out of screen to give me bipolar-coping lessons. F'r instance, I rented 'Eat, Pray, Love'. I find that although I am not a huge fan of Julia Roberts, she is- as Douglas Adams would say - mostly harmless. Javier Bardem on a saturday night (or indeed on any other) would do any girl good, but beyond Javi, it is a film about acceptance of the self and it highlights that meditation can be a real struggle when you begin to make it part of your life. It can often seem too hard, but the benefits come with perseverance. I had reached a meditation crisis and it was reassuring to know that it is quite common. This despite the fact that the film itself had major flaws and the symbolism and cinematic devices were crowbarred in with such finesse that they might as well have just stamped ' POORLY THOUGHT OUT METAPHOR OCCURRING' over the image and we'd have all nodded in sympathetic agreement.

cosmic powers,levitating,levitations,meditating,meditations,men,metaphors,persons,supernatural powers

Then there was Julie and Julia. The awesome Meryl  Streep, Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci came out of my screen to sit beside me on the sofa and give me the benefit of their experience . Both women were looking for some routine, some passion to adhere to daily in order to give their life meaning. That the Amy Adams character did her searching through a blog blew me away. Isn't that how I am making sense of my life? I am now up to 7 people who have wandered through accidentally and yet I love this blog. It's saving my life. Amy and I keep plugging away through distraction and rejection with determination because we want to change.
Regular readers (ha!) will know that illness is a flag-point for panic with me and so an impending doctor's appointment had me in a tailspin. But, I remembered the words of that well known philosopher Hugh Grant, who in 'About A Boy'  measures out his time in units  " Haircut; one unit." So, I planned the time to the appointment in units. I did some painting (2 units) , spent a couple of hours with Meryl and Stanley (4 units) and planned a blog entry (3 units).  Horrible wakefulness, moulded into pleasure by me..and Hugh...and Stanley...and Amy... and Meryl.

coincidences 3

people from your street on holiday
arts centre meditation change day

Madrid-angolan DJ, yet walked back and forth the esplanade ad infinitum when I knew he was there somewhere and no luck!
Stu, no coincidence didn't miss him when he was away!! :)

Audio books... add to blog.

Ondine- modern day fairy tale- dark as life..not so sure about that
P thinks there's no such thing as a coincidence- Mrs Appleton etc. 2nd person   Debbie..
article I wrote, Julia chose magazine and soundtrack of your/our life/lives....
Use them, learn from them, let them fuel you.Maybe bit like the I ching, take what you want, the rat, rabbit brain etc.

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