Friday, July 30, 2010

My kith and kin

Lots has happened, yet nothing has, this is the way things seem to go. The holiday relaxation wore off really quickly. I am hating being back at work full time. I don't miss having 40% less pay, however. Swings and roundabouts, eh.

Last weekend was a time of intense DIY and cleaning, getting Mum's house ready to go on the market. I have never seen the place as my home. It's just as well that we aren't dealing with our long-mourned family home, the house Mum moved from 9 years ago. Had she still been living there, we'd all have fallen out by now, having to change the locks every ten minutes, or attempting to live in caravans in the garden. Bricks and mortar, funny how we get so attached to them.

The family is all getting pissed off with each other. We aren't good at spending time together. Being with them is like being locked in a car travelling from John O'Groats to Land's End, with no chance of a toilet/petrol break. There's an awful lot of teeth-gritting going on. We do our best, but I can't help but feel that this will change once Mum's affairs are tied up and finished.

On the plus side, much quality time with The Dog, who went crazy with excitement when we arrived, slept on our bed (verboten in my Mum's house) and rubbed her head in fox poop while out walking, which necessitated her having a swift bath, which nobody enjoyed.

Lots of other bits and bobs I could carp on about here but I don't really see the in short, I've been going out and doing more, catching up with people over drinks, and organising my next holiday (Cornwall, in September).

Living for weekends, missing Mum and The Dog and wondering how things are going to turn out - that's essentially what's preoccupying me at the moment.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

You can't get a grip if there's nothing to hold

I've been putting this off for a while, so I'm going to launch in.

In reverse order:

We went to a house party for the Clouses, who are moving back to Austin. Boo for the UK, hooray for Texas.

We both came back from our holiday with stinking colds and deafness in one ear (an incredibly steep ascent into Gatwick will do that to your hearing).

We went on holiday to a hotel outside Albufeira on the Algarve. The hotel was nowhere near anything, which was excellent, and on the one day we decided to catch up with civilisation, we ran away whimpering (Albufeira is full of Brits). Our hotel was near two perfect beaches, so we did a lot of paddling. To be honest, my holiday mostly consisted of me sleeping, watching Fox, eating, sitting about and feeling miserable. Not vastly different from being at home.

I had to deal with the day that would have been Mum's birthday. It was my last Monday off under my part-time regime and I was in a peculiar mood, so took the bus to Hampton Court, where I sat about feeling immensely sad. Instead of getting the bus back to Kingston, I took the boat. Mum loved doing the boat trip the last time she came to stay. There are many more days like this to come and I suppose it could have been worse (I might have ended up at home lying in a darkened room). Unfortunately, that doesn't make me feel much better.

We went to Becky and Dai's fancy dress wedding party (me as Velma from Scooby Doo, JJ as Tommy Cooper). It was a fun time marred by our having to stay in the hottest hotel room in the world: I woke up at 2.30 in the morning, convinced that my organs were cooking inside my body.

I dealt with a pile of the necessary death-related stuff - solicitors, banks, estate agents. I almost wish it wasn't the case, but I seem to be able to switch on the business brain every time. Someone has to take charge; it may as well be me.

That's it really. Things just continue on. I'm back at work full time as of tomorrow, which fills me with dread. I wish I could say something positive like "I feel like I've turned a corner" but I haven't, and I probably won't, for months yet.