This week I moved!
Not into my new home but in with friends while I find my next home.
But the packing is done, thank the Lord. It’s all going to be unpacking from here on in.
That’s freewheeling downhill compared to packing.
And Hannah’s writing the pleasure report again this week.
Yay! We love Hannah.
Hannah’s pleasure report.
So Hi, me again. I got invited back, (yoop yoop) – thanks.
Again, I’m a bit more confident on general rather than specific amounts of pleasure and pain for this bit, so …
Lots of pleasure this week. Not much pain. And a woop woop:comme-ci-comme-ca pleasure to pain ratio
A selection of the pleasure
A morning with Elliot.
Elliot is my neighbour’s kid. He’s always on the lookout for someone to hang out with and I’m often available given my taking-a-year-off-status. So we hang out.
Elliot is clever, cute, a liar liar bum’s on fire and an incredible charmer already. He’s seven, not got many friends, but great fun to spend time with (the other day his sister said to him, “Elliot, what’s LSD?” and he replied, “It’s that thing from the Beatles film, you put it in your mouth and it turns your head into a cartoon”). Not that I’ve even taken any, but isn’t that surely the best ever description of LSD ever?
Elliot and I spent the morning the other day colouring in together and I can tell you, it was me not him that had a mini tantrum when it was time to stop. Now colouring is criticised for stifling children’s imagination, but let me tell you something, when I finish a page and all the colours are inside the lines and the thing is standing there smiling out back to me, I feel pretty darn good. Tidy – tick! Pretty – tick! Completed – tick! Aaaaaahhh, life is good.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.
In bed with a Princess for a whole day.
I still can’t believe I actually did it. I started the day by getting a cup of coffee and some toast and saying, “Hey, you know what, i’ve nothing on today, why not have breakfast in bed?”. Rad or what? So I take my breakfast up and think, well, seeing as I’m here and I’ve got nothing on today, why not read a little? You know, just a little, before I get up and walk the dog. And so I start reading. ‘The Princess Bride’ no less. And I get into it. Then more into it. And then I’m lost in it. The Princess has been kidnapped and the Man in Black is following fast on their trail. Fezzik gets defeated in a fist fight, and Inigo finds out he’s not the World’s best fencer after all. Page after exciting page of ‘what next?’ and ‘no, not him, I can’t believe it’ and ‘flipping heck, I wasn’t expecting that’.
And then the idea comes to me. What if I spent the whole day in bed reading? Not stopping until I finish the book? … gulp …
“Outrageous” “Unthinkable” “Unheard of” “Have I gone mad and do I have no shame?” and other sentiments like that.
Well I did it.
I had lunch, and then dived back into a whole afternoon of swashbuckling, sword-fighting, baddie-defeating, mountain-romping adventure full of great one-liners and tension at every turn. The rain lashed down on my window panes throughout and my dog slept curled up at the bottom of my bed (only sneakily opening one eye every now and then as he knew he was getting much more of a treat than he’s usually allowed too). And the pair of us indulged in the most exciting, laziest day that ever was.
Thank you Princess Bride.
Brown bread and butter
I’ve just discovered the bestest, bestest brown bread in the world. “The Bear” cafe in Todmorden where I live does a very plain, simply home-made brown loaf that gently squidges like a tanned bottom (am I allowed to say that?) and has the purity of taste that can only be complemented by high quality, slightly salted (preferably Welsh) butter.
To toast or not to toast is the only questions remaining.
If unicorn flight were ever an edible substance, it would be that.
I’ve got this really bad habit of not admitting it when I don’t understand everything that someone says to me. I’ve done it a lot in life. I think I might even have done it quite a lot during my degree. And I certainly did it at work.
Not great really.
I was told recently that when I was a child I really wanted to be exactly like my (18 months older) sister and so when she started reading I would sit there with a book and pretend I was doing it too. Maybe it all started then. The pretending to understand and not wanting to admit that I haven’t got a clue what’s going on really thing.
I did it this week with the nice man who came over to talk to me about getting my sofa re-upholstered. I want to do it and it’s going to cost me around £400 so it’s something I really should have a little bit of an awareness of in order to decide which of the many options I want to take.
Oh no, options. I flipping hate options. Because in order to gain something from having options, I need to understand the difference between them. And in order to do that I need to ask questions, the right questions, pertinent questions. And listen to the answers. And worst of all, say if I don’t understand, and ask for the answers to be explained in a different way.
Boooo, I hate that. It’s heavy for me, and oh look, I seem to be feeling very tired all of a sudden, and his mouth is moving and nothing is entering my brain and booooooo, it’s hard being a grown-up.
Me: “That’s fine, I’ll take that one. Thank you so much for you time and assisatance”.
Nice Upholstery Man: “What a pleasant young lady, a pleasure doing business with”.
Me: (to self) “Quick get me out of here. I think I need an emergency ice cream”.
The pain I did something about
Time. I hate time. I flipping hate time.
And how much it sits on my face the whole day long whispering disquieting messages into my ears about ‘how much time’ I’m taking to do something, and ‘how it’s getting late’ for something else, and ‘haven’t I done that yet’, and how ‘it shouldn’t take so much time’ to do the other. And there I am, panting through everyday tasks with this crazy internal sense that I’m somehow late for something or somehow wasting something precious just by taking the time to do it.
Well, believe it or not this actually happens whilst I’m brushing my teeth and putting on my face cream at night. I razz through it like there’s some kind of race to get to bed (“must get to sleep quickly, have you left enough time to sleep, gotta get up bright eyed and bushy tailed for all those important things tomorrow that will end in disaster if you’re not in bed NOOOOOOOOOOW”). And so this very short and necessary process of self care (brushing teeth and putting on face cream) is hurried through and lacks pretty much any quality of care at all.
And then – booom – I stayed over at an Italian friend’s house last week. I mention she’s Italian because I have a hunch that that’s relevant to how much she was taught to care for face, her body, her skin, herself.
To watch her go through her night-time routine knocked me off my feet. The time she took. The care she took. The patience (or what looked and felt like patience to me) to very simply go through the different bits and bobs, the lotions and potions, the creams and balms she uses to go to bed calm, cared for and nourished was amazing. The cream she used nourished her skin, but the time she took and the gentle pace that she did it all in, felt so much like it must have nourished something much more important as well.
This wasn’t vanity, this was meditation.
I was like a child watching her mother for the first time doing something and thinking to herself “wow, when I grow up I’m going to be just like that”.
And so when I got home afterwards I made a solemn promise to myself that from that day forth I would take the time and the care to put my creams on with as much of that serenity and self love (excuse my hyperbole but there was something so wonderful about it) as I could manage. And if (when) I found myself being scurried along my time whispering in my ear to hurry up I would resolutely ‘Stop!’, breathe, and start again once I could re-find that soothing, smoothing pace.
And I’ve done that so far.