Half term and so I have treated myself to a half-day off work! 🙂 But it’s raining 😦 So I can’t go out and take my pictures of autumn berries, but instead when I get home I put the fire on, and settle down to catch up with my blog posts and start Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy.
Look at my wood pile! I made it yesterday and today I was grateful not to have to go out in the rain to light my fire. Last year I was a bit lazy about bringing the wood inside to dry before bunging it on the fire, but it’s not much fun lighting a fire with wood that’s been sitting in the garage. This year I decided to make a bit of a feature of it, although it’s clear that whoever styles your typical White Company winter catalogue sources significantly more prettily cut logs than the ones my local garden centre does.
I’m currently reading Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and Bertrand’s presence is cheating my normal one book at a time rule. However, I’ve reasoned that it doesn’t apply to fiction vs non-fiction. I’ve paused with Tales anyway, as it’s a bit intense. It’s hard to read about someone’s suffering and loneliness for such a long time, however sparky and self aware the narrator is.
It takes me hours to catch up with my blogging. So much has been happening with everyone since I’ve been away! At the beginning of the week I was still a bit tired, and my evenings after work have been spent with my parents.
Yesterday, my parents went to Tunbridge Wells while I was at work. Those of you who have seen my previous posts might remember that my mum loves the idea of Tunbridge Wells, especially as it has grammar schools, and that since Kent and Sussex are neighbouring counties, it might have been an idea for me to send the Lovely Daughters to school there.
Anyway, now that they’ve done the drive – twice, there and back! – I don’t think that this idea is going to resurface.
We sat around in the kitchen having a chat about various things, such as the direction in which our government is taking our Universities, mainly to wait in for the Trick or Treat action. This is Lovely Daughter #2’s pumpkin:
(Lovely Daughter #1 didn’t want hers and so I am going to make it into soup :-/)
Trick and Treat was remarkably restrained this year. I’d catered for around 40! But we got just the one group, of about twenty. It is lovely in our village, as they know all the houses that will give out sweets, and the parents of the small kids get together and organise a small party with hot dogs etc before they go out.
Then we went to Prezzo for dinner, which was a lot nicer than the Ask we went to the night before, and was accordingly much fuller and we had to wait even for our booked table as they were running behind.
I enjoyed my lobster spaghetti – was very impressed by the number of seafood options they have. I love seafood!
(My dish did look a lot prettier before I picked up Lovely Daughter’s mushrooms.)
I am not saying that my life with my parents is bound to go totally swimmingly from here onwards, but I’ve discovered that being definite in life leads to much better results. I mostly grew up trying to avoid situations, and placate if ever there was conflict. And that can lead to so much trouble. Long and short term. And the irony I think is… people don’t really like it. People don’t like it if they think you are trying to please. I imagine people find it tiring trying to second guess others… or it makes them feel nervous, as if it impinges on their own boundaries… or nervous, not really knowing how they are supposed to be… I know I don’t like it, and actually find it positively annoying. I like other people to be definite. But for such a long time, I was not. Weird, huh?
Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for the time and thought that went into replying to my last blog post, and also for all the posts I’ve shared over the last few months. If I hadn’t had all the encouragement and connection that I have had since I started blogging, I wouldn’t ever have been able to think through all my concerns and thoughts to get to this point.
This last picture is a very weird thing. It stems from my previous anxiety whenever I had my parents over that everything looked properly “presented”, so that I could hide from any kind of intimacy and keep them from seeing anything less than a perfect exterior.
Normally I wouldn’t buy flowers at this time of year, as I find them a bit unseasonal, and certainly not for £8 from the M&S garage on the way home from work. But as my parents were coming, I did. And they are the strongest smelling lilies I have ever come across. Even though I have taken the orange bits off, they are actually making me feel a bit woozy. But being of Chinese heritage, I have to get my money’s worth, so they are sitting here looking showy and nice, and I am practically being asphyxiated for a cultural/genetic mixture of comic effect and ingrained propensity for suffering for the sake of… nothing sensible at all.