Most of Sunday was filled with the usual sort of household drama. Visitors before I was even dressed and then one of Grace's little friends stayed for an hour or two. While showering I overhead the complex negotiation about who was going to to be the Prince and who would be the Princess and whether one of the dolls could be the wicked fairy. Very funny. Then we had a story, Thumbelina from the book with lots of words and then I folded the washing. Scintillating. After serving the girls lunch, I set up to photograph some carrot dip and discovered that mice have been eating my linen and that the lower cupboard was full of sugar, shredded plastic and mouse poo. Just charming. So that's why my favourite linen tea towells have holes in them (but not the pineapple ones that Suse gave me, they have been used elsewhere and have escaped the ravages of the mice). The girls were quite helpful while I cleaned it all up and when Merri suggested we put our cat in the cupboard to eat the mice, Grace and I just looked at her. Tony's well and truly retired from all that. The oracle of the internet suggests peppermint oil.
By lunchtime though, I had become really, really crabby and started talking about needing to get ready to go back to work and about how much of my sick leave had been spent child wrangling (as opposed to lying on the couch - although I did do a bit of that when Grace was at childcare) and G took Grace down to the house where he is working. I sat by the kitchen window and looked at the clouds and worked on de-naffing a black trench coat I bought at the beginning of my holidays. I removed shoulder epaulets, detail around the wrists and shifted the belt loops down to my natural waist. It was a bit scary working on something I bought new, but it looks so much better. I may even change the buttons.
And during this time I thought about the last seven years and where I am now and what might have been. In previous years I would have gone and looked at my small envelope of physical memories from that time. Some polaroids of our son Frank that one of the lovely nurses took, some ultrasounds and tiny hand prints. I didn't really want these things at the time, but I am glad I kept them. We were offered the services of a proper photographer, for free even, but I had no clue that might be important later. And although I appreciated the thought and care (especially of the volunteers who made them), I never really liked the clothes the hospital gave us either, the materials seemed harsh and scratchy for such a tiny, tiny baby. Or the photos, a baby that age is meant to be still inside you and you can see that. Somehow he looked too exposed and he was. But still I keep these tangible things and they are important to me. Shortly after started working in where I am now, we were burgled and the thieves left all these photos and papers strewn around. I remember Gerard being very anxious and warning me in advance. Now that envelope is in a box in the depths of the shed. I thought they'd be something I wouldn't want until we'd renovated, perhaps even more foolishly I thought we'd have renovated by now. Hah! Oh well, when I do unpack those boxes I can make a nice fabric wallet or something. And I might plant a very special tree in the front yard, something that flowers at this time of year. Or maybe I've already planted the right tree, the quince. I'll think about that one.
Yay for long, long weekends. I must get out in the garden and finish shovelling the mulch that we now just drive over and plant some of the plants I have in pots before the weather heats up. Because we certainly seem to have left winter behind.
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And once again thank you for your lovely words. It's really nice to hear from you, and much appreciated when you've been feeling a bit out of sorts.