Wednesday 6 January 2010

Mumble Mumble Mumble. Sigh. for the A Graceful Death exhibition website. Coming to London in February, will post information when it is finalised for my website

Mumble Mumble Mumble and Sigh. Again.

Why? Why mumble and sigh? Oh for so many reasons. And here, I pause and look thoughtfully out of the window at the falling snow. Then with a small but wistful smile, I continue to type.

Christmas was wonderful. It was stress free, and my children are old enough to take me shopping and give sharp and efficient orders when I can't remember who is in our family any more. My mother cooked the whole banquet, aged 79, and as it was at her house, we could leave early and allow my capable brothers to wash up. After their own fashion.

Alan came to me for Christmas, and I was so proud of him. Eileen came for Christmas and was her usual wonderful self. The tree looked lovely, I managed to find two dwarf hamsters at the last minute for 13 Year Old Son, and replace the loves of his life who died recently. (That is, two other dwarf hamsters, who expired in a teeny teeny blaze of glory a few weeks ago, and got buried in an 8' hole dug in wild weather in the middle of my garden. Dwarf hamsters could probably fit into a matchbox. An 8' burial hole was a measure of 13 Year Old Son's grief, even though they had only been with us a matter of months).

New Year's Eve was so so easy in the end. 16 Year Old Son took centre stage for a while, and furiously texted me and his sister about not having a party to go to. He was very angry. Alan and I were going to the unforgettable Olivia Pemberton's for our (it seems) usual New Year's Eve do. But this was Not On for 16 Year Old Son. First, quite without reason it seemed, everyone else had something to do. Absolutely everyone who was anyone, had a party to go to, or at least Looked Busy. And where did that leave him? Looking unpopular, that's what. Looking like all he could do is go out with his Mum who wears the most embarassing fake fur hat when it's cold, and bloody well talks to people and doesn't know how wierd she is. So the options had narrowed down for 16 Year Old Son - to go off and hang around with people who he didn't want to see, or come with his mummy to her awful old people's boring party. But, out of nowhere came the simplest of solutions. 16 Year Old Son called up one person we had not yet called, the funny and likeable and whacky daughter of my friend here. And this friend, because she is so very nice, said Yes Come To My Party I Will Pick You Up At 7pm. Oh the peace and friendship in our house after that. If 16 Year Old Son is good, Everyone is good.

So now you ask with some impatience, if all is so rosy, why do you both mumble and sigh? Is it your age? Is it the snow? Is it something too deeply felt to name?

It is none of these things. It is, in no particular order, the following -
  • The Cold. I am sitting here in my sheepsking coat, my hat and my warmest jumper. And still my feet are cold. This is Not Good and makes me feel bad.
  • I have just come back from Portsmouth where Alan took me and 13 Year Old Son for a holiday for a few days. It was wonderful and I am sad because Alan has gone home. I think he should be here stuck to my side with super glue.
  • I have just read Alan's son's first novel, and am so very full of that wordless admiration for a young man who can write a complex, intelligent and thoughtful novel while being so very young. He knows so much, does this Son of Alan. He is under 30, but I couldn't begin to formulate a complex plot, despite being nearly 50.
  • I am hopeful that the Son of Alan will have only the best influences around him to nurture his talent. What if anyone says anything nasty to him? I will have to hit them.
  • 19 Year Old Daughter, clever and wonderful child, was working nights last night and after her shift ended at 8 this morning, found that she could not get home in the ice and snow, and new staff couldn't get in. So she stayed on and finally got home in a mysterious 4x4 (How? Who's? An SAS Emergency Nurses Transport Crack Division of the NHS that has to be kept quiet? When I asked her she said Oh He Was Some Kind Of Transport Man. Wonder if he wore a black balaclava and ski suit and smoked cheroots said Ha! in a foreign accent) - and finally got home at 11am. She has to work nights again tonight. Apparantly the Transport Man is coming back to get her but cannot give a time. That is because he will be winched down to her flat from an Crack Division Night Nurse Transport NHS Helicopter at the last minute.
  • And most of all, the reason to sigh and mumble and tut, is that now the Party Is Over. I have to find a way to make things Artistic happen again. It is not easy, and when it succeeds it is wonderful. But nothing falls into my lap. 2010 opened as a blank page, which I have to fill in with wonder and success and hard hard work. It is the hard hard work that I am finding diffucult to start. Oh just one more cup of tea. And maybe something wonderful will fall into my lap.

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