Sunday 5 December 2010

Can't Keep A Good Optimist Down, for my website for the Jesus on the Tube paintings and story for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

Can't Keep A Good Optimist Down.  

Today's offering to you all is one of careful and realistic hopefulness.  The day began early, I woke with the dawn chorus and felt dreadful.  What, I thought, is the point of being a bit miserable, in bed on a Sunday morning, and waking at dawn refreshed and unable to avoid the day ahead.  Bah, I said, Bah Humbug.  And shut up birds. 

But then the Optimist who lives in me spoke very softly and said, "If you were to get up and change your sheets, have a long bath, and get back into bed, you would feel good.  The choices open to you then are legion.  Breakfast in bed?  A book?  Computer?  You can even chat on the phone if you feel you have anything to say.  Or, of course, you could go back to sleep."  I listen to my inner optimist.  It has much experience and by now knows plenty of ways to get me out of the Slough of Despond.  "OK Optimist," I said with a grumpy kind of sigh.  "I will go and run the bath and do the sheets thing and I hope you know what you are talking about.  Mumble mumble mutter mutter oh what's the use etc".  Funny thing is, once out of bed and looking at all the different colours of bedding I have in the airing cupboard, I felt a teeny ray of hope.  "Ooooh," I said.  And chose a lovely dark red duvet cover and pillow cases and a fresh crisp white sheet.  "Ooooh."  Once the bed was ready and a huge display of cushions and pillows in place to receive me after the bath, I went to the next stage.  The Bath.  My daughter Alexia always says in an astonished voice and a kind of pantomime mock horror, "Why would you only put one bubble bath in your bath?  I always put at least 12 in mine.  Goodness.  Where are you from??"   With this in mind, I poured a bit of everything from the side of the bath that didn't contain bleach into the water and treated myself to the equivalent of a genteel car wash for people.

Coming back into my room I was struck by how inviting the bed looked and how glad I was that the Optimist had suggested this route to my possible happiness. So before getting back in, I went downstairs into the nearly finished kitchen to make some breakfast and take it back to bed.  Hooray, my little heart sang.  The Rambo Boy is still asleep, he won't need me till this afternoon hooray hooray.  And up I went, back to bed, where I sat feeling clean and pampered.  It has been all downhill from there.  I spent an hour on the phone to the Glorious Clarissa.  Just under an hour on the phone to Darling Dublin Friend and a flurry of fascinating texts to and from Eileen, the Photographer Extraordinaire.  After that, with a whoop of joy, I decided to conquer the world.  Start, I said with huge determination, with the house.  And I did.  I cleaned everything, everywhere, and then hoovered it.  I put on 92 loads of washing, and kept the heating on all day... for the drying, of course.  Oh the luxury.  The naughtiness.  The rebellion.

And so.  By 5pm today, I am at one with my Optimist.  She was right.  To begin the day with a tiny action intended to both please and make progress, is a very good idea.  I am now back in bed.  My room twinkles like a Swarovski Crystal.  Both the Rioting Sons' rooms are washed and an awful lot of Stuff thrown away.   I can walk into both rooms and say "Ah yes, a human lives here.  Funny, I thought it belonged to a Mountain Troll but there, I must have imagined it".  I have also made plans.  One of the most important plans is to have an Avoca chandelier in my sitting room.  The Avoca chandeliers are small and multi coloured and full of fire and passion and light - which must be a good thing because I want to be full of colour and passion and light.  

I have three Angels to paint for very nice ladies indeed for Christmas, and I have another fair to organise!  Yes!  I am going to have one here on the 18 and 19 December and sell Angels and Eileen will sell her wonderful prints.  I then have Christmas to do, and next year, 2011, is filling up fast. Much of the time cleaning today was spent giving myself a bit of a stern finger-wagging talking to, and making a realistic assessment of what I actually did have, and not what I didn't have.  There are so many plans and confirmed exhibitions to look forward to in 2011 that all this smelly nonsense with Rioting Sons, Sadness, Building Work, has to end.  I simply can't take it with me and do any of these exciting things that are supposed to happen next year.  Here is the current list of the places I am going to in 2011.  Some are holidays, some are work.
  • Dublin.  A lot.
  • Norway.  
  • Majorca
  • France
  • Maybe Edinburgh if I can wangle it
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
So here I sit in bed with my supper (scrambled eggs on toast and pot of tea).  The house is twinkling and releasing little butterflies like it does on the adverts for air freshners and laundry products. Boxing Boy is up and fed, 17 Year Old Son is up in his new flat share in London and since I have heard absolutley nothing at all from him after I took him up there and moved him in yesterday, I can only imagine he is up to no good and is thrilled that I can't see.  Or his phone is out of battery and he is so engrossed in his History essays and catching up with his Psychology and English that time has no meaning and he has forgotten to call his dear old mum.   Whatever.  It's all up to him now.  Thanks to my Inner Optimist, I am looking forward to tomorrow.  I can't wait to start my Angels, and later on in the week I am going to London to talk business for A Graceful Death.  My kitchen will be finished and at last I can get my home sorted.  One boy is back in London, the other has taken up boxing and is getting a new hearing aid fitted in blue.  Daughter has a new flat to move to, and I am starting to feel, like my Avoca chandelier, full of Colour, Passion and Light. 

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