|Looking into the distance|
It strikes me that I miss most dreadfully the seemingly endless squabbling and jostling of years past, the trail of socks on the floor, the sideboards heaped with homework, and the multiple trip hazards ascending the stairs.
Our meals are no longer large, disputatious events, but sedate little finishings-up of scraps from the fridge. Even the fridge looks bare, with no need to buy 20 litres of milk every week and gigantic catering-size blocks of cheese, or to make two loaves of bread a day.
|Christmas is coming ...|
We are quite shrunk and denuded, two Aged Ps with one not-so-little Princess, who is more often out singing and sporting and studying than she is at home sitting quietly and amiably at her desk. I have spent many years saying over and again that it takes two to make an argument, and I am now most definitely proved right. The peace and stillness bring that home to me today.
You wouldn't really want us to stay at home forever, they say, and such certainties seem, well, somehow more contingent.
I think back to those Sunday nights when I was the one setting off for the excitements of the world, and departing into the dusk; catching trains and heaving my bags on and off interminably delayed replacement buses, or driving three hours to the back of beyond in the dark and cold without a second thought, always looking forward and never back.
And now I am the one left behind, silently slipping into a new role where I will count down the days to the next visit and eagerly await the considerate phone call dutifully made. I am grateful that I still have one fledgling wanting me to discuss French verbs and common denominators, and after years of firefighting and taking each day as it comes, I begin to think about the importance of setting myself goals, and casting around hopefully for unfulfilled ambitions.
|My faithful friend|
If only I had the time, I said to myself for so many years, if only I had the time, just think what I could do. Now I can walk the dog for an hour at sunrise, and sew quilt squares together in the wrong order, and knit orphan legwarmers for stumpy legs; my afternoons don't end at three, and my day begins unconscionably early.
And now indeed there will be time, time for me to consider Bergsonian notions of le temps and la durée (as I noted so carefully in my copy of 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock' in those years when time was at a premium; I have been rather fond of old Prufrock for many a long year now, and also note with unease a certain personal identification with his plight); perhaps I could learn Latin or sign language (both of which seem rather tempting at this point), or even take those stumpy legs Nordic walking, which would be sure to make them svelte and my socks fall down. Maybe even take photos with the horizon straight.
I'll let you know how I get on.