If, like me, you have birthed three boys it’s inevitable that most family days out involve one sports or another… there have been holidays with trips to baseball matches, basketball games, hockey arenas and even a football game in Thailand once. ‘Soccer’ that is, we’re still missing an American Football game.
Yesterday we travelled 3 1/2 North to support the family team – Liverpool – in their glory journey towards Premiership victory. (Or so we hope, anyway).
First… this is us (unauthorised posting of photos coming up)
I’ll be in trouble for this, I hope you appreciate it!
And then we entered the stadium… first impression? how small it is. On tv the perspective is all wrong, but sitting there it felt intimate, like a live performance at the theatre…
Second impression? the noise. A good noise. A common sound, a chorus of voices united for a while for a common purpose, tied together by a shared love. I don’t think it matters that what’s shared is the love for a spherical object and eleven men in red – or whatever other colour – , I love sport when it does that, erasing the differences for a little while. (And yes I know there are things in football that need ‘attention’ shall we say… racism is unacceptable for example… but there is also a lot of good… and last night, it brought a smile to my face.
Liverpool won. Everybody was happy, well the opposition fans weren’t… and the long way back didn’t feel too long.
Also… who knew they pitch got watered??
A good day. A very good day.
Two posts in one day. What is going on?
I tell you what’s going on… I’ve just finished reading this:
I wonder what do authors of novels think when someone manages to read so much into their work… does JK pat herself on the back or does she have a good laugh? I guess novels are a sign of their time and analysing them it’s a good way to analyse the state of things, they way we are, where we are… maybe? What do you think? Let’s discuss.
Today I was tidying away some summer jackets that had avoided the purge and at the bottom of the cupboard I found a box of handmade shawls. Do you remember when hand knitted shawls were ‘the thing’? To be honest they might still be the thing for all I know… they’re just not ‘my thing’ anymore. Who said ‘the past is a foreign country’? (Google tells me it’s LP Hartley, the opening line of ‘The go-between’, which I haven’t read and I now want to, badly).
I felt slightly guilty looking at them, they represented the past, hours spent knitting or crocheting, souvenirs from a time that I struggle to connect with now. Some of them are beautiful and I will keep them, some I might even use, after all the weather has turned really cold recently… But they also made me a little sad, like looking at photographs of old friends I haven’t seen in a while because life has moved on in a different direction.
I’m rambling I know, perhaps it is only a displacement strategy to avoid reading essays from the Postcolonial Studies Reader that’s been staring at me since yesterday.
Also, have you seen the ‘Modern Love’ series on Amazon Prime? I love it. It’s like reading short stories except you can do it while ironing. (These are unique stories about the joys and tribulations of love, each inspired by a real-life personal essay from the beloved New York Times column “Modern Love.” Amazon.) Real feel good factor, and who doesn’t need a daily dose of that?
I have chocolate in my desk drawer bought for the boys advent calendar that might get eaten ahead of that. By me.
Today I bought my first Christmas presents. Small things. Probs for the stockings. But I’m stuck for more ideas for stocking fillers for teenagers, I need some serious help. And please don’t say socks or pants. I’m currently drowning in mismatched socks and pants that are all the same except they’re not but they look it and I’m constantly getting it wrong. Yes I am aware that they could be doing their own laundry but I just don’t have the energy for the fight that would require.
Mr M is watching the recording of a football match he watched live two days ago. I’m sure there are doctors for this.
The dog is snoring loudly on the sofa next to me.
Have you ever read anything by Ursula K Le Guin? Me neither, but recently I keep seeing references to her and I feel the universe is trying to tell me something.
The keyboard of this computer is a little busted… it keeps typing ‘oo’ when I need oonly oone… it’s totally annoying.
I gifted myself a subscription to ‘Granta’ magazine and I couldn’t be happier.
I must do some work. Stop distracting me.
That sounds like the title of a book, doesn’t it?
It isn’t, it’s only a telegraphic account of my Saturday adventures when together with my parents, I visited Gloucester Cathedral – always a pleasure btw – such an incredible building…
I was really curious to see the moon installation right in the middle of the big nave… awesome… It’s a 7m (23feet) spherical, helium inflated structure created by Luke Jerram and illustrated with photos of the moon by the NASA Lunar Reconnessaince Orbiter. It’s simply mesmerising. The incongruous location increases the wow factor I’m sure, but you just can’t stop looking at it… it’s magical…
… it’s so realistic… it appears almost suspended in mid air…
Isn’t it amazing?
After that, we had tickets to visit the library I never knew existed… you know me and books, right?
Well, the story goes like this: back in the 1400 the Benedictine monks realised that keeping the books they were studying/copying whatever, in the cloister wasn’t a good idea. Extremely cold temperatures and dampness wasn’t good for them or the books so they build what at the time was the first purpose built library in a monastery in the whole of the England. They built a sliver of a building hight between two other buildings’ roofs and there they studied and collected many precious books.
When Henry VIII ordered the dissolutions of all the abbeys, he turned St Peter’s into a Cathedral instead and because it was, even then, famous for its music and choir, and he was rather keen on sang celebrations he kept the library as a school for the chorister to learn latin and so on so they could read the songs etc etc. It was 1541.
Unfortunately the books held in the library at the time got all taken when the old monastery got pillaged by a bankrupt Henry; he might have set up the school and kept the church but he made sure that anything of any value got taken away… The library remained and the collection is slowly growing with time, although none of the books are from earlier than the 1600s.
Still super cool, panelled in wood and full of old books. Heaven.
My mother in law passed away, suddenly but peacefully yesterday morning. Her death has left us all raw and slightly stunned.
She was a beautiful woman and is already greatly missed.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Nothing gold can stay (by Robert Frost)
Rest in peace, Bobbie.
… 2ndweek of Uni underway. Initial thoughts? Many and varied ones.
(This post has nothing to do with fruit crumble by the way, the photos are just here for the ‘bants’).
It’s a strange feeling to be sitting in a room with young people the same age as my eldest, trying not to act like a ‘mum’ and refraining from saying things like ‘a coke and chocolate bar is not really a good lunch’ or ‘it’s cold out there, you should be wearing more than a crop top this time of year’ or ‘maybe going to bed a little earlier might be a good idea’ or ‘’sit up straight’ etc. etc. You get my drift, right? And so far I’ve managed to stay quiet… but what the point is… who am I in these situations? I am a mother, I am a 49 yr old woman in a class of 19yrs olds, I come with a whole load of baggage and experience and ‘life’… should I ignore it? How stupid would I look down in the student bar downing pints or shots of whatever young’uns drink these days. Nobody needs to see me in a skimpy vest, and I’m not about to get a tattoo… and I’m very aware that in open discussions my comments reflect all this… is this bad? stupid? or do I offer an added dimension that they can ignore at will, because let’s face it… find me a 19yr old who listen to their mother…
So, tell me. Who am I? because, ‘mother’ is not enough, nor is ‘wife’ and definitively ‘student’ is not enough. All those are a part of who I am… I’m simply doing this because I wanted to fill my time, because I needed to engage my brain, because I love books, because it’s a fabulous challenge… ‘mature student’ is even worse. What does that even mean… it seems to me to be a euphemism for ‘old student’. I don’t feel ‘old’, old means having given up on things… and I certainly haven’t.
Maybe I need to stop trying to define myself. Who said we need a badge? I am who I am, like everybody else I’m multifaceted and cannot be squashed into one word. Like the young people around me I can be silly and immature and happy and depressed and insecure and confident and mature and old and wise and responsible and irresponsible and smart and stupid. We’re all the same, although to be honest, two drinks are enough for me, and they’re mostly still in bed while, by 9.45 this morning I had done one set of laundry, filled the dishwasher, finished the ironing, made my bed, dropped a forgotten folder at school to No 3 and prepared tonight’s dinner…. Just saying)
I think it’s a slight case of impostor’s syndrome creeping in. I do feel conspicuous sitting in class surrounded by people who were born after the first 4 Harry Potter books were published, and I do feel like hiding at the back if it wasn’t for the fact that I can’t see the screen/board properly if I do…
Let’s have some crumble.
BUT BUT BUT… I’m also loving it. I love to see young people around me, having fun, ‘chatting breeze’, I love to discover new stuff, tiring my brain on new ideas… and my modules this year are totally fabulous: post-colonial literature (never even knew it was a thing, and now I do and love it), ½ semester on children’s literature (I get to read Little Women and Harry Potter… as homework!), Shakespeare from a social history point of view (fabulously interesting, clever boy old William) and a class on philosophy (which I think should be compulsory for everybody).
… too be or not to be… maybe that it’s not the right question… we should all just be the best we can… and now if you’ll excuse me I have a washing machine to empty…
I was starting to beat myself up for not showing up here when I realised it would have been completely stupid. Blogging is meant to be a pleasure, a time-out activity, not a chore… so why should I beat myself up if I don’t do it? I’m certainly not getting paid for it! So I let go and just ‘was’ for a bit and it felt good. It’s been busy but don’t ask me to show anything for it… just life, and it’s enough.
I’m trying, trying being the operative word here, to get stuff ready for our big holiday to Japan but it’s the case of one step forward and two steps back. Two hours ago WHILE FOLDING SOCKS… my back went so now I’m walking around bent like an old woman and with a heat patch on my lower back. The exact the same thing that ruined my ski holiday two years ago. Talk about timings.
We celebrated No 3’s 14th birthday. (14yrs old, my baby, sigh). Family dinner with ‘nonna’s lasagna’. Can’t beat that. Here’s us, D-squad, unusually we all have our eyes open although my hair looks positively dodgy.
On Friday was my parents 50th wedding anniversary and my brother has flown in from South Sudan to celebrate a mass and spend some time with them. We haven’t seen him in a year so it’s a double celebration. Don’t tell him, it’ll go to his head.
No 2 is in mourning for the cancelling of Boardmasters music Festival due to bad weather; he’d been looking forward to this for over a year and him and his friends and completely gutted. It’s a real shame they didn’t get the chance to go. On top of that Instagram has inexplicably deleted his account so you can imagine how much he’s loving life at the moment.
Lilli the ferocious beast, is trying to eat a fly. Unsuccessfully. (And quite hilariously).
There’s a rugby match on tv so nobody is doing any packing for the next 80 minutes or so. Obviously. Sigh.
Did I mention my back hurts?
I love weddings.
The happiness, the flowers, the dress, the smiles and the cheesy toasts, the dancing…
This weekend Mr M and I drove South to Richmond for a wedding at the Bingham Hotel, a lovely place right on the river. Shame the weather didn’t quite play ball.
Our room was on the top floor with a lovely view and restful mid-century inspired decor and of nice details.
The Ceremony was held here:
The readings were lovely too, one from Winnie the Pooh and this one which was new to me, but it’s totally brilliant.
I wanna be yours by John Cooper Clarke
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
Let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
For those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
When you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
Take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
You’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
Hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
That’s how deep is my devotion
… and everybody looked amazing… exquisite attention to details… and the flowers… don’t get me started on the flowers… perfection…
We had a really lovely time.
The big rain held off for a while so we had the chance to spend time in the garden right by the water.
We danced and had waaaay too much wine… not our usual weekend at all…