And they were kind to me, who was lonely for a peer group in this village, which seemed to be God’s waiting room. I was given cuttings for my garden and secret recipes for simnel cake. Ever a fashion victim I was soon sucked in to the twinset and pearls which was smart and flexible for the county show. My other disguise, chameleon that I am, was the ubiquitous fleece, jeans and green wellies as I struggle in and out of the obstacle course of our cottage over the cement mixer, planks of assorted sizes, paint splashed stereo, shingle and mud which now filled our kitchen as we had the builders in. When not in court shoes as a charity worker I was a welly-booted full time project manager, making tea and deciding on where walls, lights, cookers and basins would be, when we again possessed such luxuries… as that winter I was reduced to washing carrots in the washbasin and making delicious but same-tasting stir fries in an electric frying pan on the floor of the dining room. It was a cold winter and the dining room had a temporary door shored up with pages of the builder’s Sun scrunched into insulation. The fridge remained outside this door and we soon abandoned it as a carrier bag just outside the door in what used to be our living room was just as cold. We were roofless in December for the mulled wine and mince pies I made for the builders and it rained on the Christmas tree I had put in the living room to cheer myself up.
What is it all about?It depends if you see life as one of those etch-a-sketch where you strive to write your story, create your image, before the divine hand of fate, Thomas Hardy style reaches for the plastic-easy-facile button linked to the wire-noose-line and wipes the slate;
The aran was in place good for a hug, the central toasty, and the advice consistent, we’ll be alright if we eat enough.
Inside the white of the mist we felt there was no one else, just us two, and we shared the ultimate intimacy that can be shared between a man and a woman. When next day the mist had gone we both saw in each other a good and trusted friend and nothing more, and we agreed to tell no one of what had happened between us that night by the moonlit Mersey. We joked that it had a been a magic mist full of fairies which had turned us mad for each other that night; that or the American beer.
I got a chance of a passage to
Now this is doing to make me sound like a real womaniser, but I fell for her then, and I have never looked at any other girl since then. We got talking. She was a singer. She had been off singing for the troops, all over. Hard work she said, travelling in awful conditions. Now she was going home for a rest with her family for a bit and then she was going to
My husband was unsure about her adoption until we stopped to sit on a wooden bench on the side of the field allocated for our test walk. She climbed up beside him and put her head on his shoulder. He was putty in her paws after that. I scarcely breathed until we had passed the ‘are you fit to adopt a dog’ inspection. From then on we were his girlies together. She rubs him with her scent arching her back like a cat to lean against his thigh as he crouches to greet her after a day away at work. If I had a blue day I would stay in bed and she would like on the duvet next to me, pressing her spine against mine. She gave the best comfort, watched over me while I slept and worried away the hours, and dragged me out of bed for a walk in the woods. I wore the same clothes, day after day, not having enough energy, enthusiasm or imagination to pull on anything but my mood indigo denims and layers of fleeces. As I always felt cold, cold from the inside, depression Sasha diagnosed in her cute denim dress and sandals as I shivered in my furry boots and the anorak which she said made me look like a tourist from
Now I will be glad when my bossy sister of old organises my life again. When for so long she has had no appetite to live her own.
This hand takes over from maturity and you are responsible for everything on this hand and if there is anything that you don’t like on this hand you can change it and lines on your palm change all of the time but so subtly that it might take 3 - 5 years for it to show in a reading. OK? We don’t need that hand anymore so if you rest it and give me your right...
……. and the island means something quite specific on this hand it’s to do with your girlie bits and it does indicate that there is a problem – you are aware of that are you, I’m glad your biology isn’t a secret from you especially for such a large island but despite whatever else you do I don’t think you can change that, it’s a very deep mark and it radiates to your love line and your head line – you are always searching for the thing you are missing here, the search splits you in two, but you do join up again here and things curve off lovely towards the end of your life.
But we have to travel our own path. We’re born to be alive. You have a gift of beauty, making beautiful the lives of those around you. Yes it can be an obsession and can seem like a curse when you cannot rest till you have restyled my daughter-in-law’s kitchen shelf. Bits of things you made…a clay sculpture self portrait of the brave little girl in the blue pleated pinafore, head on one side like a bird, looking up at life. The silk cobweb like colours you dreamed in at college, draped there on the shelf next to the photo of the career girl in
My heart leapt. What an opportunity! I am a woman like any other. People don’t see a woman of desires and urges with the title ‘vicar’. I have them. I have never married but I have loved. Men, women - and what of children? My biological clock is ticking. It tells me I do not have much longer if I am to fill this need to procreate. I could give you my cells, freely given, that is not a problem he intends you to find a way around. Don’t ask me why. He doesn’t provide a crystal ball. I think that is his point. You are supposed to work it out for yourself. That is why we are here: to learn our lesson and be what we have the potential to be.
In the hall he was distracted by the warm sunlight flooding through the open doorway. Ed decided to take a walk. The local shops were ten minutes walk along the road. Ed could buy a paper and enjoy the sunshine. He grabbed his binoculars and crunched down the gravel path and felt his spirits rise with the sense of purpose and fresh air. He regarded the building, a two storey red brick house with a double bay window front, surrounded by gardens laid to lawn with paving paths winding around the house. And in the shadows behind the windows he glimpsed or sensed ninety pairs of palest, steely grey eyes intent on nothing.
Let’s go round again. Maybe we’ll turn back the hands of time. Let’s go round again, one more time. Strange, rare and peculiar. I make an exhibition of myself. I need it. When my energy is big I want the whole world to notice me. When they do I want them to love me, to praise me. I can’t take criticism, but I need to be out there. I am a victim of myself. I make it difficult for myself and for everyone I love. I mix it. I thrive on energy. Let go. Make it easy on yourself, baby. Make it easy on yourself.
“It’s not for you. All the love you feel could not be crammed into one child. It would be a bottleneck. If would not be best for the child and would destroy you. Many children will come to you, as teacher, healer, you will be pivotal in their lives. You will love them all without possessing them. It is because you will share your energy with them without tending their every need that you will help so many. This will feed your energy. You will thrive on it. Give up the wanting to possess and hold that love in your heart for all those who come.”