I’m finding the time to write every day. Not much time. 30-45 minutes of brain dump as my mother does some faffing or other and the children succumb to their jet lag in the afternoon.
It’s brilliant though.
Words are delicious to me. Putting letters and phrases together to tell a story is magic that makes my heart pitter patter and skip beats. I fall into a proper puddle at the thought of people reading my meanderings. Further to that, people actually responding to it sends me all a flutter and makes me wish I could just stop the world and write day and night.
Although, I already do that on social to be fair. You’ll find me frequently on most of the platforms (except twitter, I never did get the hang of Twitter) spilling and spouting this and that. There’s a mighty big gap in my social media behaviours lately though, because someone I spoke to nearly every day won’t be able to respond as he’s recently shaken the mortal coil and left us in a state of shock and grief that no amount of reaching out and bad jokes or silly comments can cure. I miss him. He was my friend. My real friend. And I wish I could tell him about the adventures I am on and he’d be cheerful and kind and full of knowledge about everything and anything the way he always was.
When another friend, with the same name, passed away I was 18 years old. He was a first Love of sorts and accepted me despite my already well-established crazy. His death broke me, and so I high-tailed it back to Alberta for 6 of the best (and blurriest) months in my entire life. I am still great friends with my roommate from that adventure, and the Calgary cousins I stayed with are closer to me than most of the family I grew up with now. Life’s strange. Loving people and losing them hurts. And the empty that is left by some people’s departure will never be filled, only softened with time and the ability to trade tears for happiness when thinking about whatever time you had with them.
So here I am in London. Grieving for my husband’s childhood father figure (who passed away last Saturday) and my very clever, chatty, uplifting friend. Writing yet another blog as my rolly polly little mother waddles off to the laundry to drop off our clothes so we can be ready for the next leg of the journey in Iceland soon. We’ve laughed a lot and fought much less than I’d anticipated we would. I genuinely wonder if this isn’t owing on some level to divine intervention of one kind or another.
Last night after finally waking my two sleeping beauty boys from jet lag induced coma sleeps, I went to see my friends Christine and Lochmar and their two pathologically overachieving children. I adore Christine. She’s the kind of woman I’d have been totally intimidated by a few years ago and never thought to engage in a friendship with, as she’s so very far out of my league. I can’t begin to say how glad I am to have gotten over that, and to have the luxury of choosing amazing, kind, intelligent, hilarious, beautiful women to be my friends now.
So Lochmar and Christine fed my sons and I. He’s a great cook, and a vegan who occasionally eats fish for the nutritional values (I believe that’s the same diet the former President Bill Clinton follows) and he made carnivorous for the children and vegan option spaghetti and meatballs for us. They were perfection. So was his hummus.
I was sat in their home not too long ago, as I tend to nip through London about twice a year these days. Their house feels perfect. They are a family who all read the same book and have lively discussions about it over dinner while they all sit down together. The fact they not only tolerate me but seem to look forward to my/our visits is a great honour. Christine’s staff are also great and I relish the quick catch ups and cuddles I get when I whip through the office in Windsor.
Today my mother and I brought the children through Windsor Castle. A busy place. James was faffing about on my lap and fell on the hard stone floor in the Albert chapel, and Adam flat out refused to use his inside voice for most of the day. I think he gets that from me.
When we got to the Queen Mary doll’s house and stately apartments part of the tour we were told to ditch the stroller at the cloak room. No problem. James was, however, only in his socked feet at this point as he had lost one of his green boots earlier that day. Apparently, this is a problem as we were told half a dozen times to put shoes on him. Being the chilled out Kiwis that we have become, we thought this was quite ridiculous, especially in a carpeted area like we were entering. AND HE IS THREE. Seriously, chill the fuck out please.
We also noticed that people looked at us quite strangely a few times. The conclusion for the rudeness was that some people may have thought my mother and I were actually lovers, not mother and daughter on vacation together as we actually are. I did say to mom that she was totally punching well above her weight because I am super hot and rich. Mom laughed. It was a good moment.
Later in the tour I stopped to rest my aching feet while my mother took the boys around the corner to see a guard on duty in the red jacket and bear hat thing that they wear. So she wheeled off James and Adam flew and fluttered in zig zags around her as they went over to another corner of the courtyard.
Shortly after she left one very tall guard, flanked by three seemingly very small guards came stomping through in the same direction that mom and the kids had just gone. I found out upon my mother’s return that the stompy guard guys headed over to the other stompy guard guy to ask him if he needed a pee break. They also got to see James fall out of his pram as mom reeled to get out of their way as they stomped by. Comical.
We walked back toward the exits by my favourite bit of the entire castle. A waterfall that runs into a little pond down some steps behind a walled garden. I like gardens. And I really like waterfalls and ponds too. I do not super like the aristocracy, but the history, architecture, and art are a marvel and I eat marvellous for breakfast.
The stompy guards then returned, probably after asking if some other stompy guard needed to pee, and I walked over to mom as they stomped past us and said, “You know, I think I totally need a boyfriend with that level of self control.” to which my darling mother responded with a loud snort and belly laugh. She looked at me with an earnest stare and patted my arm and said: “Oh my, someone with that much self control would never be interested in you darling.” I laughed. She’s right. I’m not exactly a magnet for the pious or stern. And that’s just fucking fine by me.
The last stop today was the war memorial in Runnymede. Adam was still awake at this point, and James had well and truly already crashed for the day. We got there and explained to him where we were and what it meant.
“Should I get down on my knees and pray?” asked my middle son with earnest.
“If that is what you feel like doing, you should absolutely do it.” I responded.
Then Adam ran out onto the grass, 500 metres away from the entrance of the memorial and dropped to his knees and started to pray. We called him back and said that this wasn’t the place.
“Oh, I shouldn’t have prayed there then.” He said in a playfully sheepish way. “No, no, no.” I interjected. “You should pray and/or meditate whenever or wherever you are moved to do so.” I said. “And you don’t have to call or imagine that is like a traditional God, you can call it whoever and whatever the fuck you want when you are moved to pray honey.” My mother snort laughed again. It was a good moment.
So I’ll leave it there. Today was good. We just paid 25 quid to get our laundry done, and now I need to wake up the children and roll them downstairs to grab a bite to eat.
Thank you for reading. There’s not much point to this one I know, I am just really enjoying writing.