The other week I stayed with lady s for a few days. That’s not in itself odd as I’ve had more than a few weekends there over the last couple of years, but it was the first time that extended into the working week.
The original plan had been to get picked up by Lady M after work on the Wednesday, but she was decidedly unwell and so suggested grabbing a taxi home and charging it to the emergency credit card.
So with the help of my trusty app I did just that, absolutely making the day of a wonderfully garrulous driver who chatted away with me about life, the universe, and everything – after first getting his head round my answers to his questions.
You see, he asked where I was off to, and what I’d been doing, and got very confused for a moment when I mentioned one partner’s name and then another, and talked of the two houses as homes – but as I clarified the situation further and confirmed our relationships are all consensual and clearly communicated among us he nodded, grinned, said it sounded wonderful – and that was the end of any questions on that front. Instead we talked of driving, of families, ambitions, and the peculiarities of Christmas shopping.
It was heartening and a lovely surprise in many ways. It certainly reaffirmed my faith in people in that moment.
It’s official, I’ve finally reached that stage of the Christmas holidays where I’ve lost track of what day it is. I was beginning to feel left out. It was only when I messaged lady s about something this morning and she reminded me that it was only Sunday today that I realised that I have entered that weird state fuelled by excess and no work where I have come adrift from all routine.
Admittedly the amount of driving up and down and across the country hasn’t helped as those have now taken on the status of week resets even by dint of not being actually a week apart.
So yes, this is my reminder to myself that it’s the last Sunday of the year and decade. A quick look at the site stats tells me that this is the busiest the site has been in four years in terms of traffic – must be all the more regular posting I’ve got back into doing 😉
Right, I’m off out to see my daughter for our third? Christmas. Have fun everyone
We came home early from up North as plague – or at least heavy colds – descended on the Maidment households. Feeling it was better to recuperate in our own beds, we fled back South on Boxing Day, joining the thousands on the roads travelling between their own branches of families over the Festive period.
Surprisingly, the traffic actually flowed well despite being so heavy so we made good time and collapsed with pizza and presents we hadn’t taken with us to console us.
Today we therefore had a lie in rather than spending it all on the roads. We even dared travel in to Kingston in search of a book of pattern-making for Lady M, and ended up buying… well, rather a lot of books really
I do need to remember that getting rid of older books is not an automatic prompt to replace them. Oh well
The shapes and shadows flowed round and through each other. They twisted and built, circling and lengthening before unravelling and contracting in a constant rhythm. Even in the contractions there was a promise of growth as the eye came to expect a new explosion of evolving complexity with each breath and cycle.
Intimations of an organic centre began recurring in the shapes within moments. They suggested limbs, then the curve of musculature before the next collapse and intricate new pattern’s birth.
Then, without warning, there was a humanoid form standing there in the space; the patterns of shapes still wildly mutating and shifting from moment to moment but now always to reinforce the base pattern of two arms, two legs, a torso and a head of indeterminate form.
“They read your site you know” I was warned – albeit a couple of days ago – of a vicar joining us for a family Christmas Eve meal at a favourite restaurant. I never know quite what to make of comments like that. The site is here to be read: it’s kind of the point of it really.
Today’s grand meal at The Italian Orchard has been a set piece of gathering together to enjoy fine food, good wine, and good company. Even with my mother deciding to stay home as a winter cold triggered her asthma there were eight of us around the table and we all enjoyed the little bubble of relative luxury and pampering that such a setting allows.
The warning – such as it was – came of the other family joining us, the vicar of the parish that my parents are part of and her husband and son. Quite what this warning was meant to highlight is something if which I’m unsure: I’m told that my writing was found enjoyable, even if the route by which my blog was directed to her attention is as yet unclear.
“I love your drawings” I was told – and so we went from there. As the afternoon drew on my fingers began twitching for paper, so Lady M provided a notebook and I doodled away to let the daemons out – but quite why a warning was required in the first place I’m still not entirely sure. Perhaps there was a concern that I would be taken aback by someone knowing something of me – and of all the many things I talk about here it was nice to have it just be about my need to draw and illustrate.
My biggest frustrations come from having to throttle my creative impulses, so talking about my process, both conscious and unconscious, was relatively relaxing and eased us then into our respective small huddles if conversation as we indulged in the food and atmosphere before us.
All in all, talking about my artwork rather than my stories, or my relationships was probably the least contentious approach for all concerned. Perhaps the warning was more one to me of keeping the conversation to safer waters than delving into polyamory, mental health, or any other aspects of life around the dinner table.
Who knows – it was an odd injunction but a lovely meal and set of conversations where grand nonsense flowed and a great time was had.
And now for a quiet chill out and companionable silence as Lady M and I nurse our cuppas and collapse a while.
I thought I was being so clever with the timings for my Exanitide – an injection I need to take once a week to prod my pancreas into waking up and producing insulin on its own rather than needing to inject shop-bought (so to speak). If I took my injection in the Saturday before driving up to Hartlepool, that would tide me over until I got home and therefore sidestep the need to refrigerate any medication on my travels.
Instead, I forgot to take it, or even pack it, and I’ve instead had to try and sort something out while i’m the opposite end of the country from my GP.
And this is where the wondrous NHS takes centre stage. I was able to phone their helpline this morning and explain the situation. From there they could look up my details, and were able to give me the number of a prescribing pharmacist local to where I currently am. I called them, confirmed a few details, and was able to walk round half an hour later to pick up what I needed.
All I had to do was show them my exemption card, and on the app where it showed that it’s a regular medication I receive.
Lady M and I are on our grand tour round the UK to drop off gifts and spend time with family. Like so many other people, we’re on the road in an escape from the day-to-day and Christmas podcasts are currently filling the car.
Our first leg was the longest, a six hour trip from London to Hartlepool. I handled the driving duties with a single break as Lady M was feeling a bit under the weather. Lady M’s sister lives in Hartlepool, and it’s where she grew up so it brought up a lot of memories.
Hartlepool is receding behind us now as we head towards the West coast. We’ve been lucky so far in that yesterday’s traffic was heavy but generally moved along with only minor stopping and starting in the M1. This morning with Lady M driving seems so far to only be light traffic, so that’s a bonus.
There you go, boring journey updates logged. I suspect the next few days’ blog posts may be filtered through Christmas cheer.
My bank have made a recent change that I both like and find irritating. They’ve stopped factoring my small agreed overdraft into the display of my available funds. It’s a small thing but I applaud it as a tool for making me have to think before using it.
There’s also an automated text to notify me if I do use it, and offering the carrot of not paying charges etc if I go back into credit by a certain time in the evening. You get the idea.
This morning I was moderately tickled to see I’d gone five pounds in to my overdraft yesterday, and received the expected text, then another text when I didn’t meet the deadline, promising more charges for as long as I was in the overdraft. Then within minutes of that my pay went into the account – and silence has fallen.
I’m visiting lady s for a few days as I had more leave to book this year than Lady M. After a long week, it’s been good to switch off. Lady M and I drove down on Sunday afternoon and dropped off presents for the household, then I stayed on – much to the cub’s bemusement.
The stress levels have been slowly dropping as we’ve watched films and YouTube clips. In between, we’ve been having a tidy up before Christmassing and generally taking it easy.
Tomorrow we’ll be seeing the cub at his school Christmas play, before Lady M returns and whisks me away so we can finish packing to go visit family next week.
Amusingly, Lady M had forgotten that I was going away at one point as she was hoping I might pick her up from drinking with colleagues this week – I mention this to forestall any visions you may have of Lady M somehow languishing like Rapunzel in her tower. One of our many strengths is that each of us are equally comfortable and in need of time alone as in being with each other (as wonderful as that is)