Once thoroughly wet, Lolly is in a better position to absorb sawdust. Oh good.
For finally, expensively, desperately we are on the last leg of our house improvements, namely the hurling of banisters and an inner wall thing into the skip and resurrection of much the same, only hopefully nicer and involving scary cheques. The carpenter has just been quoted £1000 for root canal work, and I fear for our Extras bill.
But soon we will be civilised again.
Damn, the downside is that I'll have to start hoovering on a serious basis. And me with an A in Greek ‘O’ Level. That it’s come to this.
Only 2 of us took it, Greek, schooled by a vicious old trout who had been a vicious old trout when she'd taught my mother Latin 20 years before. And when I say only 2 of us took it, really it was only me, since the other girl was plagued by convenient migraines. Particularly on double Greek day. Even now, because of this, the name Felicity is sullied somewhat. Lightweight. Migraine, my arse.
I would stare, wretchedly, at the happy souls sauntering into mere Greek Civ, the easy one, with stories, in English. And with a heavy heart trudge solo to rendezvous with the old trout, who was slow to smile, quick to criticise and found tiresome the little things I would do to cause merry diversion. Just call me Bunty.
Never did she chortle at the chalk tin, poised precariously on the flap of the raised desk, ready to fall and reverberate when her tread went upon the step scattering dusty chalk and clanging tin, and not once did she see the wit in trapping the cat in the desk and playing Hunt The Miaow. Even now, both memories cause happy sighs. We had to find our fun where we could in those days, remember; no daytime TV, no internet. Time could drag in a quite extraordinary fashion.
I consulted her exercise books, tiptoeing into the room where they lay, avoiding creaking floor boards. Initially it was purely under the guise of 'checking my work' but pretty soon I learnt to bypass the whole “ὁ ἡ το, τον την το” do-it-myself process, and just copied the lot before sidling off to watch Banana Splits, a fine piece of programming my mother and I never quite agreed on. Her critical thinking involved the off button, mine the aggrieved squawk.
The old trout was resentfully impressed by my homework, and had to give me ticks which must have hurt. But things became trickier when the curriculum split, the trout selected different texts and thus we reached The Maund is Dite stage. This refers to Loeb, translations bound in green (or red for Latin) and useful primarily for amusement value (amusement value of a most relative kind, it must be stressed, for, really, Loeb / Banana Splits? Loeb / Grange Hill? Decisions decisions). In Loeb, not only were tricky, nasty things like homosexuality consigned to the footnotes but, to fit syntactically, the translators dipped heavily into arcanity, pursuing scansion over sense and making the English frequently more difficult than the Greek. But still one read on, fuelled by a compulsion to cheat, to grab the easy route rather than struggle girlfully, to grapple with The Text. And in one such, we were informed that the maund is dite. I think it was about then that I gave up on my brief affair with Loeb. Sometimes it really is just easier to do the work than avoid doing it.
Want sun. Bored of cold weather by now. And dark mornings. And the sound of hammering. (And why does the formatting change on Blogger without you telling it to?)
So to this end I have been disturbing myself with looking through photos on the computer. It’s that or fret about Laura being voted out of The X Factor.
This is one of a series in which the boys decided to marry each other, in and out of an old top I'd glittered up when one of them was a fairy in the school play. Sometimes the past can snap round and bite you on the nose and it's painful. Those days have slipped through my fingers like the cat from the desk.
Otherwise, my hands are cold and I'm a bit bored: there's lots I want to blog about, but can't. Self censorship means that although my head is teeming with neighbours and friends, sisters-in-law and the man at the post office, they have to remain mere fine phrases buzzing, going nowhere, confined by sense and manners, 2 things I struggle with.
The fear of being stumbled upon is great so there's too much one cannot say, but dare not risk going further than the whispers of, "Bits. Of me teeth. Dropping off me. Like from a glacier. I'm on medication." Nor can I mention the ducks in his bath, ("The feathers! You wouldn't believe!") That's the man in the post office. The waste of him is painful. I gnash my own super dooper gnashers in frustration.
Nor can I expand on what’s behind snatches of conversation, like
"She said, 'I've bought her a shrug,'" E said, and then asked me, "What's a shrug?"
"An inefficient cardigan," I said.
"Christ," he said, "starts half way up the back? What's she thinking of, it's in December."
And that’s a shame, too. The full story's funny.
No wonder I'm dogged off, bogged off, blogged off.
If I could, I’d skew 'em all slightly and turn them into a novel. But I'm moronically faithful to a tee, my imagination is stuck in mud and I can't do it: these characters, my family and friends and shopkeepers, are so perfect as they are that to tweak them, to give my sister in the law the rotting teeth rather than a penchant for purchasing strange knitwear, just wouldn't work at all. And to contemplate post office man edging his meaty shoulders into a shrug is just de trop. My maund is dite, overflowing even (now there’s a clue) and I can't use it.
I’m left with the dog, and God knows that’s not something I would wish on anyone, even the old trout.