Ah – a successful afternoon, knitting while forcing the children to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s on film4 along with me.
Zeph was in and out, playing a complicated Pokemon game in the garden – sporadically appearing to ask if it was still on and whether I knew Batman was on the other side.
Ida is trying to encourage the appearance of a new hat on my recently acquired circular needle by watching me very closely and shouting “knit faster!” at startling intervals.
In between this I weep along at all my favourite bits – oh Doc – she just isn’t Lula Mae any more. Zeph joined us in time for the end. At the bit about the cages and Holly taking her’s wherever she goes he gleefully pointed out that was like what I say (obviously tediously often if it’s sunk in with him) about taking yourself to the places you go.
I observe sourly Capote got there first. In fact I rant off while counting my knit two pearl two’s about there only being five stories… I look up to an empty room. Pearls before swine I’m telling you, pearls before swine.
Today was a good day. We ran into a friend at the supermarket and had a spontaneous hour in the park playground. Sitting here now I’m reflecting on how good it is to see her, always and why I’m so rubbish at fixing up playdates.
Its been a long summer. Not in terms of being bored with having Zeph home, which has flown by and not in the sense of long balmy hot days lying in the garden watching bats flutter over a gin in the stretched out twilight. No, long in the sense of wading through shoulder-high treacle depression everyday.
Routinely after a miserable stretch I scan the horizon for some symbolic sign of change to cling on to. This year it’s the end of summer and the arrival of abundant fragrant autumn. Though Keats uses this season of mellow fruitfulness to think about drawing to ends I always see it as new beginnings and possibilities.
Maybe it’s the new term. Pristine books, unmarked pages, clean pencil cases. Untested teachers, new starts, fresh classrooms. Not that I have any of these – still I can always live vicariously through Zeph – surely this is an offspring perk?
Anyway I’m scoring a line under summer and inhaling the colder evenings, bonfires and rotting leaves with pleasure and fresh hope. Steve and I have disagreed and I’m finally ready to let go of the grudge and start afresh with the falling leaves. I’m taking the children away to the seaside for four days in a caravan over the first weekend in september. Due to a breakdown in communication, goodwill and holiday booking I’m doing it on my own but am finally ready to look forward to it instead of resenting it with a bitter stone in my chest.
I plan to take hardly anything, make everyone wear three layers to travel, purchase all food instead of cooking and buy some books down there so I don’t have to carry them. I also resolve to try not butt heads with Zeph and play up the team angle and working together to contain Ida. Also to employ bribery whenever necessary to maintain my sanity and to make Steve pay for it all. Most importantly to take notice of the all the beauty that’ll be there in the turning wheel of the seasons. To embrace the autumnal beach and not yearn for the summer one.
Succinctly, to live in the moment. This lesson’s a long one I think and I have to keep recapping. That’s okay – I get stuff in the end. Recently I realised how to move the wool whilst knitting ribbing. It’s all so obvious now and although tiny I celebrate my learning curve.
Brisk autumn breeze, please lift up the veil and let me see all the beautiful things around me. I will bake apples for you with butter and cinnamon. I will pile gleaming mounds of conkers in the corners of my garden. Eat blackberries from the side of the path and stain my fingers purple with their juices. Wear new shoes and start a fresh sketchbook. Collect a plastic bag of golden and scarlet leaves to rot down quietly behind the shed. Cook jacket potatoes in the edge of a bonfire. Honour you quietly but honestly and wholeheartedly. Lovely autumn, please blow some changes through me.