Everybody says it’s a smallworld now
The hourlong journey yawns between us.
Awkwardly jarring between school bells and bedtime.
No quick half hours hereandthere
Don’t doubt my constancy dearheart.
When I check the weather – I always click to see
If the sun shines or the rain rains on thee.
Posted in Poetry
The house is full of the soapy scent of white lilies. The roses from my mother’s day bunch are long gone but the lilies are gloriously open and wafting their distinct fairy liquid odour everywhere.
Steve and the kids took me out to lunch for my birthday today. There was much giggling and teasing as we set off in the morning sun. Hints of an all we could eat breakfast at Asda were followed by a protracted tease about a Cheltenham Happy Meal while we sat upstairs at the front of the bus, peering into gardens happily. After a bit of joyful shop mooching we arrived at my favourite Turkish restaurant, Grille Restaurant on Winchcombe Street.
I love this place – I have only ever had delicious food – there are loads of amazing lamb dishes – its beautiful – the people are really friendly and laid back, we’ve eaten here when it’s been absolutely packed and when we’ve been the only people eating, the service is always friendly and the kids are always welcomed. I’ve sat and breastfed through a meal here lots of times and the last time I did it was packed and the waiter still found time to thoughtfully place a tall glass of water by my hand. “thirsty work” he said with a cheerful smile. In the winter they light a fire in here;
but today it was decked out in colourful easter finery;
We had a long leisurely lunch, the kids were impeccably behaved and ridiculously indulged by the lovely staff. We lingered over coffees, Steves favourite vice;
and emerged, blinking, into the startling sunshine. I love eating out with the kids. We can’t afford to do it loads, frankly that’s a good job, we’re lucky this place isn’t just down the road from us because we’d be here every night and completely bankrupt. Everyone’s up for trying new food, which is also one of the things I like most about Steve, particularly when I know he grew up in a home where the onion is outlawed and veg can only be cooked in a pressure cooker…
Back home I was presented with my fabulous, thoughtful presents, two books of poetry I really wanted, this AMAZING cakestand, thanks to a bit of jiggery-pokery between Steve and N, her mysterious “popping in” is explained – I had hoped but….
Eclairs anyone? Zeph extracts a promise to try making choux pastry in the holiday. The present they were really waiting for was;
“Share?…” Ida insisted on giving the pusscat a kiss before it’s head was struck off. Her tenderheartedness didn’t stop her tucking into an ear with relish. I love all my beautiful things. Tomorrow doesn’t seem so bad.
If I had been a boy I might have been called Valentine. It’s a family name on my Dads side that my mum took a fancy to. She also liked Walter or Frederick after her dad. All in all I’m glad I was a girl.
We (Zeph, Ida and I) made cards for Steve which we presented him with this morning before he left for work and he gave us all a card and me a DVD of Outnumbered (which I love, it provides me with an opportunity to feel like I am a perfectly normal parent.)
This seems like a perfect Valentines balance. On the whole I disapprove of the whole Clinton’s shebang, the hideous pressure, the horrible teddies and think you should be nice to each other all the time. Of course the bit of me that loves any sliver of an excuse to celebrate is quite pleased to make cards and cut Z’s cheese and pickle sandwich into the shape of a heart.
Of course it’s probably the perfect evening for a bit of poetry. God I love it. In a greedy uneducated way I hasten to add. I first realised Steve was perhaps someone I might consciously choose to share my life with was when he surprised me by finishing my obscure Larkin quote. One of by best memories is him describing me as someone who was too fond of the sharp corners of the night, adding casually, “you know, like in that Amy Lowell poem.” He didn’t know that in a miserable unspoken corner of my mind that was exactly how I described my self-destructive actions to myself.
So in a Clinton’s salute to the dearest beard in my life;
When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?
From Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds By Amy Lowell