writing

On a night like this I write

0 Comments 27 March 2017

I have opened a bottle of wine and a bag of Doritos. Actually, it’s a bag of store brand corn chips, which I prefer. I am home alone and although I love healthy food I have a weakness for corn chips so I have chosen a piece of cheese, Sancerre and corn chips as my dinner.

Oh and by the way, speaking of weaknesses, if you’re following all the instalments on here then you will know I also have a weakness for Piña Coladas. Scratch that. After three crap ones in a row I have decided to play it safe from now on and list my fave drink as Prosecco. Or Cava. Or Champagne or whatever happens to be on offer that’s pale and bubbly.

We were in Oman recently and in the hotel where we stayed there were other British but loads of Germans. You KNOW what that means. We had to be up at dawn to get a sunbed. But I grew to love that routine—I like Germans, for the record. Anyway. I thought of that just now because at 6 every night a courtyard filled with palms and ponds and marble and warm breezes was the setting for a drinks reception with Prosecco. It was an event. We scheduled our holiday around sunbeds and Prosecco. OH said it was the best holiday he’d been on and I don’t think it was the Prosecco talking.

We booked that holiday back in the autumn, at the tail end of the warm days. It was only a couple of weeks later when we decided to move house. This is because we live on a main commuter route for OH’s work and everyone in the world drives past our house and I see them turn and look and later they get to OH’s work (and their work, they work together) and they get to work and they tell him, ‘I saw Michelle cutting back the rosemary,’ or ‘I saw you watching Game of Thrones on TV when we went into town last night,’ or ‘I noticed your car still there when I drove past did you get to work late?’ Stalkers.

No, the real reason is because we live in a house too big for us. We’re sick of the acres of hovering. And mowing. We have a vast garden (for England. The Americans would look at our back yard and snigger. Especially the Texans. ‘You call that a big yard?’ Yes I do so go back to Texas and your ranches the size of countries. I love Texas, by the way, and no, not everyone there is a Trump supporter.)

Another real reason for the move: We’re moving because we’re downsizing so we can free up money to start a business. More on that another time. I’m still thinking about the casual stalkers who drive past and turn and look. They have all kinds of reasons for doing this, including a fascination with other humans. Or specific humans, I don’t know. One time a friend who works with OH told me that some newish colleagues were asking, ‘what’s his wife like?’ I wondered what she said.

I get it. I’m curious too. OH says I am the most curious person he knows. I like finding myself on the top of a double decker in London at twilight, in the moments before people close their curtains, where I catch anonymous humans living scenes in their mundane but imminently fascinating lives. People are fascinating! You all are. Remember my Twitter bio says ‘you are my raw material’ because you are. How different is that double decker ride through London to the people who commute past our house every day and idly clock what we’re up to and chat to OH about it when they see him next? People are just interested in people.

But sometimes, some people are too interested. And you know, whatever people see as they drive past our house, or as I ride past London windows is only 1/1000th of what is really going on. Or less. So why do people (you, me, all of us) keep looking at people if what we see is such a small sample of what is really going on? Depends on why we’re looking, I guess. And on that, another question: what’s the difference between the stalker and the curious? Maybe if you happen to be on a bus at twilight and catch two-second glimpses of people setting tables in dining rooms you’re just curious. Maybe if you notice whether someone is home or not at different times of the day and then you go on holiday and you look at the person’s social media because you can’t watch them in other ways while you’re away, you’re more stalker than curious. (LOL! Get a life!)

*pours a second glass*

My dad has always been hot on curtain closing. ‘You don’t know who’s out there!’ And that’s true. To this day I still get twitchy when I watch Grand Designs and people have a whole WALL of windows with NO CURTAINS and the world could see in. What are they thinking? I mean, I love lots of natural light. I would live outside if I could (I hate wind, though), but living on a freakin stage? Maybe they think no one would be interested in them.

Back to the house move. (I’m on a meandering boat ride down a Stream of Consciousness named Sancerre.) So we’re saying goodbye to this house. There are things I will miss about this house but it’s time to pass it on into someone else’s care.

Many things are in transition in our lives at the moment.

Sometimes I feel made so completely of tears that if the temperature should change just a bit one way or the other I would melt or shatter.

Sometimes the laughter overflows out of me like a flood and it is difficult to see anything drowning under it, or breathing underwater.

What would my OH’s colleague say about me to new members of staff?

What would I say? I have thick hair and have never had a split end. Seriously. My hair stylist is eternally amazed. It’s one of my superpowers. I have near perfect skin and thanks to my parents’ foresight in giving me braces I have quite a nice smile. I smile a lot. I have never been worried about smile lines, because seriously. I’d rather be known as someone who smiles a lot than someone who has no smile lines. Right?! If I have a look it’s ‘classic with a twist’ as I love classic tailoring but I also love throwing in a bit of something different. I don’t like to look like everybody else.

But looks are only a small part of who I am, and aren’t what I’m really made of.

I make friends easily and I am loyal to people who deserve it. And I have loyal friends in return. I look beneath the surface of everyone I meet because the things that really matter about people are what they’re really made of: Who they are today, how they treat other people, what choices they make.

Patterns are things I like to watch. I am an analyst and a profiler. Above all I am curious. Like OH says. I like working out puzzles from genealogy conundrums to riddles told drunkenly around the fireplace on New Year Eve to Why So and So said Whatev to Such and Such and What Will Happen Next.

That’s me. Overall, minus some details. Quite a few details, but I’m getting sleepy now and I may begin to ramble (ha!).

The clock strikes, I have finished a second glass of the Sancerre, my little boat has bumped to a slow stop on the bank of the stream and so it’s time to wrap up this post and go to bed. Another experiment in writing finished.

 

 

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