Monday, 8 April 2013

Getting Ripped

Easter without chocolate passed quite nicely.  I spent most of it wrapped up on the sofa like an invalid, watching television, or so it seemed.  The cold is arctic and gets into your bones. Even in my big sheepskin coat which would enable me to play Hagrid in Harry Potter, or one of the Night's Watch in Game of Thrones (which is BACK - and a cause for excitement in my otherwise humdrum existence), the wind whistles up the sleeves and finds its way into your heart.  But the cold has matched my nestling nature of the moment, allowing me to luxuriate in sloth, punctuated by occasional  bouts of activity of the attic clearing - Paperchase visiting - Portobello Road walking sort.  My tomato seedlings still wave too and fro, waxing and waning with the occasional watering, or lack thereof, and the curly beech tree remains unpruned, ready to sprout its ugly shaggy hairdo the minute spring gets going properly, but there's time for the garden yet.

Boyfriend has returned home and I'm almost alone again.  When my youngest goes back to college on Wednesday it will be me and the cats and three unfinished art projects, with one yet to start - lots of good intentions but no actually action.  I'm enjoying it, this near seclusion, but only because it's a break from the norm.  When it was just me this time last year I hated it and lived from weekend to weekend when the boyfriend arrived and seemed to breathe life into the house, but it wasn't really life, more of a forced activity.  The two of us on our best behaviour, devoted to 'doing' stuff, with no idle nights in front of the tv - everything was orchestrated and timetabled - films agreed during the week, with times in the diary, dinners planned, shopping planned, food in the fridge, walks itinerised and every second, or so it seemed, accounted for.  And then he'd go and it would feel, to me, like falling into a limbo of waiting.  Not waiting for him, but waiting not to be alone again, as though he were the wind and I was some sort of becalmed ship needing his presence to spur me into action.  Ridiculous really.  I've grown up on my own, lived on my own, and very much know how to manage my own company even if I've heard all my own jokes already, but it has really taken the presence of the boyfriend over the past three months to reintroduce myself to the joy of my own space - because it's the exception not the rule.

When he isn't there, I might take it easy and watch a rom com or a foreign film I know he wouldn't fancy, or I might decide to clean up the house, or start painting or writing, relishing my own company, eating nothing or something low in calories - no manly carbs or thoughts of vegetarianism.  And when he is there we dawdle and sleep and doze and settle down for BBC4s current Scandinavian broadcast, the time no longer meted out in slots to various pastimes, but fluid and domestic.  Of course we still go out, but there's less of rigid schedule.  We are simply together, doing stuff.  I like it.

Equally though, I like waking up alone and making myself a cup of tea in five minutes flat, instead of waiting like a princess for the boyfriend to bring that same cup of tea an hour later (after he's stroked the cats, and listened to a few tracks, and sent a text and freed a bee from the maws of Mrs Catty...) reading, daydreaming, trying to meditate...  It's like rediscovering the old me, the good old me who likes herself.

Crafty projects however have their drawbacks.  I came back from Portobello with a bargain trunk for £20, complete with lining in a very good condition and a shelf.  Only when I arrived home did I discover the trunk had ripped my brand new, definitely not £20 leather trousers to shreds.  Not such a ruddy bargain.

I know, leather trousers?  Really?  Me.  Yep I'm embracing middle age with seriously bad taste.  Shredded leather trousers, very S&M.