And we’re back.
We were only gone for three days, but the place has changed in that time – don’t ask me how. The furniture is the same, the rooms haven’t morphed into something other than what they were, and our pets are as healthy and happy as we left them – possibly more so, because our house sitters were wonderful and I suspect they’ve been spoilt.
Maybe that’s where the difference lies. Our lovely friends had left by the time we got home, leaving cleanliness, order, and the sense of their recent presence as parting gifts. I imagine that somehow their routines have infused the fabric of the place too, because – and this always happens when I leave and come back again – I’ve forgotten how things are done round here. I shall have to re-learn. It’ll take at least three days.
I was always good at learning songs and poems off by heart. Mr HB used to refer to it as ‘my super power,’ which made me feel special and precious.
Of course I’m now in my 40s and have two children. My head is so full of dentist appointments, maths homework and what on earth are we going to have for dinner tonight that the lyrics have all fallen out of my brain (science).
What is wonderful about this is that my oldest has inherited ‘the powers.’ They are regularly asked to regale their classmates with screeds of Hamilton, the musical. On the flip side, they are horrified at the draining of my super powers. I try to sing along with Hamilton in the car, and get berated constantly. NO, MUM THAT’S NOT THE RIGHT WORD!
Aaaah, humility. Thanks kids.
I have wonderful friends. And family. I’m lucky.
But the bar can always be raised, right? Right? We all went to a friend’s house the other day. Regular readers will know about my ongoing (whining about) mental health problems. It had been one of those weeks.
What is the best thing to do to help a friend who is struggling? I am rubbish at helping other people with their mental health – I know what it feels like, not how to help.
But this friend, she knew. She didn’t ask anything of me, not even my company. I was tucked up on a day bed, in their spare room, with my youngest, and a computer playing Spiderman and the Spiderverse. I had a power nap and managed to keep up with the story.
It was the best visit ever. Thanks guys!
We try to keep the living room tidy so we have a room to collapse in with no clutter.
Mr HB did a bit of re-decorating the other day there (I’m not allowed to paint, because I’m no good at it) and the house was upside down for about a week. I walked into the living room one day and the little round table had:
a book, some newspapers, a pile of nerdy-geek cards belonging to the kids, an empty glass, and a bowl with crumbs in the bottom
And I remembered it used to be in the living room of my childhood home, because this is what it looked like – only back then would have been the Radio Times, the yellow space-invaders game, a tea mug, and a crisp packet folded into a triangle by my sister.
My favourite thing about 2019 so far is being a fancy Poet-in-Residence.
And, as poet-in-residence of Lanterne Rouge, I would like to invite you all to a night of spoken word, tea, coffee and cake on Saturday 18th May, 7:30pm at the Lanterne Rouge, Gifford. The folks over at Listen Softly have very kindly lent me their brand, and a co-host for the evening, and Cameron has very kindly lent me his café!
We’ll be hearing from young and old(er) poets ranging from 11 years old to 85. Claire Askew, Mary Johnston, Hannah McCooke and Nicki Birrell. There are also three open mic spots: sign up on the night to be in with a chance of reading yourself!
It would be amazing to get a good turnout, so please share this with any friends that might like to come along. See you there?