(a post in which I demonstrate it is perfectly possible to talk yourself out of being a miserable cow)
It’s tattie howking time. Time when most of Scotland’s weans worked the fields, getting the tattie harvest in.
Now just the school October week (or fortnight if you’re further ‘up North’).
Raging PMT time for me. Not good.
We are all (R and the two school age-ers) ‘at home’. Mostly irritating and hating on one another. Rattling about, getting in one another’s way. R and I duplicating tasks – aka ‘unpicking the other’s work’. Small differences magnified by boredom. He folds the towels ‘untidily’. I am caught re-folding. He pointedly empties the (well) out of date food from the fridge. I pointedly ignore the implied: look at the waste! again! We argue about where we might go for a couple of overnights. And end with ‘we can go day trips’ – knowing that it’s highly likely, given this weekend’s form, that we’ll reach the week’s end having done nothing except squabble and sigh and just feel weighed down by inertia.
I fucking hate the way in which, over the years, we’ve acquiesced to this pattern of being-together-ness.
But then, I fucking hate the way that if I don’t make plans and book everything then nothing would ever actually happen.
And then, of course, I fucking hate the way I am just expected to absorb the sighs of this is the place you booked? Oh. Right… And the way that if someone else did organise things I’d feel crotchety and nit-picky and do the rolling eyes thing… (I’ve done it. I know. And I am a miserable cow for doing it. I know.)
I am conditioned in this precise way: I am a bit of a control freak but one who is destined never to enjoy the fruits of her control-freakery because I too often waste time trying to second guess and mind read – ultimately filling silences with my imaginings: he/she/they hate/s what I’ve organised. he/she/they are pissed off. he/she /they… Getting knotted up. Latterly just swallowing down rage, anger, any emotion in fact – because I am also conditioned not to do confrontation on behalf of myself. On behalf of others? Oh yes. I can make money out of doing that. Nae bother there.
Sometimes, just sometimes – and I admit this because to omit it would be to allow the PMT-ness of this week to turn me into a big bit of a miserabilist fibber – sometimes, I also manage to reach a perfect state of equilibrium…
Like when I watch the kitten go mad at the 5th floor window, trying to reach the bats.
Or walk to Cora Linn. In fact, just walk. Anywhere in this Valley.
And – despite the squabbling and shit – when I’m with the people I love…
Because it has made me smile thinking of them and because I was suddenly happy thinking of the walks we’ve done this last month or so and because the cats are chasing one another like mad things and making me laugh (right this minute, out loud) here are a few of my favourite photos…
Clockwise from top left:
1) Me, Megan and a photobombing Ana in Hannover (July 2016)
2) The smiling felled tree trunk on the Clyde Walkway (Sept 2016)
3) Cora Linn – taken from the high viewing platform on the Clyde Walkway (Sept 2016)
4) Evan and Ana – my walking companions, same day as 3)
5) Megan – from Clyde Walkway looking onto New Lanark (our house is on the Row on the far top left)
6) Milo the kitten
7) Robert, Megan and Ana in Braunschweig July 2016
8) The path into our village – Mum and Dad stay under the bell tower (building on the left of the photo) (Sept 2016)
9) The giant Evan with Mum – walking back from Lanark Loch – Tinto Hill in the back ground. Sept 2016
10) Megan and Ana – New Lanark (August 2016)