Le weekend

Has been mostly spent packing up and sorting out of ‘stuff’. Most of the books in the house have been packed, something I know is necessary, but still leaves me feeling bereft. A house without books in looks so clinical, what do they do to relax? Watch TV, yes I know, but that flickering light can drive me mad. As it did yesterday. Hubs had watched AFL NAB cup which is 20 minutes each way, as oppose to 20 minutes per quarter, he’d watched the V8s, then Big, Bigger, Biggest came on. Talking about domes this week. If they just talked about them, and used graphics to highlight points, I maybe could watch the programme. But they evidently have a far higher graphics budget than anything else, so show them incessantly, with sound effects and mock ups of what ‘could’ happen. It drives me mad. It’s also one of those programmes where they tell you what’s coming up, what you missed and what is to come up and what you’ve missed, so drag out what could have been a good 30 minutes worth of TV over an hour.

Then to cap it all, Iron Chef was on afterwards. Another programme I will leave the room to avoid watching. I don’t  mind the cooking, although with the Japanese version, sometimes the theme ingredient is a bit hard to stomach, but the voice overs drive me mad. SBS show some really good programmes, all week, but Saturday evenings, forget it.

Forgive me, I sound grumpy, I probably am. I don’t mind the TV being on if we’re watching something good, like the Faces Of America series, which was probably the best thing I’ve seen all year (I know, it’s only February), but when it’s on for noise, that’s when I get frustrated, because your eyes get drawn to the idiots lantern whether you want to watch it or not. In the end, so I didn’t have to go upstairs and read, then fall asleep early, I asked if I could put a DVD on, Hubs said yes, and I put in Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep is great as Julia Child, as always, but Stanley Tucci is just gorgeous as Paul Child. He’s not conventionally good looking, but in the tailored suits and 40s-60s fashions, he looked very dapper, and the pair of them had such a loving relationship, you can’t help thinking ‘Awww’ at him.

Today I skyped my brother, we talked movies and childhood toys and before we knew it, he was getting kicked off so the rest of the house could go to bed. We’re making a conscious effort to try and talk each week; considering I stopped living with him (thinks) at least 14-15 years ago and we normally can go for months with nothing more than a text message, it’s lovely to get to know him again. We absolutely, loathed and detested each other growing up, I was horrible to him, and he taught me how to fight hard, because he never spared me any girly dignity in our rough and tumbles. But as soon as we didn’t live together – we got on like a house on fire. We’re too similar I guess, and I will be forever grateful that we had the shared childhood we had: we both find the same things funny, both laugh loudly with a great guffaw, both wave our hands around a lot when we talk. If you looked at photos of us separately, you probably wouldn’t pick us out as brother and sister, but when we’re together, our mannerisms are so similar, you can’t mistake it.

Then, I got to skype my sister, which as I only have a brother some of you are going WTF? Again, we don’t need to talk all the time, but we’ve both been each other’s life-rafts at times. The first day I met her was her first day back at work after her father’s funeral, I told her she looked like she needed a hug, so I gave her one, didn’t know her from Adam. She never had her phone on anything but silent, but the day my marriage went phut, I called her and she had her phone on. I will never forget that phone call, nor the fact she was so sensible, practical and told me what to do, so I didn’t have to think. I just had to get myself together enough to drive to her work, collect a key and then collapse onto her futon for the next year or so.

All relationships have wobbles, ups and downs, pitfalls and pratfalls, but some remain, no matter what is thrown at them. I’m very lucky with my coven, we’ve got drunk, had hangovers, held hair, wiped tears, made cocktails, gone shopping, gone dancing, gone swimming, been on inflatables, (Sovey the Sea Bastard, and his foot), cleaned changing rooms, listened to pan pipes Spice Girl albums, held onto each other crying (and peeing) with laughter, moved houses with each other, bump-started cars and trashed IKEA, got lost on the way to many places, put the world to rights and loved each other through good times and bad times. Some of us have got married and divorced and remarried or re-shacked up, now there is a Peanut on the way, and I will be sure to tell them that they have a bevvy of Aunties who will take great delight in telling them ‘Your mother was a nightmare, let me tell you about the time…’

There is one gaping hole missing from the Coven though, Helen. Goodness I wish you were around to tell Peanut about being an Army Wife and exploits we got up to, be it in posh frocks or walking boots, or going to Cowes to watch the fireworks at the end of the sailing, but discovering they were actually the day before, so did a pub crawl instead, carrying trays of drinks up the main street of Cowes when one bar was too expensive. Walking up Helvellyn, to find the top covered in cloud and you shrieking ‘Is this f**king it?!’ It’s nearly the anniversary of your passing, I raised a toast to you at my Hen Night, but will light a candle to you. I’m just so pleased Hubs got to meet you.

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