Ok so maybe my post yesterday re the battle with Ms Nature was premature. At 2am this morning I shifted in bed and woke to a spike of sharp pain and a crunching sound! I consulted my encyclopedic knowledge of medicine for an appropriate course of action. So if you happened to be passing my apartment at 2am I trust that explains why I was doing dumbell curls.
This morning involved another good soak in warm water to get some movement back. This technique is great but not brilliantly suited to cold days when the temperature change can be quite unpleasant to say the least. But I’m no quitter so whilst I may have declared victory a little early it was only the timing that was incorrect and not the outcome.
Over the weekend I was struck by another aspect of the ‘defeminisation’ off women. The big butch, chain smoking women with children seem to have taken over the ‘father figure’ role and abandoned the mother one. This is not a critique of size or appearance, there is something more in the general demeanour of these women. They are easily observed at one of their frequent meeting places: the cafe or Iceland on welfare day and the pound shop three days later.
These people move in packs like a terrorist cell and can be quite intimidating. But the really scary thing is the affect that they will have on their offspring. The sons will grow up thinking that women fight like men and can take a punch. These will not be boys that grow up caring for their mother, there will be no fragile old ladies to visit with grandchildren.
Then there is the daughters, brought up with a wrestler as a role model. These girls will learn from a young age that it is better to learn to slug it out than to waste your time learning to construct an eloquent repose. They will attend the first school disco looking like they put their makeup on with a magic marker, having asked mum for advice.
Remember that I just point out this stuff, look around you this week and you will soon spot your own examples.
This morning was one of those when I had ‘normal’ envy. In get this every now and again but I’m blaming this episode on a facebook chat with a friend yesterday (you know who you are). And so this morning when I arose and collected the technical papers for the next couple of days I felt a pang of jealousy for those that live in ‘normality’. I have never lived in such a world despite my aspirations but I think it must be nice.
Allow me to expand a little on the normality of which I speak. As I walked to the train station in the early hours I passed households that were normal. In these houses the occasional light was on as somebody stirred. It was a tad early but later there would be warm embraces and tender kisses to start the day. The guys in these houses would start their day happy in the knowledge of children at school and housework completed. These are the guys that return home to dinner that isn’t microwaved, that help their children with homework and discuss the day.
This world of normality doesn’t involve working long days and continuing at home. This normality is driven by a purpose, by some sketchy plan. There is a partnership behind this normality that faces it’s challenges and remains strong. This is the normal that leaves a warm bed and returns to a home rather than a place. I know that this is a normal of stereotypes and that it’s never all good behind the curtains but it’s still there.
I may still have some ‘life mobility’ issues but in general I am successful in my professional life. I have travelled the world and am lucky to enjoy my career. I’m not sure that I ever realised that the choice between career and life was mutually exclusive. Please don’t misunderstand me I am not bemoaning my lot but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a little envious occasionally does it?
I travelled to town today with the early commuter set and as always they were a revelation. The group of women that sat behind me were debating the drama of washing your hair before work. This debate occurred at 6am, what time did they have to get up to wash their hair? Unless they all had some rampant and rather filthy sex last night there was no need for that! They then went on to demonstrate one of the issues a large percentage of the working class have, complacency.
Having discussed how ‘projects will always go over budget’ they went on to discuss finish times. One woman explained that early on in her role she had asked if she could leave at 16.30 rather than the prescribed 17.00. Brilliantly the reason for this early dart was that she was a woman, go figure? Anyway, having negotiated half an hour she kept chipping away at it and is now on the 15.08 train but her boss ‘doesn’t care.
In case said person should read this post allow me to clear up her misunderstanding. Either your boss does care and you are next on the list for redundancy or he really doesn’t care and you’re both on the list! I fail to see what benefit you can bring to a company if they don’t notice that your working short days. I do look forward to hearing that she has been laid off or, preferably, sacked!
Today is one of the days that makes you realise how lucky you are to live at the coast. We are in the delightful period between the summer season and the quiet winter. The weather is still nice but it is too unpredictable for most tourists. The diehard weekenders remain, seen out on nice days and hidden in warm caravans on the others. A little secret of tourist towns is that this is the best time of year. Holidays are better when the evening involves a burning fire, away from the maddening crowds and the transient tourism. This is the period where battle-hardened proprietors look closely at their stock levels, it may be selling now but you don’t want to be left with it in October. I love this time of year, the few people on the beach look genuinely pleased to experience it. These are the low-cost escapees that book out of season and they are so grateful for a nice day to enjoy the beach with their children, it’s a pleasure to hear the happy shrieks. Before you can blink it will be winter and we will be battling the easterly winds to get to the shops. I love the way that my local environment changes with the season and that I get to watch it all play out.
My ‘pause’ continues so sadly I am not on the island watching the season closing yet, having said that they have an extended season so who knows there may yet be time. The progression through the hurdles of the accident is slow to say the least and frustration is a very real enemy to common sense. Luckily I have always been a ‘dig in and conquer’ type of chap and I am privileged to have some very good friends around me. I am tiring of hearing that the legal system does not normally deal with people who work but I guess as a challenge that is one of the better ones. Of the many days that I have spent on call these are by far the worse but the corollary of that is that trepidation is losing ground to the need to complete the process.