Tomorrow UK. Friday Aunt Bet’s funeral.
I have felt the loss grow a little each day, but I am looking to the funeral to provide a sort of closure of one stage of mourning. I want to remember my Aunt as she was at her best: lively, interesting, interested, articulate, intelligent and, above all, talkative!
Some people become so much a part of your personal landscape that their loss is like some essential landmark being bulldozed into oblivion. But, unless you are living a stagnant sort of life, the perspective must be always changing. Admittedly, not always for the better - but there is in life a natural state of flux and the way that one adapts to the changes makes a statement about your essential personality.
Although the natural metaphor may be getting a little strained, I think it can be pushed further. Some lives are like hard gardening: the structures which define spaces; whereas others are like the planting areas where flowers bloom and fade and may even be replaced. Bet is the “hard gardening” a influence and a framework which will always be there – just like my parents' legacy – whose presence still and will shape my attitudes and responses. And I am grateful for that. And to them.
Today has been long. Not with thinking about the visit to Britain, but literally long as our school indulged in one of their notorious meetings.
Examinations are a thing of the past - for little less than a month until the next series starts to unsettle us all! This meeting was to discuss the results of the first three years of the secondary section of the school.
The meeting started at 5.00 pm and ground its way juggernaut-like to its grisly termination at 7.30 pm! This after a full day of teaching and missing out on my "early leave".
As my examination results for the kids are on The Machine I have a legitimate reason to flaunt the discrete illuminated apple set in the sleek metallic sheen of brushed aluminium. It also gives me the opportunity subtly to click a few buttons and segue my way from the tedium of names and numbers on Excel to the altogether more interesting screen which shows the latest news on the BBC website.
The school might have my physical presence but in these meetings they do not command my intellectual attention! The few times that I dragged my attention away from the beguiling information on the screen of The Machine and actually listened to the wittering of my colleagues I could sense my teeth wanting to grind together in febrile disgust at the sheer pointlessness of two and a half hours of mind-numbing futility.
When I eventually escaped I picked up Toni and we went into town to have a meal. We ended up having an excellent if expensive meal of tapas and beer. It was after the second mouthful of the first tasty tapa that school faded into a comfortingly distant memory!
Now bed, so that I have sufficient energy to finish my packing early tomorrow! As usual.