Houses and Glances

Monkey and I are holed up in the bedroom as we have a full house since yesterday. Not altogether easy to engineer space for five adults and a child to bunk down, but it sort of worked. Monkey and B’s youngest on air mattresses, Monkey in with us and O in the livingroom, with B’s oldest son B and his cute little girlfriend in Monkey’s room. As the Swedish saying goes: if there’s room in the heart, you can make room for butts. No, seriously.

B’s little girlfriend reminded me of how I used to be, and probably still am to some extent – quiet and smiley. She appeared in the doorway when I was clearing up after dinner and asked if she could help, so I took the opportunity to ask if she found it overwhelming to be introduced to so many in her boyfriend’s family at once (at Christmas it was his mum, plus I think grandparents and an uncle or auntie on that side, and yesterday she ended up saying hello to the other set of grandparents in New Zealand via Skype). She giggled and told me yes, how she’s shy and how B teases her for being quiet. So I wanted to let her know I know exactly how she feels, plus that I didn’t think she was overly quiet. Told her I used to be so aware of it, and the more I fretted over finding something to say, the more quiet I got. Oh well, who knows, but I hope I managed to put her mind at rest.

There was a brief conversation between big B and little B (all these Bs are making this quite confusing, I realise) around the divorce, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for them even though they’re adults, having to witness their hardworking father get completely screwed over financially and their mother still in a situation where it would at least appear she loses out too. Sure, she’ll be mortgage free and will be raking in payments from B that can only be described as leaving her Very Well Off, but still – no one wins, and I can’t imagine she feels good knowing she took everything from B. Nasty situation all around. For the two boys (or young men, rather), it means the end of a big family home, and although they are always welcome here for however long (and at their mum’s too, I’m sure), it’ll no doubt seem very different.

There was a brief moment when we had a game of Yatzee, when O pointed out that everybody had scored a house except his Dad. B and I exchanged a glance – how painfully accurate that comment was! – but I bit my tongue, forcing back the “very true” that wanted to roll off my tongue.

So, half an hour until the school run and getting to work. One hell of a busy day ahead, and I know I can all but forget about lunch today. Straight from work to walk Bertie the Labradoodle, then collect Monkey half an hour earlier from school and jump in a taxi to the doctor’s (buses wouldn’t work, we’d never make it on time) to have Monkey’s stubborn foot verrucas frozen off, then back home. I’ll sleep well tonight, I’m sure. Oh, after the Broadchurch finale….. I get excited about these things, that’s how rock’n’roll I am.

Ah, and we’re once again back to not smoking. The past week and a bit, starting with my birthday on the 13th, has been a bit of a drink-and-smoke bonanza, so time to shape up again now. January was easy enough, it’s just making sure we don’t start again and keep it to Occasional Cigarettes and not Regular Cigarettes.

Well, I feel good. Could have done with a bit more sleep, but it’s a beautiful morning and I do love Mondays!

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