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February 2008
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March 2008

On Monday of this week, JB texted me to tell me he was leaving for Kerry at once. He'd spoken to his father whose health seemed to have deteriorated suddenly - he seemed "shook" and poorly. We hoped that a bit of JB's magic TLC would do the trick, and get him back on his feet, but over the week the cold turned into a chest infection and from there it was a small increment to breathlessness in the middle of the night and thereon, in quick succession, to pneumonia and a call for emergency medical help. My poor J. He had to see his father being taken off in an ambulance at 4am that night. It's so hard for him, because he saw his mother be taken away too, in 2001, and she never came home.
I feel a lucky dope. My parents are alive and well and living in (their, Protest*nt, idea of) comfort, nearby. They have each other. They are (let's face it) not short of a few bob. So I really don't understand the fear that's in the JB. I mean, I try but I don't, not REALLY. Not sharply. I am stranded on another misty shore. It's like my imagination is stunted. I can't see clearly through it, it's like an immature organ or a damaged lens. 

In his absence, life has taken on a different shape. Without his normalising influence, I have departed slightly from my usual self, mentally. I feel strangely exposed and a-hum with internal drama - I am buzzing around like a bluebottle trying to get out of an open window, but by going through the pane. If some unfortunate psychology PhD student was assigned the task of tracking my thoughts, they'd get something like this:

- which symbolises the whole week really.
Trips up to see house: 2
Trips to see tiles: 2
(one of which with Lithuanian builder, in a van. Funny scene in Outh*us, the tiling place.  He got chatting to the guy behind the desk in Russian - and the guy very frankly told him the place was outrageously expensive. But then he'd revert to English and be all salesman of the year. Please, look at these samples and Yes, I can check for you, etc. He was the double-sided salesman).
Trips around head, chasing thoughts: innumerable
Trips from desk to kitchen to table to bathroom: 5 million (at a conservative estimate)

At one point, I found my set square on the breadboard. Was I thinking of making a sandwich with it? With nice 90 degree corners?

(They are finding the next Oliver on the telly. I can hear them belting it out in the other room, desperate to be a star. It worries me a bit that this time they are children. I mean even the big Josephs were having weekly emotional breakdowns. Hmm. Can this be good?)

Today we finished the purgatory that was Etching. I came through with an unexpected burst of (caffeine-fueled) energy at the end, and produced some stuff that might go into the degree show. As ever, I warmed to the other classmates over the 6 weeks after a slightly unenthusiastic start and was sorry to see them go in their different directions at the end. Ah, parting.. is such sweet and sour sorrow.

And so I end the week that was with tired feet but hope in my heart. Kdid (JB's Dad) is perking up and has enough strength to be giving out. A good sign, we all agree. And we must be happy with that.

mist of confusion clears somewhat

and things seem more manageable, somehow. House, as above, is now in the capable and highly recommended hands of our Lithuanian builder. It seemed like a cloud had finally lifted when we went in there the other day to meet him. There was a feeling of tremendous and peaceful activity.

Masters work is proceeding apace. I have almost finished a few things - some others are falling into place and most important, I am seized with a iron certainty about the whole thing. I really know what I want to do. It's good, this knowing thing. I like it, although of course it may prove to be demented yet.

I have so many other things to write about. It's become my way of processing the plethora of things that happen, you know? Like Spike's birthday last weekend. 3! (Although he doesn't seem to be too clear on what his number is. If you ask him, he says, Emmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.) There was another little fellow there, a friend's boy, who wanted to blow out the candles too. Everyone froze, fearing a toddler drama. Spike was asked by Brother if the other little fellow could blow out a candle. Spike considered for a moment and then said:
So that was that.

Breakfast beckons. It's Easter, and if I was better at this, I would be thinking of clever metaphors about rebirth, and renewal. But I am not, and so I will close with a note to myself:
Self: don't forget to blog about Extraordinary Coincidence of meeting in Early L*arning Centre. And while you're at it, Self, write about Attempts to Have Biological Children too.

Happy Easter to anyone who chances this way - and who celebrates such, of course.


A old old Italian song by Lucio Battisti - we used to listen to it in the old days in Pavia, '89, it was, when I was an exchange student. Ah. Innocent days! There was so much time - to talk, hang around in each others' rented houses, have some pastasciutta, play silly jokes on people, play with the cat, obsess about relationships, cycle, meet, laugh, eat pizza, be in the sun, walk in the fog. To think, a mobile phone in those days was a remarkable thing, the internet was a very basic communication device being used only by the US military.

In stark contrast with today, then. I don't know what to think, really. I mean, I literally don't know what to think. Should I think about range of objects circling my desk and how they are going to fit ingeniously into my degree show? or, should I think about the fact that my tenant just gave notice, and what to do with the place? Or, about our new builder, his contract? Should I think about Smokey, (Oldest Horse in the World) and what time I should get the bus to go and feed him? Or should I think about picking up the ink I ordered yesterday? Or printing my latest project? Or chasing Italian authorities for the police clearance I need for the next part of our adoption process (I lived there for more than 6 months, as above)? Or about our own attempts to biologically produce a child and that whole dynamic?  Or moving?
Or the many things that might have been lost in the clutter?
Or what. Or what.


"Bobby builder gone!"

Spike announced to his maternal grandmother last week - who also happens to be our landlady. (NB, self: watch mouth when Spike is around. He may be staring vacantly out of the window or busily doing his jigsaw, but don't be fooled. The child has ears).
He is right, anyway. Our builder, having done about 2 days work since Christmas has actually done a runner, and abandoned ship. Or house, in this case. We made the mistake of - well first of employing him at all - making the final payment insufficiently big to "motivate" him to finish the job - you know, since he is a rat with no morals. (Sorry, rats. I don't mean to insult you). He can't be reached on the phone - in fact at one point there was an AT&T answer message on his mobile which gave us to think he was hiding out in Florida where we happen to know he has a house. Hmm, I wonder if I'll post the rat's name? I shall think about it.
ANYWAY, moving on, trying to maintain a zen attitude, we have found a highly recommended Lithuanian builder called Vytas, who is going to start on Monday.
These things are sent to try us, you know. Sigh..