Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So, apparently you're not going to let me have the 'Idiot Grrrl''re *no* fun. Can I have one that says 'Sometime Idiot Grrrl'? No? You're obviously all too nice to me! Thank you. :)

My papa bought me some flowers to cheer me up (I should have taken the picture of them when they were at their zenith - I failed to do so - but I still think they look pretty):

Papa's are pretty great.... :)

I had to shoot off to my Hometown-in-the-North last week to attend the funeral of an old friend's mother - very sad and sudden; but I was glad to be able to support my friend. As I said to her 'of course we [all our old friendship circle] would be here'. The following day I went home - to my old home, our old house. And just walking through the door reduced me to tears - it was the smell you see. It still smelt the same. It smelt like home. I cried for days gone by, I cried for who I was, I cried for the family we used to be - all in the same place. That house felt lonesome - as if it were an abandoned being. It used to be alive and full of us but we aren't there any more, but neither has it become home to some other family. It's a little bit like we just all walked out one day; it's a snapshot of lives. In my room there are part-used bottles of shampoo and toothbrushes - as if I expected to be back at any moment. Similarly, in the bathroom there are some of my mama's perfumes and make-up. When I was younger, a favourite book was "Return to Gone-Away" by Elizabeth Enright - and the story centred around a long shut-up house that was put back to rights; and I loved the descriptions of the house; because it was still full of the belongings of the former owner - it was historical and romantic (I don't mean slushy romance - the other kind). And here, I have my own version of the Villa Caprice (I think that was its' name) - and I find it sad, not exciting.
So, I just walked around the house - it was like I was really seeing the space for the first time in a long time; and the memories were strange. I felt like I was seeing ghosts; echoes of myself; but not me. Like I was a foreigner to myself. I looked at the little things; smelt the distinctive smell inside the drawers of the big...(gosh, I don't know what you call it - but on the bottom it's like a chest of drawers then it has a sloped, fold-down desk-top with little drawers and pigeon holes inside and finally on top of that is a glass fronted cabinet. Anyone know what I mean???) I don't know why it has a particular smell; but it does - and I just opened the top two drawers a crack to smell inside them (why yes, I do do some strange things.....). And I went upstairs and the feel of the banister under my hand reduced me to tears - so familiar and known. I could recognise that feel blindfolded - I would know it. And the height of the steps - they're shallow, shallower than any other stairs I'm familiar with. And I sat at the desk in my room, I shut the door and sat in there for the first time in years - like I spent the majority of my teenage years - and I sat there and conjured up as many memories as I could - and of course I cried some more. I think of those high-school years as pretty terrible, but there were good times too. A birthday sleep-over with a cake that my dear friend, Jo, made for me. Decorating the collar for "Akhnaten" (have I mentioned my Youth Opera days? I don't think I have - I sang opera for around 7 years growing up. We were ambitious - which is why I have the sung the role of Meritaten in Philip Glass's Akhnaten. The majority of the opera is in Egyptian and Hebrew - it's pretty fantastic music though. Anyway, end diversion.) And endless reading - I'll confess I didn't have highbrow reading tendencies - the Chalet School, the Famous Five, Malcolm Saville, Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew.
So, t'was all strange and also cathartic. I've been quite trepidatious about visiting before; but I feel...clearer now....less like it's a weight around my neck. Which is good, because I'm going to have to clear out my room eventually....
But! Have just remembered the point of this story (brain, come back, all is forgiven...) I brought back my rabbit picture. My mum drew it and I think it's beautiful. I don't know why I haven't brought it back long before now - it was as if it had never occurred to me that I could bring things out of that museum...... My mama is so talented, I think you'll agree:


Sweet Camden Lass said...

I want a t-shirt that says 'Bad Brown Owl'

I still need to do Church Parade letters. I actually think I'm going to go to bed early.


Ciorstaidh said...

We need a t-shirt that says "Shopping for Brownies/Guides".

Beautiful flowers; I love roses just as they're dying (why yes, I'm weird).

Your mama is very talented indeed, and I know exactly what you mean about going home. It's always home, even though I've only been there for Christmas these last few years. It gets scary when you can't remember where things belong in the kitchen, but it always feels, smells, just *is* the same.

And btw I'd call the drawer contraption a bureau.