Olly and Sam have returned to their various places of learning today. Alfie has an in service day, which is just as well because he hasn't done a sod of homework all holiday. He did win a bar of mint Aero from his sergeant major on cadet camp though. Apparently he was the best at marching and halting. And he got to fire an air rifle. And eat more bacon and eggs than at home.
Apart from yesterday, which saw me nursing the hangover from bloody hell, I've had a lovely time at home with the boys. It's mainly just me and Olly of course, but I just like the idea of them all being here. I like that they are happy and safe and content. My days always start early. I am normally awake at 6, and I tend to jump out of bed and do. I enjoy that quiet hour of pottering before Olly stirs, and I find that I can get a lot done.
But in those last days of the holiday, I found myself not jumping and doing. I let myself drift in and out of thoughts, as I listened to the chorus of birds outside. For instance, I found myself thinking about the novelist Annie Proulx. She is a wonderful story teller, and her short stories in particular are exquisite, almost eccentric works of art. Thinking of her led me to remember a school short story competition that I won when I was eleven. The story had to have a definite beginning, middle and end and no more than fifty words long.
I still carry some residual guilt about my winning entry. And I chuckled to myself as I noted that the story I submitted was rather revealing about the person I was, and the person I was becoming. My guilt is down to the fact that the story was completely plagarised; I merely re-told an old joke. The truth of the matter was (and still is) that I have a very lazy brain. I was a clever girl. I think I could have been very clever. But it seemed far easier to coast through school, and do okay. I have coasted all my life. It's kept me out of trouble, but I suspect I could do so much more.
I went for the laugh. I have always used humour as a way of making friends, getting out of tricky situations and hiding behind. I am the cynical one, always ready with a pithy one liner. I come from a family of jokers. My brother can spin a yarn like no-one else. My sister and my Mum enjoy a laugh and have quite a dark sense of humour. But I always have to have the last laugh. Always.
I really needed to win that competition. I'm a lazy brain with a very competitive streak. But bugger the marathon, I shall kick your ass in the sprint. I used all the tools available to me to score the winning goal. I borrowed an old joke, and I re-worked it. I made sure that it was funny, because everyone remembers funny.
I am actually an honest and ethical person. It was a rather hollow victory in the end, and I have often felt guilty about it over the years. I guess you can call it a penance. I even contacted my old English teacher through Friends Reunited, and apologised. She was very gracious in her response. She wrote "You were always a trenchant young lady."
Other drifting thoughts:
I am convinced that Elizabeth Bennett would also be a clumsy cow like me. I wonder whether it's odd that I only write on the right hand pages of my note books, and then turn then upside down and fill up the pages that were left blank. I reckon that Charlie and Lola do not represent the majority of sibling relationships. And have decided that I should never start digging on my allotment with a hangover.
Thanks ever so for all your responses to my last couple of posts. And a very warm welcome to new followers. You are very welcome!
Have a great week. Be good. Or not.
A Purple Short Story
Once, in Purple Land lived a dragon. The kingdom lived in fear.
The King promised his daughter's hand to whoever could slay the beast. A purple knight accepted.
He dug a deep purple pit, covering it with purple sticks. The dragon charged, falling to his doom.
"Indigo," said the prince.
(I know, I know. It ain't no Annie Proulx)