My father, having imbibed rather a lot of Port, held forth on why he was proud of both of his sons for the same underlying reasons but different outcomes: that we were both workaholics and had applied it in completely different spheres; my brother has thrown his all into Youth For Christ and I've become a teacher. Neither avenue, he said, would have been his own choice but the way we both have gone about making them all we can make them was very much of him. As my father is a workaholic so we are too. On one level this was pretty good to hear and clearly meant as nothing less than a great compliment. Of course, it got me thinking about defining oneself through one's function - something I've ranted about on here already - so in the end I merely got all thinky about it as I too had been on the Port and at least three glasses of wine by this point.
Tilly's parents were old. I mean that in a sense that I could think of no other way of describing the experience. Her brother is a bit of a piece of work, largely down to domestic issues a-go-go, and these particular chickens have come home to roost in that he is now a bit of a miserable, violent, racist, not-too-nice, work-shy lump. And now the Dad that pretty much caused this is in the position of being a vulnerable adult with minimal mobility, causing Tilly some anxiety. We both know that nothing will change and, in the nicest possible way, they will simply moulder on until one of them dies and then, well, they'll sink slowly toward death themselves. As you can imagine, such a place is not terribly pleasant - with overdue bills and rent arrears letters and warnings about bailiffs shoved not too well out of sight about the house, evidence of violence (shattered door panels, holes in the walls, ripped carpets and stains everywhere; coupled with the lack of money evidenced by the window that was smashed back in 2010 still not properly repaired) and the thick smell of stale cigarette smoke hanging like a veil.
On the first night down there I spooned Tilly and stroked her hair, she didn't really respond at all, as in no response. So I asked her about it while we were in Portsmouth and she said that it wasn't so bad but she got angry that I was crawling all over her and nearly knocking her out of bed. Needless to say I did not attempt to do so again. Indeed, tonight, after a long drive home and a decision to get take out, we are once again on laptops on opposite sides of the room. No TV, no shared experience, just her catching up on e-mails and me blogging. Wedded bliss.
|Hippy Now Beer!|
I was going to post some other things, but I'm beat, been driving since 11am and we stopped home at around 6pm, then I unpacked (my job as bloke) and then put the children to bed (also my job). Still, I was downstairs by 8pm so I can't complain too much.