Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

Morning visitors, evening visitor

I opened the blinds just before 7 this morning, and there they were! Munching on the remains of the peas, beans, herbs, flowers and general weediness of our biggest garden plot. You can see the raised beds that Keith has been making, a few new ones each year. This family group of four are the ones we keep seeing in the field by the house, they only come into the garden in the twilight och dawn and dusk. That explains the poor quality of the photo, there wasn't a lot of light. They remain skittish too, unlike the townie Bambies who are utterly unafraid of humans. And eat everything!

Keith slept downstairs again but was not needed for a fag (or other sort of) break in the night. I retired to my bed with the computer til he woke up. Rusty was a bit miffed but he goes back to sleep when nothing interesting is happening. So he did. Probably. 2 hours later the day proper began. I drew, I blipped a bit, I read the paper and I was informed that I would be running the board meeting at one as the big man was poorly. Nice to know in advance, last time he simply dropped me in it mid-meeting and totally unprepared. This is one was to dominate things I guess. 

The meeting went pretty well because the director and I had a pre-meeting to go through the agenda, and I ran a relaxed, even slightly jolly, session. We all have our own styles and I am not in favour of high-falootin' language and formalities. It all went ok considering, if the big man is still not fit I will be in an even more important meeting on Thursday with the leaders of the council who are the owners of the Science Centre, and a fat lot of use I'll be then.... but possibly decorative. The big man doesn't believe in sharing power with the vice chairs.

We have no water! There's a huge leak in town and half the municipality is affected. I have managed to fill a few bottles. Mostly concerned for Rusty, we can drink beer and wine and orange juice. We have an overnight guest arriving soon, thinking he can have a nice shower etc. Not really! He'll take it in his stride I expect and there is nothing we can do.

The company that sent us a "hat" instead of a jacket for our camper van were in touch by e-mail last night. They suggested a poorer quality version for half the price of the one we'd ordered. No thanks to that. Or we can keep the hat and pay the cost price for it and have the rest of the money refunded. Yes to that. It is the roof that we are most interested in protecting from snow sitting on top and leaking in somehow. The sides can take their chances, it is a van after all, and is meant to withstand weather. There was an apology in the mail, much easier to write than to squeeze out of your actual lips I guess. As Keith said, it's probably a standard one they only need to paste in! Almost painless!

I am really finding the book about childhood trauma fascinating and stimulating. I make so many connections to the family my Mum grew up in, and this morning I landed in the understanding of her childhood trauma in a new way. She had two younger half sisters who were taken into care when she was about 9, and that was that. I don't think there was any contact at all until one of the girls turned 18 and lived with my Nana for a while. She left as step-grandfather Jim "spied on her" - or worse. As he spied on my Mum too, plus drinking and being violent towards Nana. I'd call that a belly full of trauma to deal with really.

I know these details simply because I asked, and forced the information out of my Great Aunty Betty who Mum grew up with in her grandparents' home. My Mum never mentioned the sisters, or anything to do with the sadnesses of her childhood. Even my Dad didn't know, till I ferreted the story out. (I used to be called the Union's terrier, a very persistent person) So much shame attached to the perfectly normal - if hard work - features of many a family, shame that gave birth to silence and secrets. I have no time at all for secrets, I don't even really like surprises that have been kept secret... anyway the book has set me off on some new trains of thought. "The Body Keeps The Score" - I've sent it to a couple of people who I know will get a lot out of it.

So, I've worked through Nana, and now I'm considering my Mum, eventually I might even make connections in my own childhood - although if there is major trauma it is very well hidden. (Which is par for the course, sigh) In other news! We have a dog who can do a reasonable facsimile of the sort of thing he used to do before he got ill! He can also do it outside on a forest walk, instead of in the hall - another plus. Today we were both in town and he went a bit mental from all the bright lights, and possibly from being on a starvation diet of bits of chicken and soppy white rice.... Hard work to be honest, heedless dog, dumb handler!

Poor Keith had to eat a rapid bowl of soup and head for town again, for yet another meeting. They have been digital for the duration of the pandemic, but now they are in person with no opportunity to link up. Which I think is very short-sighted as the rate of infection is rising everywhere in Europe except Sweden. No-one really knows if we are ahead of the wave, or behind it... The Science Centre is prepared to have to deal with another set of measures at any time. This thing really isn't over, sadly. A bit like the sleaze and mismanagement I keep reading about in the Guardian. I sneaked a look at the Daily Fail just to delight in the slating they were dishing out. Even the Mail was anti. Wonderful.

So it's all quiet in the homestead, the dog is asleep under the kitchen table, there is no water so when this glass is empty I will fill it with red wine and toast myself - and Jonas the visitor, if he has turned up by then! Last night we were out late watching the northern lights streaming about the sky, green with a tint of red here and there. It's the first time this season, we had hardly any last winter - I hope this is a taste of things to come, they are so eerie, and wonderful to see.

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