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Everyone carried on about 2016 being a terrible year and not being able to wait until it was over. Roll on 2017, they said. It was mainly to do with the number of deaths of celebrities people were very fond of. So far 2017 has gone very quickly (August already!) and has been very scary. The world is a scary place where we seem to be walking on a knife edge, and yet laughing about it. Waking to see the latest headline of the latest rash and crazy happening, and to read the latest tweet storm by you-know-who.
She rushed to the gate, being very late for her flight. There was no queue. Being so close to take off, everyone was on board. A flight attendant waved her through to the plane, which took her to a vestibule with white walls, smooth and rounded. Entry to the plane was through an opening high in the wall. There was barely enough room for her to stand with her suitcase. The first rung of the ladder leading to the door was at shoulder height. She took hold of the bottom rung of the ladder and tried to swing herself up.
It seemed it would be impossible to enter the plane through the small, highly-set opening. She saw her travelling companion (whom she had not noticed to that point) was also waiting to enter. She said to him, let's find another door. There has to be another way in. They retraced their steps, she leading the way. They had been very late for their flight and could not follow the others. They seemed to be the only two people yet to board. They arrived at the gate, their starting point. Her travelling companion became impatient and walked off. She followed.
He walked away. She had failed to find an entry to the plane and he decided to go it alone. She was slowed down by her suitcase and he got ahead quickly. She caught sight of him ahead. He looked back but did not wait and climbed quickly onto a conveyor belt made of small rollers, zigzagging down a hill. She arrived at the strange transportation device, sat down and followed him down the hill. She reached a large square paved in concrete. It looked like a deserted school quadrangle but must have been the airport. The sun beat down.
She did not see her travelling companion again. She walked across the concrete area to a building on the other side. Inside the building was the gate, and beyond that the plane she and her companion had been so late in boarding. The plane had not yet departed. She found many openings to the plane, but they were all windows, and the passengers on the plane were patrons in a theatre. The stage was empty and they waited for the production to start. She walked on and looked in the windows. No one in the tardis-like interior noticed her.
She forgot all about catching the flight as she walked around the plane and looked through the windows. The interior of the plane was set out like a theatre. It was about half full of patrons dressed formally in evening wear, the decor burgundy dance hall. The men leaned around and chatted robustly to each other. The stage was empty and it seemed the show had just ended or would not begin for some time. She could sense their irritation at something. She could not get in but forgot she had ever wanted to. There were no women on board.
He went to the party. He did not want to go. He wore the silly hat. He blew on a party blower and the kids laughed. He ate cake and drank lemonade. She had made the pinata. She had made the birthday cake and decorated the room. She was happy. It was perfect. The children had all been collected by 3 o'clock, the birthday girl was down for a nap, and they both cleaned up. Thank you, she said. It was fun, he said. He went home, just next door. He took off the hat and sat in the dark.
The day was warm and sunny. She put on her yellow polka-dot halter-neck dress and white sandals. He opened the door after she had knocked a second time. It was dark inside. He blinked. C'mon, she said, it's a great day for breakfast at the beach. He dressed and joined her in the car. She drove fast. At the beach she raced him to the water and back again. She took the picnic basket from the back seat and they sat on a rug on the sand. She had champagne. Oh, it's that kind of breakfast, he said.
It was late autumn when he brought her a puppy. He had been offered the pick of the litter. She was smitten. She took the little dog everywhere she went and let it sleep in her bed. She took it to work where it curled up in a basket under her desk. As the pup grew she took longer and longer walks with him, and as winter fell they would find themselves out after dark most evenings. She felt safe with him, her protective hound. At home they would sit in front of the fireplace, happy in each other's company.
He was fond of his next door neighbour. Since he had given her the dog he had not seen much of her. The days were becoming shorter, and they both left for work and arrived home in the dark. One evening he saw her and the dog arriving home after a walk. I should go with them sometime, he thought. Maybe I should get a dog myself. He pulled down the blind and turned on the TV. He poured a drink and sat down. He would get up in a minute and heat something up in the microwave for dinner.
He knocked on her door, holding a squeaky rubber chicken and some flowers behind his back. Her dog rushed out when she opened the door, excited to see him. He handed over the chicken and the flowers and they all went inside. Two weeks earlier he had opened his curtains one morning to let the light in, and saw her stepping out for a morning walk. He invited himself along. He made a habit of it. He threw a ball for the dog. They went out to dinner. They watched a movie on the couch. They stayed up late talking.
All the talk is of Game of Thrones. She has not seen the series and makes the decision to read the books again. She has too many books. She has a plan to cull her books. The test is to try reading the book again, and if it's not worth it, out goes the book. She likes re-reading books, she thinks why not? The author put a lot of work into it for someone to only read once. Some books she has read many times. There is something comforting in it. So, she is mid-way through Book One.
The day began well. There was a lot to do. It was Saturday, the day for cleaning the house and washing clothes. Her visitor was due at about 4 o'clock, which was a long way off. She had an afternoon sleep and then did some more housework. She put on some make up, mainly due to vanity than trying to impress. She waited near the window as the time drew near, too agitated to do anything else. He was late. She regretted agreeing to the visit. He arrived, he talked and he left. She was relieved. The same as always.
Sheila drifted through Monday on the shadow of a blank weekend. The office buzzed with the energy of a project about to launch. There was no buzz in Sheila's day. She methodically took on each task and even ticked a few things off the list. She feels if she is not manically busy she will be discarded. She uncharacteristically made and took a few calls and visits from colleagues from all over the organisation (everything is usually email now a days). She is not unwanted or unneeded she supposes, just working on different areas to the rest of her team.
I hate the modern world. Your life is over before you know it. So what if we get a longer life expectancy. It goes so fast it's the same as when we were dead at 35. A long life barely remembered and it's only to end in a miserable old age derelict and with nothing to leave the family. A sobering thought is that with my father almost 80 I may be able to count the number of times I have left to see/speak to him on the fingers of one hand, if we continue the same infrequent contact.
It will, of course, be all my fault. So I decide to call him on Father's Day instead of sending a card which I normally do to avoid the phone call. I hate using the phone. I also hate having to listen to all the stories about cars he has owned (do you remember the car we had before this one? NO!) and news of obscure relatives boyfriend's cats who have died (do you remember so and so? No? I thought you would.) No, Dad, I am an idiot. I alternate the yes and no answers and he doesn't notice.
Confused by not being able to find her way into her cosy home when night fell, the hen sat on a saucer chair on the back porch. Once it was dark and she had closed her eyes she forgot she was not in a safe place. The chair was good to sit in on a sunny day. She had once laid an egg on it. Earlier, a big wind shook the trees and she had to shelter to avoid being blown away. The door to the coop was blown shut, wedged in place by damage caused to the wooden panels.
It was almost midnight when the torch swung across the yard. Her eyes flickered. She felt odd, exposed, but the torch beam was weak and she was sleepy. The man with the torch was met outside the door of the chicken coop by the other hen. He had been out and was very late shutting them in. The hens had been locked out hours before dark, and were hungry, cold and frightened. The man found her in the saucer chair and carried her to bed. He shut the two hens in and secured the broken door. Poor girls, he thought.
Saturday, on a horse. I remember it was a day in August because it is the horses' birthday in August... if I remember that correctly, as I always thought the horses' birthday was in June or July. I am pretty sure it is 1st August. I could Google it so why don't I? Not sure why. Maybe because I am 98% sure I am right. Also it doesn't matter if I am correct or not. So, what's this about riding a horse? That didn't happen. I have fallen off a horse though and it may well have been a Saturday.
Sunday, snowy Sunday. Right now people are going on skiing holidays. Not my cup of tea. Those downward slopes are too steep and slippery. I know that is the idea, and that is why I stay away. Can't think of anything worse, other than being on a small boat at sea, and that is much worse. Trapped with nowhere to go and all that rocking. Given the choice between the two of them I would probably choose the boat because I would be out of control going down a hill, and the loss of control would be the worse thing.
I don't understand Mondays. I want to leave them with their hard centres in the chocolate box and pick something softer like Tuesday or Wednesday. In truth I almost always prefer the hard centres in actual chocolates. The soft centres can be disappointing. Perhaps the hard centres are more predictable, like Mondays, but that is where the similarity ends. Chocolate = like. Mondays = not so fond of. The last couple have not been too bad. I hope that trend continues. Maybe it's because the rest of the week has been pretty crap as well, so Mondays don't stand out as much.
Tom tried, too tired to toot two times. Toodaloo, Tom. Tyson tries too to toot. Three toots trumpet. Thumbs up, Tyson. Tammy tries a twisting tryst to take Ted to task. Ted takes the tyre to the tyremart to repair the tread. Tammy tweets "thanks Ted, heartthrob". Tammy takes to Ted, totally. Meanwhile Maeve makes mistakes mixing margaritas and is dismissed from the bar. Barry begs Byron but Byron won't budge. Maeve must move and will not marry Barry. Barry bids Byron goodbye, bags bulging. Giddy and giggling, gaggles of girls gawk as he goes. Have a gin sling Barry.
This Life was a show I loved back in the '90's. Great title. Great show. At least I thought so. I listen to my nephew play the piano. It is lovely. I have practiced already. For lunch I ate some eggs laid by my hen. What a miracle. This is the life. I want to buy a new car because my car is now 15 years old. I want a yellow car but I know it is a colour that would be hard to live with over time and I should get a standard colour such as white, as usual.
I have been asked if I can think of a name for a project I am working on. I have been trying to brainstorm on my own, with the help of Google. This method is not yielding many useful results. I have a long list of words but brainstorming by myself is not brainstorming and Google is crap at it. I was sure I would stumble upon a brilliant hook that everyone would love, but after these efforts I think I probably don't even deserve to live. I don't care that much, don't have much invested in it. Bah humbug.
I have the most attractive pets in the world. One of my cats is a stocky square farm cat that catches any rat that appears in the hen coop. He does not like to be touched, unless he is getting all friendly ahead of getting left overs. My other cat is a wild animal, by looks only. By nature she is a living doll who likes cuddles. My chooks are just chooks but I love them too. They have cute fluffy butts. Today I was lucky enough to be home on fluffy butt Friday and see their gorgeous fluffy butts.
I have an impromptu day off. I need to leave some clean air between yesterday and the next time I tackle the office. I can't log in even if I want to because I have to take my computer in for a download. I go for a walk for a walk's sake for the first time since recovering from a broken foot. It is absolutely lovely and a beautiful sunny day. I can walk in a pretty straight line now. I also make appointments for various things and look at some figures around whether to buy or lease a car.
I get up not too late for a weekend and decide to head off to the Powerhouse Museum with the nephew. We have a great time. There are lots of hands-on experiments and interesting things for a kid to do. There are other kids for him to hang out amongst. We have a play on the playground equipment before we leave. My foot held up to it very well. Tonight we watch 2001:A Space Odyssey together, but I fall asleep half way through and wake up at the end. He doesn't understand the end. I never have either.
I finally tackle cleaning out the garage. It is much easier to do than I expect. There are a lot of boxes and other junk so that could go straight in the bins, and I start a pile of larger rubbish to put out in a council clean up. We get a good downpour of rain this afternoon. It smells lovely. It has been ages since it last rained. The chickens forget what it is. Earlier in their lives it rained a lot, now not so much. I cook dinner and am shocked at how many calories are in tortellini.
I had my weekly piano lesson today. I have always wanted to learn and now I am finally doing it. It is fun, and my teacher is very good. I have not been practicing enough, but I am improving. The main thing is learning the notes. I have difficulty getting the clefs mixed up and start to pay treble when it is bass. I practiced every day for the last week, but not for long enough. The book I am learning from has a online component and I have not even checked that out yet. Lots of fun times ahead.
I don't know what to write so I will start and see what happens. The cat sits at my feet grooming. He has been a bit out of sorts for a few days. This morning he didn't want the little taste of milk I put in his bowl. He didn't ask for it, but he always wants it so I poured some. I have been telling him milk is bad for cats so maybe he finally listened. The other cat seems fine. They are both scratching a bit so it might be time for flea treatment with spring coming on.
She called her friend and it went through to voicemail. She left a message, ah, it is awkward. Sorry I haven't been in touch sooner, that sort of thing. Should have just stuck to it's me, called to say hi, give me a buzz. A day goes by and she hasn't heard back. It has been months. Time goes by so quickly. She will call again in a few days, try the mobile this time. How are you coping. Do you have any plans yet for Christmas. She will lie about how things are fine, all good, everything going well.
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