it was a sunny day - clear blue skies (and later on, when the sun had set and the sky was full of twinkling stars, I only really recognise The Plough but maybe what I saw was Orion's Belt*? you know horse, where the galaxy hangs. . .! ha ha ha! I sat outside having a fag thinking about how ordinary but how good my day had been)
**actually, it is an interesting digression: when my little brother was about nine or ten he had saved up all his pocket/xmas/birthday monies for so long that he had this huge amount of money; he was a very intelligent talented inquisitive chap - the sort that passed exams with straight A's everytime, could listen to a piece of music and sit down at the piano and just play it, without a score - and I mean really complicated music - he was an annoying little brat of a brother but nonetheless he had talents and inquisitiveness
one day he decided he wanted to learn about the stars - so he wrote to Patrick Moore and said "what sort of telescope should I buy with my money" and Patrick Moore, being the lovely man he is - I used to chat to him on East Croydon railway station where he wandered about looking very blustery in that eccentric blustery way that he has, as he changed trains from Selsey, where he lived with his mother, to wherever it was he was going (anyhow, lovely chap)
so, my little brother wrote to him, and Patrick Moore wrote back and said "why don't you come and see my telescopes and we can have a proper discussion"; my parents drove my little brother to Selsey and it just happened to be my little brother's and Patrick Moore's mother's birthdays, so they all had tea and birthday cake and the the lovely man advised my little brother what to spend his hard-saved money on (and gave him this huge book as a birthday present - Patrick Moore's Guide to the Universe, or something like that, dedicated and autographed and all) (a little like The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, only slightly more useful for working out from your back garden what you are looking at in the heavens and without DON'T PANIC written in large friendly yellow letters on the front)
anyhow, we had this medium sized telescope at home, not like those big ones you get at the top of mountains in the middle of deserted places where there is no light pollution and little other kinds of pollution, and it had to be taken out of the house least an hour or two before you wanted to use it so that all its parts could acclimatise to the temperature
and seeing as that it was only ever taken out on clear dark nights well before bedtime, that meant it was usually winter and winters were cold when I was young) (we'd be standing there shivering and trembling with cold and teeth chattering, but we'd each get a go looking at whatever it was pointed at) (by the age of fourteen I had seen the craters on the moon, Jupiter's moons and spot, Saturn's rings - all sort of cool stuff) (but obviously didn't learn my constellations)
so there I was on the back step, having a fag
thinking about how
my day had been:
my children bonded!
yes, there were the usually moans and gripes and arguments, but I'd been to the garden centre in the afternoon with the top down on CH's silver convertible and spent more money than the two or three bunches of flowers I didn't get when I was in the head hospital would have cost, on some mulch and some spring plants for the tiny strip of soil that the invisible cat poos on in the back yard
(it has been looking very sorry for itself ever since we moved in, the strip not the cat - the cat had kittens, before xmas, as you know, so at least she was getting some attention - but the old house had a huge garden and I was all gardened out when I arrived here and it wasn't high on my list of priorities - my horticultural limits had been reached when I'd hung fairy lights in the neighbour's ivy, that creeps over the fence to the left, and that works at night when you need cheering up, but not during the day)
I asked for the children's help to bring everything in from the car, when they got home from school (crikey - compost weighs a ton) (I don't mean literally, vicus)
they might have even
whistled while they worked
they enjoyed themselves so much!
and then later on Small Person knocked a glass out of a cupboard and it smashed something else and the little kitchen was full of smashed glass and broken crockery and the tears of a Small Person who still doesn't understand you don't get told off for accidents (not in this house anyhow, altho I was always told off and shouted at when I was little) (despite the fact she dropped my new phone in a puddle last week by mistake and it broke and I didn't tell her off for that) (I never tell them off for accidents, I'm forever asking them to be careful, and take care, and that kind of thing - but I don't go "I told you so" when accidents happen and I don't tell them off - you are in such a state of shock already when you're little if something like that happens, the last thing you need is a grown-up hollering at you for being careless) (well, that's what I think anyhow)
so there she was all upset
we all heard the smash but she then didn't cry out for help (always a bad sign, when a child doesn't cry, I find) so The Teen and Middle One and I, who were snuggling on the sofa, got up smartish to see what had happened
Small Person was sitting as far away from the debris as she could keep her tiny bare feet, looking very very sorry for herself
so Middle One brought her some shoes and then moved the kittens to safety (four kittens currently live in the kitchen); The Teen discovered the joys of the hoover and eventually - after some trial and error (think it's the first time he has used the hoover for a while) - remembered how it works and sucked up all the bits and pieces that were big enough not to block it up (and then got carried away and did some more general hoovering!); I carefully threw out the bigger glass shards and other smashed bits, so that the dustbin men don't cut their hands on them. . .
I can't remember the last time the three of them pulled together like that - twice in one evening
actually, I can - it was Sunday, when I wasn't feeling very well. . .
I hope somethings in your lives
come together today