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Life is largely mirroring the apple blossom that’s appeared from the tree growing wild next to my apartment block between two lines of fences. Quietly glorious at times and surrounded by a fair bit which is prosaic, ordinary and limiting. Apple blossom is a bit more resilient to the elements than the cascading confetti that’s just been cleared from public parks...but it’ll never make an exciting back drop for movies. Essentially, things are on an even keel and normal.

 

God I hate it when people throw that vile n word around.

 

Speaking of normal I was reminded recently of some episodes that made me the gal I am today. Both little anecdotes were dinner time chit chat that left slow ripples in my brain. One came up in a conversation discussing varieties of cane, which of course led to me showing off my little collection. This included the thin whippy cheap-assed yet indestructible one from the nun act (always startles pedestrians seeing a nice girl post gig with her makeup scraped off, apparently looking like a travelling dominatrix in mufti) but most importantly and fondly the thick replica monkey beating stick.

 

I’m a vegetarian. I drink green tea, give to charity, dislike treading on insects and I open doors for people. I would never advocate animal cruelty or ever be a fan of blood sports. My attachment to the stick that somewhat resembles the thick rattan my mum had (and I think still has, possibly slightly stained) is from the time when sat on the roof of a guesthouse in India doing my maths homework an alpha male Rhesus Makak decided that eleven year old me was a threat. As I remember he leapt over, stupidly not planning for a maternally outraged Makkim woman with a stick and an aggressive disposition. So I was told, quite a lot of the local monkeys in this suburb were from a local laboratory, thus not only did they have no fear of humans they also had a vendetta.   

 

The other anecdote was a well-worn little story, amongst a number of tales or rhetorical cat’s cradles my dad enjoys to set up. When my parents were in Pakistan they were asked by a barman (in the one legal bar in the country) where their two daughters were.  They explained that they were back in Glasgow being looked after by a neighbour.* The barman pursued this asking no, do they live with you or their husbands?. I was 12 and my sister was 17, so you can imagine how amusing and bizarre this seemed to us at the time. When dad decided to recount this again a few weeks ago over dinner with his elder daughter, her wife and myself (my closet door recently quietly closed behind me) the amusement value had developed in a very different direction.

 

So why the weird little flashbacks? More to the point why the witterings about them?

 

I seem to spend too much time either living in the past or not building a real future to pass into. I feel like I rely on unsophisticated self-expression or putting on a beguiling appearance to get by too much.

 

In other words I don’t do the full reveal for fear of exposing nothing rather than something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Andrea was by this time playing rugby professionally for Scotland. How her being a lesbian had passed by our mother until this year I do not know. Mammy Lash broke the news of Andrea’s happy engagement to a woman while on the brink of gin-induced sobs to yours truly. I’m a good listener on the phone but I have limits.

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October 2014

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