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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Halfway to Half-Hearted

Debbie has become Ms. Balustrade – a demon of terrible severity and purveyor of exacting retribution. And if she’s like that with me just imagine what havoc she is wreaking upon the lives of the young children in her charge. Hell hath no fury greater than a teacher moved about against her will. Tonight is the half way point of the first week. Sometimes when you’re half way through something you can get to appreciate it. This is most certainly the case with the Battleaxe project which continues to occupy the bulk of my time at the moment.

Tom has new shoes and blistered ankles. He’s outraged that a shoemaker can let goods slip onto the market that mangle the feet of the wearer. We go through all the methods of dealing with blisters and toughening the feet. I spare him the one about soaking his feet in vinegar. He’s agog when I tell him the last pair of Doc Martin’s I bought took about three weeks of excruciating pain to break in. After that it was only another two weeks of moderate discomfort.

As I patch up his sore ankles with an elastoplast we wonder if there’s a secret deal going on between shoe manufacturers and the companies who produce band-aid.

Talking to my mother. Her friend M has come through the operation. The precise outcome is still uncertain but the indications are more hopeful than they were a day or so ago. In the meantime, Doreen has been part of a number of choirs who are being filmed at The Sage for a forthcoming edition of the BBC’s long-running worship programme, Songs of Praise. She thoroughly enjoyed the day of rehearsing and the day of recording with lots of takes and direction such as “Would the woman in the orange scarf please remove it” and “Can’t you smile a bit more luvey?” I'm looking forward to meeting up with her this Friday.

When someone asks you a deep personal question you have to carefully consider the ramifications of responding. Too little and its possible insulting or a bit of short-change. Too deep an answer and you might still cause offence. And it’s just possible that I’m uncomfortable with what the answer, short or long, might be.

Reading; The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster – a revealing meditation on family, memories loss and redemption. Just about every page of this memoir of his upbringing and family life resonates profoundly with me. I firmly believe I was meant to read this book at exactly this time.

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