Monday, 15 August 2011

Life imitating Art

I have been away for a few days, and thus without access to a computer. In my mind I compose scintillating and deathless prose, but alas, once I get home and start trying to recreate it all, the inspiration has unaccountably vanished into that well known but inaccessible place, the ether. Why did God create the ether?

It would be nice to think that one could learn from both life and art, and be able to make sensible decisions. I live in hope. It is impossible to tell whether doing the exact opposite of what seems to be the best decision would be simply to court total disaster. Heads you win, Tails I lose.

This mood is probably upon me for many reasons - past experience, innate sense of gloom, not knowing what to do, or what will happen next, and wondering, given the evidently poor decisions made throughout my life, how I can possibly improve on this record.

I am back home after a weekend away with my son, daughter, grandchildren and friends. Possibly the recounting of the vicissitudes of my life has plunged me into feelings of woe. On the other hand it may be due to the fact that I got every single red traffic light possible on the way home. This is naturally irritating.

The trip away started off very slowly, as the tunnels were clogged. The official word is congested. There is never any hint of 'congestion' before you actually enter the tunnels, after which there is no possible escape. It took an hour to be free of it and my leg got sore and aching from all the braking I had to do - every hundred metres or so. Of course, I had to pay two tolls for this privilege. So on my return trip this afternoon I decided to go the toll-free way.  Then I got every single red light. However, as you Brits (apparently) say, ' Mustn't grumble' and I arrived home safe and sound, having made fairly good time. It was, however, a fairly tiring trip, and I could not be bothered going out to buy food. Thus I have been snacking and having a nice glass (or two) of wine.

My friend KP gave me house room, and he invited another friend for dinner last night, and permitted me to contribute to the meal by cooking risotto alla milanese. It is more than six months since I have done any proper cooking, so I was a little nervous about whether I could manage it, but, despite the strange hotplates, it turned out perfectly. The other friend, a former colleague, has just retired. Her mother died recently from an intractable lymphoma, and it was a hard and painful death. There was much to share, and I found the telling does not get any easier.

Another friend took me to the Antiques show. This was quite good fun. I am not all that keen on antiques, although there is some lovely furniture, and I do like antique jewellery, especially amethysts. Something to do with their colour, I think....I resisted a perfectly beautiful brooch, on the grounds that I already have an antique brooch which had belonged to my grandmother, which I very seldom wear, so why would I want another? And when you are considering the monthly cost of the legal bills, the mere contemplation of frivolous luxuries is not to be indulged in.

I came across a dinner set which was the same as one my parents used for Best. Obviously it could not be considered a real antique. Anything I remember from my youth cannot possibly be an antique, naturally. No, no. I wonder what happened to that dinner set, though.

The next day I went to the Canberra Bus Depot markets, which, evidently in sympathy with the Antiques Fair, featured lots of antique and second hand goods stalls. Evidently fur is making a comeback. I found a Hildesheim Rose silver sugar spoon, which I bought. I was given one as a wedding present, and always meant to buy some more, but it ceased to be sold in the department stores. So now I have two sugar spoons. It was an illogical purchase, as I don't even use a sugar bowl. But they are very beautiful spoons.

The children, grandchildren and I had time together, which was lovely. We went to a park, and I went with my daughter to feed her horse. I bravely patted the horse, but then it did something startling, and I leapt away. I prefer cats. The late afternoon light was clear and beautiful, and the country was lovely and tranquil, but there were no kangaroos to be seen.

This morning I visited the National Gallery of Australia, to see an exhibition of the art of Fred Williams. It was splendid.

I then set off homewards, carefully avoiding any route which might have involved new roadworks. In my ten years of absence there have been many changes, and the roads have changed quite a lot. The newspaper revealed last week that some of the new signs are too small to read, and additionally some of them are actually quite wrong. They have to be redone. Such revelations made me ponder the design and placement of signs. I noticed on my return journey that big trucks obscure the road signs, so that if you are not already acquainted with the route, you can increase the number of problems in your life without even trying.

The trouble with driving on automatic pilot is that you can miss turnoffs which should have been taken. One must concentrate. Just like real life.


molly said...

It's early times yet and it seems to me you're doing a great job of adjusting. You're getting out with friends and family and having fun with the grandchildren.....Hats off to you!

Pam said...

You're very brave. I don't drive on Big Roads. Without Mr Life, I'd be reduced to buses and trains for travelling outside the city.

I also doff my metaphorical hat.