Saturday, 24 December 2011

Getting it right

Most of yesterday was spent doing the largest food shopping of the year, and then lugging it into the house. This is in anticipation of the arrival on Christmas Day of my two younger children and their children. They will have to be fed, and possibly they might have to adapt to what is in the refrigerator, and what can be cooked here.

My oven has been on the blink for most of the year, and I decided not to get it fixed until such time as we know just whose oven it is. It is probably the thermostat which is the problem. Generally when I cook chicken pieces it takes twice the normal time for them to be cooked. The lack of a reliable oven made it rather difficult to contemplate the cooking of a turkey. Being a purist, I cannot countenance purchasing a pre-cooked turkey, and the compromise solution is buying a couple of turkey legs and some slices of turkey breast, to be cooked in the electric frying pan.

The shops were incredibly crowded, and parking spaces were in short supply. There were even traffic-directing staff on duty. Amazingly, I found a parking place immediately, and then set about shopping, making progressive trips to the car to drop off the purchases, thereby disappointing a number of drivers whose eyes had lit up hopefully as I approached my car, unloaded the shopping, and then failed to depart.

Despite the crowds and the queues, everyone was really pleasant, chatty, nice and considerate, which was very heartwarming for this sore soul so smitten by sad and sorry circumstances. 

 I do believe we live in a very fortunate country, in which most people are decent and considerate. My friend in Melbourne remarked to me that she found the people there generally very pleasant and helpful. I did, too, more so than in this city. I travelled around mostly by tram, and on one trip, a stranger to the city got on and asked about the best way of reaching a particular place. The tram driver gave his considered opinion, other passengers gave theirs, everyone discussed the options, and when we arrived at a stop where a different tram route could be taken, the driver got out to check the timetable, and told the woman that the next tram would arrive in two minutes. The spontaneous civility of the whole exchange was wonderful. We need to hang on to these characteristic social interactions, whereby we do not always put our own needs first. 

Remembering that we might all like some dessert, I bought a large tub of the world's best gelato, made by Tonino, who used to have a cafe just up the street, until his lease was terminated. He disappeared for a while, to the intense and general regret of the community. The food was terrific (such perfect gnocchi!) and the gelato superb, especially the chocolate, the hazelnut and the passionfruit.  Tonino and his gelato eventually turned up at a cafe down the other end of the peninsula, to general rejoicing and enthusiastic consumption.

I have bought some tinsel, etc, to festoon the house a little. And I am listening to lots of absolutely luscious and beautiful music on the radio, and trying to let some seasonal gladness trickle into my heart. I hope that the negative effects of the years of living with Dr P will dwindle and enable me to open my heart and emotions once more. I don't mean to say that those years were all bad and negative: far from it. There were many good things, and we did love each other and enjoy much of our lives together.  However, I had to bend and give more than he did, and his age, and attitudes led to a constriction in my own life.  The last couple of years were very hard, and this year has been awful.

Now, despite my continuing struggles,  I need to open up and expand. And to let the sunshine in.


molly said...

I hope that all this cheerfulness and helpfulness and friendliness that you ran into today will help your heart to "open and expand." Relax Persi! Enjoy the holidays with your children. The best, let us hope, is yet to be! Merry Christmas....

VioletSky said...

Enjoy your Christmas with your loved ones.
I love to hear stories of goodwill regarding transit drivers and shopkeepers as we only seem to hear the grumblings about the ill-mannered.

Frogdancer said...

Merry Christmas Persiflage. Next year will be a ripsnorter!

ChrisB said...

Merry Christmas Persiflage!!! Have a great time with your family x

Dartford Warbler said...

Have a wonderful time with your family. Wishing you a much more positive year in 2012.

Pam said...

A bloggy correspondent wrote to me the other day: "I try not to look at my life as linear, as it seems to be in Real Life. There were excellent times in my past and there will be excellent times again - just not this year". And I've found that comforting, since these days I am constantly sad because of my daughter moving to London (and my son being away too, though less far). It hasn't worked today! - but it works sometimes. I hope your excellent times will come back soon.