A letter from leenielou
dropped onto the doormat today, inadvertently guilting me into updating my journal. I haven't posted for a while, because I haven't written any more of my story; I'm still adjusting to the new teaching routine, and still having difficulty staying asleep at night. It's not a good way to be. I haven't used my sewing machine since New Year's Eve (because I stupidly told myself I couldn't do any more sewing until I'd finished the book). You have no idea how frustrating it is not being able to make
stuff, when there's makeable stuff piling up in my head, getting in the way of story ideas.
Anyway, yes, lovely letter from Lou (who can expect a reply soonish) -- which made me see that just stopping posting here with no explanation was a bit shitty. So here I am to explain myself. The not-writing is part of it. The other part is that I'm wearying of the internet, or wearying of my internet habit, or wearying of the way the internet highlights my lacks of imagination, will-power and energy. I haven't worked out which particular aspect of wearisomeness broke my camel's back, but something did snap a couple of weeks ago. At the moment I can't see me ever really getting back into regular internet habits, and I don't want to
. Less internet means more self-esteem.
No doubt I'll change my mind. It likes to keep my on my toes that way.
I've been reading -- mostly old school stories (P.G.Wodehouse and Thomas Hughes). Tom Brown's School Days
is odd, and I remember thinking it was odd when I first read it. I was still a child and I thought it would be a jolly school yarn full of fighting and larks and talking after lights-out. But it's more like the Bible, with the headmaster as God, and Tom representing mankind. For the first half of the book (the Old Testament) the headmaster proclaims lots of seemingly arbitrary rules that Tom has to follow. Of course, Tom breaks the rules as much as he can, and is never privy to the Greater Plan that only the headmaster knows. You can almost hear God telling Tom he's not allowed to eat lobsters on a Tuesday, and Tom saying 'why?', and God looking inscrutable.
The headmaster almost gives up on Tom, but decides to give him one last chance with a change of approach -- leading us to the second half (the New Testament). Tom arrives back at school after the holidays and is disgusted to find he has to look after a new boy who is both weedy and wet, as well as being precocious and pious. Ugh. Poor Tom. But he learns to love the little blighter, to see that he should be a more religious fellow himself, and to feel genuine remorse and determination to do better when his young charge almost dies. The loveliness of the pious one's nature eventually filters throughout the school, mostly because Tom declares he'll thump anyone who dares challenge it. And Tom comes to have a high opinion of himself, as one who's made the school a better place. By the end of the book, however, he comes to realise that it was all the headmaster's doing, really, and that he, Tom, is an insignificant worm on the face of the planet compared with the headmaster's omni-things.
Odd. I didn't enjoy the second half of the book when I was little, much as I didn't enjoy the New Testament. Tom Brown's School Days
does have a very good fight scene in the second half, though, which I think gives it the edge over the NT.
I've thought of lots of things that I could've written in this journal over the last fortnight, but you're going to have to cope without it. :-D Oh, except for the observation that I seem to know a lot of adults who haven't grown-up -- still very childish. And I've come to see that growing up is not a bad thing. Better to be childlike
, after all. But what is it that makes someone grown-up? I've been wondering about it. Perhaps it's something that happens in adolescence -- something about learning to see yourself with perspective.
Gah. I've forgotten the other things I wanted to say. It doesn't matter anyway.
Oh! One last thing. We've been doing our Tax Returns for the last financial year. It turns out that our combined income (before tax) for last year was £16,500. That's our COMBINED income. Our rent was £9,180. The utilities bills came to just over £1,000. We spent £1,800 on food. And yet we still managed to save over £6,000. I don't know how that's possible, but that's what we did.
The horrible part of this is that First Time Buyers' houses over here start at £160,000 -- so you can see that we'd need a mortgage of ten times our joint income. Any lenders? Anyone? Anyone? I thought not. And the First Time Buyers' houses are actually useless for me because they're built to such a shoddy modern standard that I wouldn't be able to play the piano without really pissing off the neighbours. At least in this tiny old house the walls are so thick (over 2 feet thick, judging by the windowsills) that the sound doesn't carry. So we'd need to buy an old house, and their prices start at £175,000 -- even for the really small terraced ones. I'm thirty-one now. What's going to break first? The Manx property market or my biological clock?
And, on that cheery note, I'm caught up. :-)