I revisit the harbour every day now. I usually arrive as the sun is setting. The sky is full of reds, pinks and golds, colours which give me hope. It’s been six months since my love set sail, off to explore a new land. The children are getting to the stage where they no longer ask “where’s Daddy?” They’re so young that I worry they will soon forget his face. My skirts billow in the salty wind as I take my seat on the wooden boards. As my children sleep soundly at home I continue my wait, knowing that I’ll never give up hope that he’ll return: my husband, my love, my life.
note: I am currently away at Leeds Festival. Any comments will be answered when I return!
“The day her twins leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. For seventeen years she’s wanted to yell at the world, “stop! I want to get off!” Finally, this is her chance.
Her husband Brian, an astronomer having an unsatisfactory affair, is upset. Who will cook his dinner? Eva, he complains, is attention seeking. But word of Eva’s defiance spreads.
Legions of fans, believing she is protesting, gather in the street, while her new friend Alexander the white-van man brings tea, toast and unexpected sympathy. And from this odd but comforting place, Eva begins to see both herself and the world very, very differently…”
I have been keeping an eye out for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole in my local charity shops for a while now so when I saw The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year by the same author I snapped it up.
Eva is the mother to Brian Junior and Brianne, seventeen year old twins who took up her entire life before they left to go to university. Once they have gone Eva gets into bed and refuses to get out again. Her not-so-loving husband, Brian, is confused and frustrated by her stubborness and has absolutely no idea how to make a meal for himself, nevermind run a house. As Eva’s family get used to fending for themselves and looking after her for a change, she starts to see the world in a totally different way. Alexander the local white van man becomes her closest friend and she starts giving advice to those who pop in and see her.
This novel is a brilliant and hilarious look at family life but it also has darker psychological themes as Eva is obviously having some kind of breakdown. She is an extremely likeable character though and you can’t help but cheer her on in her mission to think about herself for a change!
Are you ever tempted to just give up on all your responsibilities and stay in bed? Would you feel liberated or just bored?
NOTE – I am currently away at Leeds Festival but will answer all comments when I return!
This week I have two lots of Friday Fictioneers for you as I forgot to post Haversham Heights last week. Enjoy!
“This all looks a bit Miss Haversham to me”
I was yet to be convinced that this was where me and my fiance should spend the rest of our lives. The building looked like it had been beautiful in it’s prime before it became covered in dirt and dust.
“You’re kidding nobody my love. You’d love to do this place up. Imagine living in this beautiful house with our newborn”
He put his hand over my slightly swollen stomach and it filled with butterflies. I stubbornly argued but then he showed me the garden… I changed my mind.
I had 20p and one chance. Who would I call? The police would be the obvious choice. I was in deep trouble and the law could help. I’ve heard about the police making things more difficult for people though.
My best friend? He’s been with me thick and thin. He’d surely have some advice? But he’d never let me live this moment down.
I don’t think so.
It was obvious. The one place I could call. Someone who would help me without judging me. Who would hug me and give me hope.
This is a new challenge that I found on another blog. Friday Fictioneers is where every week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a picture and we try and write a 100 word story about it. Sounds like a brilliant idea! Here’s my contribution for this week:
“Your mother says you’re grounded all month!”
“So unfair. What am I meant to do on Saturdays now?”
I gestured to the bike I’d been working on for months.
“I’m not going near that!”
“There’s always your bedroom to clean…”
He grabbed a spanner.
We spent every Saturday fixing the bike and listening to the radio. One day I went down stairs and Kyle was leaning on the wall.
“You’re not grounded any more. You can go out if you want.”
On Sunday we celebrated the birthday of my younger brother Daniel who has grown from this:
L-R Daniel (little bro), David (big bro) and Me
Watching the Foo Fighters at Reading 2012
We had a small party at home with my mum’s famous buffet. Unfortunately for me there’s usually not much variety on buffet tables for somebody who is gluten free, vegan and on a wholefoods diet. I decided to put some effort in this time and had a bit of a feast like everybody else!
For some reason I had a craving for a beany/tomato dish and this is what I came up with. I followed no recipe for this and didn’t note down what I did either (sorry!). It consisted of a tin of red kidney beans, one of chickpeas, one of butter beans and two of chopped tomatoes. I also added babycorn, onion and green beans. For a bit of spice I added chilli and coriander. This was nice cold (good for dipping nachos in!) but also good heated up the next day over a jacket potato.
A savoury meaty tasting dish came next. I roasted a whole packet of button mushrooms with a chopped aubergine and some walnuts. This was perfection. I used tamari to give it a deeper flavour and then sprinkled with chives before serving.
Standard vegan fare… a platter of chopped carrots, green and red peppers, courgettes and cherry tomatoes with two types of hummus for dipping (Pea and Mint / Plain).
More standard vegan fare… salad. However I added roasted vegetables (courgette, pepper, red onion) and sweetcorn to this to make it a little bit different.
My feast plate!
A good time was had by all. I’ll leave you with a photo of a chocoholic (but not in any way vegan) birthday cake.