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Deepest of breaths | Perfume Posse

It’s been (and still is) a time.

I returned with my son to uni on Saturday to get him settled for his third (and final) year. I’m crossing everything and sending the hugest of hopes into the ether that this year is relatively normal. That he both gets a proper ‘uni experience’ and does well academically (he still hasn’t had his modules confirmed — he starts classes a week from Monday; last year, he had his modules confirmed more than a month ago). So, please send good thought along for a very decent year for him.

We took the train – and I was sort of glad we did even though the trains are a mess currently for all kinds of reasons (but mostly lack of staff – thank you, Covid). We arrived on time, sorted getting stuff out of storage, and we set up his ‘studio’. At least his housing this year is very decent (vs horror shows the past two years). Did a small bit of shopping to get him set and ate at a pseudo Mexican place which was actually very nice.

But, as we were paying I checked my train back home to discover one part of it had been cancelled. So, quick goodbye, put him in a taxi with his shopping, and got myself on to another train – which meant I had a two hour wait for the second part of the journey. Spent the wait watching drunk football fans on their way home and re-reading the poet Michael Rosen’s book Many Different Kinds of Love about his experience in the health service here when he got Covid. It’s a beautiful and harrowing book, and well worth reading.

Finally got home around midnight, sorted self, and slept. Woke up feeling so twitchy.

Got dog from neighbours (I don’t think he wanted to come home – they have a dog and he really really wants to be part of a pack), and to keep myself from thinking too much did four loads of laundry (plus put the washing machine on for a deep clean), vacuumed upstairs and cleaned the bathroom, cleaned downstairs and the kitchen, studied some German, cleared out the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard, emailed the carpenter to set up visit regarding built-in wardrobe, and made appointment for boiler to be serviced. Dead-headed roses. Ate the last peach of the season – which ironically was gorgeous.

Then, tried to get petrol (gas) and no joy. This is another part of the current madnesses here. A run on petrol stations, leading to shortages. I’ve got over a half a tank left but I’ll need to top that up this week and am hoping there will be some deliveries. Ordered some pressed wood things for the wood stove (heating gas prices rising) to go with the chopped wood I already have.

Seriously, none of this is fun or funny.

And within all this I contemplated that my mother, who, had she lived, would turn 96 tomorrow (ie, Monday). What would she have been like now? Would she still have wanted to be around? No answers to those questions. In any case I always miss her like mad.

Lastly, I recently discovered and devoured a new series. Stephen Mack Jones August Snow books (three of them currently). Set in Detroit, former cop/marine Afro-American-Mexican protagonist who does good. Won’t say more except they are beautifully written but also formulaic in the best possible way.

So, hope you’re more on even keel than I am. Perhaps tell us some good things that are going on with you.

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