Wednesday, July 4, 2007

T.F.I. Wednesday

On a more upbeat note, and against all the odds, I took the day off from invalidism. I drove to Brighton with my son and met up with my London-based daughter to buy clothes for them both in the lovely second-hand shops that can still be found in the Lanes. How much longer those places will be there before being taken over by expensive chiquerie remains to be seen. But Brighton is still good. My kids would like me and their Dad to move there, and as I stood under a canopy watching the sun and rain fight it out next to the knitted thigh-length socks of many-coloured stripes (two pairs for a fiver), smelling the coffee, seeing the trendy long-haired geezers with sleek grey hair tied back into long pony tails (only in Brighton, these) and feeling the beat of the place, I thought – why not? Why not just up sticks and move back to the centre of things, it might not make me better but then again it might not make me worse. That thought lasted only a couple of seconds, all said and done we have not sold our old house yet and, fed up thinking about it, have taken her off the market. But if the thought comes back, I’ll have a look at it.

The whole world and my daughter have given up smoking. I rejoice, even as I surreptitiously light up the last of my stash before I too rejoin the right-thinking universe and do cold turkey again. My daughter is very cool about the whole thing. Yes, it feels a bit as though your best friend has just died, but on the other hand it’s quite easy – the times you want to have one, you just don’t, and obviously it’s a drag thinking about it all the time and wanting it, but so it goes. We went to have char-grilled burgers in a tiny place hidden away up an alley you would be certain to miss if you didn’t stumble into it by accident or know it was there. We could smell the smoke that, even five days ago, came from the lit cigarettes. I remembered the sign that used to be up saying that they served Absinthe (only two shots per person). My daughter said that everywhere was becoming really controlled and “anal.” My son said that it was a good thing, the new smoking ban, and they bickered mildly about this for a while. I fell, as usual, somewhere between the two.

Also against the odds, I have thrown myself into, or possibly at, the resurrection of my novel idea. I have one first person narrator and plan to alternate between this and third person. I have re-written a whole chunk, well fifteen hundred words of first person narrative, converting it into third person. It’s rubbish as it stands of course, too subjective, but really – a woman in my condition can’t afford to look too closely: never mind the quality, count the words is the thing at this point.

I’m a bit manic from having got away with my day off. I’ll pay, of course. Or not.


Digitalesse said...

So glad you escaped from ME captivity, if only for a day.

The last time I went to Brighton I was a fit young 20-something, walking along the beach on a dark autumn evening, listening to the sound of the water flowing beneath the pebbles.

I like the seaside, particularly out of season, and I like it in the rain.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi digitalesse - yes, I find it works for me to do what I can when I can, and when I can't I don't.

Lots of rain predicted for the next 3 months!

Anonymous said...

What a nice post. I sensed a great deal of sunshine, sneaking in between the heavy rain clouds.

I love the idea of moving back "to the centre of things" once the children are out. I am of the hope of doing just that when the time comes. And when the thought comes back to me, closer to the time of reckoning, "I'll have a look at it" as well.

I am of the hope that your last stash of fags is indeed your last stash. My fingers are crossed for you.

I know I am couting my blessings with each post, but I am very glad you are back. Very glad.

Reading the Signs said...

goodthomas, half of me also hopes that this is my last stash - but only half. I'd quite like to be one of those who can smoke once in a while and leave it at that. I think I like it too much to do that, though.

Back to the centre, yes. But then the edge is also good. I want it all ways, I suppose. It's sometimes a pain to be me, goodthomas.

cusp said...

Oh isn't it lovely when you escape and leave the old lurker behind. Brighton sounds great. Like Digitalesse I have loads of great memories of the place. Glad you had such a good day with your children.

Time to settle down to some work now !!

cusp said...

Oh isn't it lovely when you escape and leave the old lurker behind. Brighton sounds great. Like Digitalesse I have loads of great memories of the place. Glad you had such a good day with your children.

Time to settle down to some work now !!

Reading the Signs said...

hi cusp, I nearly missed you there, even though you've appeared twice. "Time to settle down to some work now" is addressed to me, I take it, rather than yourself? I plan to, as it happens, this weekend.

Janejill said...

I've just spent another day in Brighton adn then Hove; I love the area as there is something for every type; it is so much more interesting than SUrrey... I gave up smoking from 40 a day for so many years; Ihad a slight health warning which helped, but mostly it was the Alan Carr book which gave me apush; it was so easy, I could kick myself. I had alwasy thought my smoking almost defined me - that was really sad as it didn't . Go for it and get as many things to help you as possible. Good luck .

Reading the Signs said...

Hello janejill and welcome - yes, Brighton is a terrific place, I hope it stays that way and doesn't turn into a playground for the rich. Everyone there, I mean everyone looks pretty, beautiful or interesting and I think if I lived there I might feel I had to try a bit harder with clothes, accessories and such (though I am reassured that Birkenstocks, which I have worn for years, are now considered cool, so maybe all I have to do is be as I am and wait for everyone else to catch up with me).

Smoking - stupid me, I gave it up for 18 months, what can I say? Lots more, but won't in case daughter is looking in. Daughter? Do as I say, not as I do.

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

Of course your kids want you to move to Brighton. My sister and I encouraged our widowed Mum to move to a similar location for probably identical reasons. We're all happy. What can I say?

I know it's not popular, or even believed in this country to say it, but I went from being a regular smoker to a very occasional one (I've had about two cigs this year and about four last year). It's possible to have the occasional cig if the mood strikes and someone offers and not think about it at any other time - even when you did smoke every day for 15 years.

Great that you've gone back to the novel too. You won't regret it, I'm sure.



Reading the Signs said...

Pants, lovely to see your face here again.

I might well do it, I'm ruling nothing out, even though damn house hasn't sold. I have a sense of possibilities.

You smoked for 15 years? I can double that and add some more. Did I tell you that I once wrote a story called "Light Up My Life"? Guess what it was about.

I'm just about to read Writing the Breakout Novel by Sol Stein. I'm bashing away but haven't yet hit the seam. Being a teacher, I have all the answers. Not.