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Monthly Archives: June 2011

families

In families, everything is a false dichotomy.

You are the clever one, your brother is the caring one.

He’s the practical one while you pale at the sight of blood.

You have a butterfly mind, you take things too personally.

“You ran here? You?!”

You absolutely, definitely cannot cook.

Yes, yes and flippin’ well no to all of  it!

You become Mrs Prickle-ooh-Touchy, as you serve your four course Michelin starred gourmet meal while bandaging up the finger which got caught under the steak knife. There will be a raised eyebrow, an appreciative murmur. But you’re still a terrible cook and you still nearly fainted when you were 12.

I sulk at this. I close off. I am Mrs Touchy-pants.

But I do it back. I tease my mum about her headmistress glare, my dad about his terrible puns, my brother about his awful shorts.  I don’t like it when my mum goes into custody suites to check prisoners aren’t being mistreated – I thought she wanted to throw away the key! I thought she was campaigning to bring back the workhouse!

It’s such a huge anchor – in our family, at least – the set in stone “funny one, academic one, rebellious one”, even if only to take the opposing path (“she used to be quite shy, now she never shuts up”… I was only shy in Church when you told me to ‘shh’ when I was 5. I haven’t been shy in 30 years…)

Your family know how to press your buttons, they say, because they sewed them on.

 

 

hot under the collar

It could just be the weather but yesterday’s Federer – Nalbandian match was a bit like watching a soft porn movie…

First, rugged looking Argentinian Nalbandian gets a groin injury which calls for a reassuring looking physio in shorts to do a bit of gentle but firm thigh massaging. The camera zoomed closer and closer and higher and higher – it must have been quite something in HD.

Then as play resumes there’s McEnroe’s lazy American voiceover wondering “how that groin’s feeling now.”

Next Federer changes his top. Slowly.  Cut back to more physio on South American tennis player action…

(Actually when Nadal took off his top after his match – standing around topless for a while and packing away his kit before he put on a new one – it seemed a deliberate attempt to draw attention from Muller leaving the court. But – me being a fan of Federer and not Rafa – I took Roger’s top switching as timely moment to freshen up and in no way an attempt to steal the focus back from his injured opponent…)

motivational poem

My riding school has this motivational poem tacked up outside the schooling ring:

The Victor~by C. W. Longenecker

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of your-self before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

They think it’s all over…

.it Isner!

Really sad I missed Isner and Mahut’s match yesterday. I so wanted to see them again after last year’s epic. Lynne Truss claims that it’s the “emotional repression on display that attracts the female heart,” that us women can’t help doing the feeling in cases of gladiatorial stoicism.  Perhaps she’s right  – I, for one, was enthralled by every minute gesture and, although I’d been rooting for Isner, was almost in tears when Mahut didn’t win.

It was the same kind of feeling when I was inexplicably invited to watch the Cambridge University bumps last weekend.  I could feel the adrenaline flowing and a lump in my throat when the starting gun went. And there’s a really satisfying aesthetic and other worldly quality about people who are so focused on doing something well.

Anyway, couldn’t watch Isner and Mahut because we were meeting builders at our new house. Well, still no contracts exchanged and the sellers have slowed up but fingers crossed, please, please etc!

It’s the weird limbo thing of not getting too excited in case it doesn’t go through while simultaneously planning what needs to be done.

They say it’s one of the most stressful life events, moving home. In that case I’m justified in taking the afternoon off for another dose of emotional repression, right?

 

Western or British?

Just had my first taster lesson in Western riding today.

I came away shaking, teary and euphoric, just because of the roller coaster of emotions and amount of adrenaline going on…

It was something like:
ooh, this is exciting…This is different…Oh, god, heels again, I always get nagged about them… This horse is playing up… Actually, that one was my fault… That one wasn’t, though!… (mutters) I hate this instructor, I am never, ever, ever going to get this and I want this lesson over…. Oh, that was OK actually. ..Actually not too bad… Bugger, lost it again… One handed reins, hand on the swell like a real cowboy – this is cool! Ohmigod, I’m loping! Love it!… Oops, where’s he going? How do I stop this thing?… Wanna go again, cool!!

Here’s how the professionals do it…