Granny has spent her week with rain coming through every roof, electricity shorting, a psychomatic stomach bug, and - now, - with wind banging top bottom and all round. Appropriate weather - did anyone shout pathetic fallacy? - for her immersion in problems arising from being a second Mrs Rochester. Let's keep the literary analogies going. Tennessee Williams meets Cranford. Granny had forgotten how very polite some kinds of Americans can be - the kind that does not go stamping on hot tin roofs or naming Street Cars Desire. The kind not called, say, Kerouac or Philip Roth. Granny's image throughout the week swung between Wicked Stepmother and Mother Teresa - quite often - as Beloved pointed out - in her own head. She has now swung back to her normal mundane self, no more evil than most let alone good. She does wonder, though, about the roles all of us (she assumes) find ourselves trying on in the course of any day, any life, bouncing off, reflected from, this person, this group or that. Some do it more some less - or at least they are are less self-conscious about it. Beloved is not the least self-conscious and appears much more constant: but then, no doubt, everyone seems more constant from the outside. His persona, in extremis, Miller of Dee (I care for nobody no not I and nobody cares for me) ends up as:'if all else fails, cook.' In consequence, everyone over-ate this week, not to say over-drank. (Which might have something to do with Granny's iffy guts.)
So the son, the clever doctor, the Southern Belles came and went (one Belle was definitely rung, but that is another story. Granny does love being cryptic sometimes. How many stories can one tell in a blog and how many not? And which ones are true? And shouldn't they all on some level be cryptic?) Granny and Beloved are left exhausted but happy because really many kinds of family ghosts were laid in the end, with hugs all round which is just as it should be. Granny keeps thinking of ordeals as in the Magic Flute: you walk into the dark and emerge at last, blinking wearily, into the light. Some wonderful music to have accompanied this would have been nice but you can't have everything. And maybe the sudden winging up of two stone curlews from under Granny and Beloved's feet, to replace the one slaughtered by the Tiresome Terrier will do just as well . (Tiresome Terrier is to be kept from the area concerned until the nesting season is over. )
When Granny is feeling less tired she will find a stone curlew to put on her post. Meantime here is a nice and very typical picture of Beloved, rock-pooling, taken by the clever doctor instead. As you see he doesn't have long yellow legs, let alone a long beak tipped with black and broad wings edged with brown black and white stripes. No, no, that's the Stone Curlew.
The electrician has been and gone. More power has arrived. A good metaphor for the way G and B are feeling. No more sudden plunges into the dark they hope: though true improvement could only truly be measured by another influx of Southern Belles, taking showers and wielding hair dryers....
A question. Does every family have its golden age? This week was one long reminiscence of such an age in one family. Interesting that.
TONIGHT THE LEFTOVERS....