Somewhere, approximately 400 miles away, a ghost of me is giving birth to the child she conceived last Christmas. She’s a very faint ghost; after all, she has been fading since mid-January. But I can still hear her.
Back home, I’d be at work today, and haunted by the fact that I really shouldn’t be. Here, at least, I get to be H’s super-special snowflake, and he lets me drag him round historical ruins and yatter my head off about the Scottish succession and Edward II, which is pleasantly distracting. And gory.
I dreamt, last night, that a dear friend let me move in with her and share her children. It’s an improvement on dreams of dead babies in ditches, but oh, waking up was so stained with loss and shame and inadequacy.
We went to a wildlife centre this morning, to admire the red squirrels. Entry was £4 per adult, but £7.50 for a family, so H and I were being charged more than the mum, dad, toddler and newborn-babe-in-pram behind us. H was not impressed. Oh, he thinks it’s perfectly fair to discount tickets for families, but by that much? We, a mere couple, were practically being fined for failure to reproduce. I was more bothered by the fact that the baby was there at all, interfering with my Bitter Barren Forcefield and clearly getting nothing out of the squirrel experience at all. And neither was the toddler, who was cold, and also unimpressed by mergansers. Or grebes. Or siskins. What did she like? The bloody ubiquitous mallards, that’s what.
Through the hail and wind, a rainbow followed us for miles and miles as we drove back to our B&B.
Oh God, I want a child so much.