Item – Before you all get the idea it’s All Grim All The Time chez May, I here now testify that most of our holiday was excellent. We wandered medieval cobbled streets hand-in-hand. We had a picnic in the warm evening sunshine. We met rare-breed lambs and piglets, and got to pat them. We found any amount of tea-shops that had gluten-free cake, and what’s more, edible gluten-free cake (pause for astonished faintings). We ate really rather a lot of spectacularly delicious meals. We spent an entire afternoon lounging in our room at the B&B, eating chocolate, drinking tea, and reading books. We saw art and photography exhibitions, and castles, and excessively valuable porcelain collections, and interesting trees. There was sunshine. I feel it important to emphasise this as mostly the weather has been an Almighty Bucket of Shite, as is traditional, nay, mandatory, on Bank Holidays in Blighty.
Item – Also, despite the vast quantities of cake, three course meals, ice-creams, and general snackery inserted into face during this week-and-a-half off, I did not put on a single ounce. Very well, I didn’t lose a single ounce either, but, did I mention how much yummy carbohydratey goodness I was snarfing? So hurrah!
Item – Low point, weather-wise, was standing on the battlements of an exceedingly unheated castle in the rain and the wind, wearing thick wool socks and a fleece under my rain-proofs, and feeling so cold all I could say was ‘sod the castle and bugger the view and especially fuck the rare and precious carved and painted fireplaces for not having any bloody fires in them. Tea-shop, NOW. GRAAAAAR’.
Item – Another low, well, not point, exactly, more low trench, was the daily bouts of lower abdominal pains and cramps. I hate my uterus. The feeling is clearly mutual.
Item – Oh, and the sudden and unexpected outbreak of anti-Semitic (and remarkably un-fucking-funny) jokes a bunch of students elected to noisily indulge in as we passed them in the street, brought on by a historical monument complete with plaque referring to the presence of Jewish people there in the Middle Ages. I very rarely hear anti-Semitism out loud, or, at least, most of the not many people who have broached the matter in my presence have accorded me/us/themselves the dubious courtesy of disguising it as anti-Israeli-policy-with-regards-to-Palestine sentiment (ohh, can-shaped kettle of worm-fish! Let’s not discuss it). So I was very very shocked indeed. And beyond heartily wishing them all an evening spent vomiting noisily in the gutter while having their wallets stolen (a statistical strong possibility, given they were already inebriated (natch. Pfft)), I… did nothing. Except be astonished at how upset I was. Please understand, I get ballistically upset any time I hear any kind of bigoted or prejudiced talk, about any race, or religion, or sexuality, or gender, or identity (there are certain subjects some of my family do not dare mention in front of me any more. Hah!). But, yes, astonishingly, it’s absolutely foul to hear talk like that and know they mean you. Illustratively, H was very annoyed with the young turds and thought they were disgusting and also wished them an evening of gutters, but had put it behind him to carry on cheerfully with his otherwise pleasant evening within minutes. As, I confess, I would have, if the little douchenozzles had been amusing themselves at the expense of any other group of which I wasn’t a member.
Item – There’s a lesson in that: empathy and decency can only get you so far. Some things you don’t get unless you experience it. Like sexism! And infertility! Discuss!
Item – So, yes, funeral for H’s grandmother tomorrow. The weather forecast is abysmal. I think my suit of mourning will consist of neon-coloured waterproof jacket and someone else’s wellies, while I read appropriate poems at a hoarse bellow into the teeth of the gale. Heigh ho.