pretty much sums up yesterday. It started off so shitty. Our little Elvis Impersonator was found dead by Milla first thing. Dealing with a child's grief is one of the hardest things, and both of the girls were unspeakably shocked, despairing and bewildered. He had seemed hale and hearty, and only 3 years old. It's not sometimes easy for non-pet owners to understand the depth of emotion, but to my daughters this is as real as bereavement gets.
It was pretty good, and I'm really glad we went, but the poor old geezer has lost his voice over the years. But it was just great song after great song and the outside setting of the cité ramparts was very cool. So yep, that's another box ticked.
**Apologies for the bad photo, you were only allowed your cameraphones in there**
Although I could have passed up the being dragged off to a bar of bongo playing pissheads at 1 in the morning. I'm not as young as I used to be you know.
Last week I found myself with a bit of time on my hands, and an Olympus Trip in my bag. I had picked it up with a Diana for 5 euros (inorite?) Test roll of film loaded, I needed something to shoot.
Somehow I ended up in St Vincent Cimetière, one of four cemeteries in Carcassonne. Kind of made me feel a bit insignificant when I thought about that fact. One of four, in one city, in one country. St Vincent is high up in the hills, overlooking the whole city. The rich folks graves are right at the top, with breathtaking views over the old city ramparts. Right down the bottom, the poorer have graves butted up against the train station, not quite such a peaceful resting place.
The cemetery was deserted, apart from one student using it as a short cut to the train station, yet it is huge. There is something a bit uneasy about taking photographs in such a place; am I being irreverent, disrespectful? I hope not, as I am trying to watch where I step, picking up fallen pots and decorations and putting them right.
The abondoned graves are a little worrying, with a message from the Mayor asking for information. How does someone get forgotten over the years, whilst the adjoining tomb is lovingly tended, covered in marble memoria and porcelain or plastic flowers. In this heat, fresh flowers wouldn't last a day and potted ones need daily watering.
It's too much to bear seeing the grave of another mother's man-child, killed in the trenches in 1917. At least his body made it home, unlike most.
So I pick my way, in silence apart from the birdsong, amongst the basking lizards and snakes and up and down steep walkways lined with cypress trees. Peering into the open doorways of tiny little mausoleums that are like mini chapels, some fallen into decay and one very recently built and bizarre modernist black marble temple with smoked glass door and brass fittings.
I managed to lose all sense of time and place, and realised I had been there for an hour. This solitude and time and space to think has been very special.
These past few days have seen me slaving over a hot keyboard, spending far too long on re-designing my website, which seems remarkably past it's use-by date considering it was only re-designed this time last year. Whoa, a lot has changed since then, not least me getting besotted with film photography or the fact that I've all but forgotten that I used to be a sculptor.
So to soothe the beast, yesterday I bought one of those things. You know what I mean. For the garden. Well in French they seem to have many different ways of describing it too.......but when we were kids we use to call it a swinging settee, and they make me get that warm, fuzzy and nostalgic glow.
Allegedly, according to the badly translated instructions, it takes 2 people 10 minutes. Now I've always been very capable in the flat-pack assembly department, and Milla and I make a start at 5pm armed with very stupid diagrams. Fast foward half an hour. Hurrah! Here comes Romy with 3 friends in tow! One of the friends' boyfriend is a strapping rugby player, he'll be useful. So now we are a team of 5.
6 pm and the Mr gets home. He joins in the fight for victory. Now our neighbours are really amused.
It's 7 o'clock and we have an erection! (snigger)
So finally I get to do what I've dreamed of for years. Swing on my garden thingy settee hammock thing, chilled glass of rosé, bag of crisps and watch the swallows, well if I could just shove all the rowdy teenagers off it first.
So do I feel guilty about sitting, swinging and swigging when I should be doing other things? Do I bollocks.
No, these are more like my guilty pleasures (notice my clever little segue)
- Ride on Time by Black Box. You had to be there really, but it was sooo much fun.
- Dairylea cheese triangles with extra strong pickled onions. Please don't tell the French.
- The Aristocats
- Big granny knickers. Thong/string whatever you call it, I ask you. It's a Piano wire; Ouch!
- The satisfaction I feel after a loud trump.
- Watching the Culture Show and ogling Andrew Graham Dixon. Yes he's a middle-aged, plump, twit but I'm not the only one am I? *eyeballing Dee here*
- Super Monkey Ball; Best.Fun.Ever.
There, that's me come clean. Now if you have any guilty pleasures to get off your chest, leave them as a comment, give me a laugh while I get back to suffering Repetitive Website Building Stress Syndrome.