March 25, 2009

Dance me to the end of love

One thing about having friends who are late bloomers in the marriage-and-kids department is that even at the grand old age of 35 you still get invited to quite a lot of weddings.

Now, I'm not the world's biggest fan of weddings (hence my choice not to get married), but I take a Jean Brodie-ish attitude of 'For those who like that sort of thing, that is what they like', and try not to shake my head to visibly during the bits of the ceremony that really bother me (anything to do with having children for Jesus' sake, generally) or during the invariably lame speeches. All that said, we went to a lovely wedding last weekend which restored a little bit of my faith in why people bother to put themselves through it.

So many weddings we've been to have had a formulaic feel, mainly because they are based on the venue's 'wedding package', but this one felt exactly like something the friends in question would do, from the bride taking off her shoes as soon as the ceremony was over, to the tables laid with red-checked tablecloths and simple cutlery.

I've never been at a wedding where the bride and groom have been so relaxed and actually had the time and opportunity to not only talk to all of their guests, but to actually sit down and have a real conversation with them about non-wedding related topics (instead of everyone just smiling and agreeing that it was a lovely ceremony while the bride scouts over your shoulder trying to spot who she's missed having this scintillating conversation with).

Of course, it wasn't perfect - the groom's dad made a hideous addendum to an already not great speech, about squeaky bunks and vomit-y sheets, and only half the lunch table was shaded, so the rest of us ended up with sunburn - but by the time we stumbled back to our B&B ten hours later, I really felt like we had shared something special with our friends.

March 18, 2009

Inhospitable

Until last year, I was one of the few people my age I knew who could say they'd never had a filling. Then I had to have five. Until last Sunday, I was one of the few people my age I knew who could say they'd never been admitted to hospital. Then I had to go to Emergency.

Having not stayed in hospital before, my associations of them are mainly from visiting my grandparents on their numerous admissions as they got older. It always seemed like a pretty okay way to spend a few days: helpful nurses, nice tea ladies, nothing to do but lie around reading or watching TV and lapping up the sympathy from visitors. But if you have to spend more than an hour in the place (and especially if you're stuck on a drip that means you can't move more than a metre away from a powerpoint), you realise that the nurses are too harassed to actually pay a second's more attention to you than they absolutely have to; that doctors think visiting wards and actually talking to patients is below them, so they'll make you wait three hours before they deign to grace you with their presence; and that hospital food is actually as bad as everyone makes out.

Thankfully (in all senses) I only had to stay in for 24 hours and am now recovering at home with my furry ginger nurse. The pain relief may not be as good, but the food makes up for it!

March 9, 2009

Ho hum

It's been a bit of a shite time lately, topped off yesterday when I finally sat down to do some writing and discovered half of chapter 1 has become corrupted on my usb stick and is not recoverable. In a way I know it''s probably for the best - the first draft is rarely the best, it was only half a chapter, and I can't say there was anything so amazing about it that I have lost a snippet of genius. But it is a pain and it puts me even further back in my progress, which has been pathetic to start with. Ho hum.

One good thing that happened last week was that I finally got around to reading Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell. Fantastic book. She just nails her characters so well. I read a review in The Age when the book first came out that said something along the lines of EB being a book for drug-taking adolescent scrags, to which I can only say the reviewer either grew up at a place like Spirit Ranch or was never a teenager themself. Howell's tremendous skill, to me, is showing how normal it is for young peole to be getting drunk, taking drugs and having sex, without those things becoming the focus of the book. It's a subtlety I hope to master myself some day.