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samedi 19 avril 2014

AtoZ Challenge: L... for L, my sweet little angel.

Oh, she's a character, my little L. Not so little, either, because she's going to be 10 a week tomorrow. She's tall, she's skinny, she's full of energy.

She fights endlessly with her quieter, more studious elder sister.

She finds school mainly quite boring (though she gets good enough grades, without much effort, so I suspect there's untapped intelligence in there), but loves sport (how, but how, can she be my daughter?! I hated sport as a child and have diligently refused to do any since the day I left high school and it no longer became obligatory).

She has, however, shown an interest in the mythology they're studying at the moment, and she had to do a presentation on the profession of one of her parents (meaning she had to choose mine, because D doesn't have one) and she got an A, which would have been an A+ if she'd spoken a little slower...

She's funny, she's a clown, she shows her emotions in a way that I can only admire. She asks to come and see me (which C never does any more), she holds my hand when we're out together, she hugs me, she kisses me.

She's my little L and I love her more than words can say.

AtoZ Challenge: K... for Kitten.

After my beloved Tom died, the decision was made to adopt another cat as quickly as possible. Within just a few days, an adorable black kitten, aged around 6 months at the time, came into our lives and stole our hearts.

But Zorro (for that's his name) is a totally different cat to Tom. Not just in colour, but in character and behaviour. For one thing, he's scared of absolutely everything and everyone, meaning that in 6 weeks with us, I have succeeded in (very, very briefly) touching his tail just once. There is no stroking, no affection, no communication apart from the plaintive "feed me!" miaows.

And now, I fear the worst. Last night he went out on to the balcony and, despite this great fear of everything, jumped down into the courtyard behind the flat. At first, he was under the neighbour's car, but the promise of croquettes wouldn't bring him out and Y couldn't get him into the box he'd prepared.

As night fell, Zorro became invisible and Y had to give up for the night, though he had Zorro-flavoured nightmares all night and even I, who rarely remembers dreams, dreamed of Zorro and felt uneasy when I woke up.

Y left the balcony door open, left food out, made a kind of footbridge (pawbridge?) from the courtyard to the balcony (we're on the ground floor, but a 6-steps-up kind of ground floor, making the courtyard quite a way down for a small cat). A neighbour's menace of a cat came in, of course, and ate everything, but of Zorro there has been no sign. I feel sick to the stomach, terrified that we've already lost him.

I'm heading off home for the long weekend and pray that we'll find him and be able to bring him home safely.

AtoZ Challenge: J... for Justice.

I know it's not healthy to allow myself to be consumed by a feeling of injustice, but I can't help it. I was wronged by D, profoundly wronged, and yet it is I that has paid the biggest price. Justice has not been done and the thought of obtaining justice is one of the (many) things that haunt me.

I don't know what kind of justice I expect - that D accept and admit that he did me wrong would be good, but I may be crazy but I'm not delusional, I know that is never going to happen. So what kind of justice can I possibly be hoping for?

I really don't know, but I dream of an abstract form of justice, and when I wake and come back to my often rather sordid reality, I realise once again that justice has not been done.

Maybe I'm waiting for the world at large to tell me they understand what I've been through, that they sympathise or even empathise with me, that it really all has been terribly unfair. But that's unrealistic because the wronging took place 4 years ago now, and everyone but me has moved on.

But that doesn't stop me yearning for justice all the same.

AtoZ Challenge: I... for Impossible.

There's a saying in French that just cracks me up - "Impossible n'est pas français", which translates as "Impossible isn't French". The blatant falsity of this expression, the arrogance underlying it, make me laugh.

The other day, there was a short philosophy programme on Arte, and the theme was "Possible". The philosopher said that "What is possible is what is not" and that got me thinking (the aim of the programme, I guess, though I didn't watch till the end - there's only so much televised philosophy a girl can take). If all that is not is possible, then nothing is really IMpossible. There may be some things that are more likely than others, but nothing is actually impossible...

It makes you think, doesn't it? I mean, the French saying is still (in my opinion) a statement of pure Gallic arrogance (something that's never in short supply, it must be said), but maybe it could be adapted, maybe it should just be "Impossible n'existe pas".

Leaving this clinic is thus possible, finding happiness is possible, everything is possible.

As I said, it makes you think.

vendredi 18 avril 2014

AtoZChallenge: H... for Hate.

The time might seem auspicious because, despite my efforts to remain cool with him, I still find D incredibly annoying, incredibly disturbing. I hope and pray he's not doing anything that that will harm my sweet girls. I want them to know they can always come to me, always count on me, even when I'm here.

I hate this situation D has forced us into. I hate that they have had to grow up with so much darkness around them.

Hate is usually counter-productive, I know that, but sometimes you just have to go with it, hope it burns itself out.

Hope springs etermal

AtoZ Challenge: G... for Gravity.

It's a strange word, two different meanings, two different connotations.

The first is the whole Isaac Newton and the apple thing:

But it's a law that leaves me more than a little perplex. If gravity does, indeed, keep us on earth and prevent us from floating up into the sky before crashing and burning against some other planet or star or whatever, then how come I spend so much of my time feeling like I'm floating above my life, looking down on it, watching myself do things?

And then there's the seriousness aspect, someone speaking with gravity in his voice is someone you should probably listen to.

I prefer the first, I like the apple falling story, I like the idea of a force beyond my control keeping me in my place, so to speak.

There have been episodes of gravity in my life (don't worry, I'm not going to go back over all that, it's all in the archives), and most of those episodes are something I would very much like to forget.

I just hope that C, who really is very like me in so many, many ways, isn't an apple that doesn't fall far from the tree because I want her to be happier than I have ever been. I don't want her to make the same mistakes I made, and continue to make.

AtoZ Challenge: F... for France.

I've lived not far from half my life in France, and nearly all my adult life so far. D is now going through one of his paranoid phases, telling me disturbing crap such as, "I need to prepare myself for a move to the UK in case I need to leave France one day and you should do the same as I guess you won't want to be far from the girls..." I have no idea what this means, in concrete terms, but I do know I'm going to fight it, tooth and nail.

I very, very much enjoy taking the girls to England every other year (wish it were more often, but it's so damn expensive), catching up with my very closest friends, J, M and H. The girls love going, there are children to play with, they all get along well, they really have fun. And they speak English (which is more than they ever do with me).

But I have no desire to go and live in the UK. For one thing, where on earth could I afford? Wherever it may be is likely to be a fair distance from J, M and H, so I'd know no one, have a job that brings me into contact with no one and the girls would be launched into English school life, most likely very much against their will.

So no. For me, it's absolutely not on the cards. I don't know what the laws are about this type of problem - separated parents with no official shared custody ruling from a judge, and one of whom wishes to move to some place far away... I guess I should find out, know my rights.

France is home to me, even though I don't feel even remotely French and have no intention of taking French nationality (I do, however, intend to renew Carla's GB passport and get one done for Lydie). Montpellier is a great city - not too big, not too small. And it has palm trees growing all over the place FFS.

F is for France and France is my home. And I think it always will be. For the foreseeable future, anyway. Screw D and his paranoia.