My week in words

Last weekend whizzed past in a blur of activity. Our tiler Mark worked tirelessly on the bathroom to get it finished. Unfortunately he ran out of tiles right at the end so we are almost finished! The tiles look like planks of wood in a pale creamy colour with a darker version inside the shower. In the absence of any bathroom furnishings it looks like the inside of a Swedish log cabin but I think it will come together nicely.

Monday morning we all got up nice and early as we were expecting the plumber. I went to meet a friend for coffee and when I got back at lunchtime no one had materialised. I spent a quiet afternoon emptying the bookcase in the living room while Vern worked in his office.

Tuesday. Vern left early as usual for Birmingham and I got up soon afterwards to be ready in case anyone turned up. My mum popped round for a cup of tea. We sat in the orangery enjoying the sunshine and my sister also dropped in on her way back from the gym. Neither hide nor hair was seen of any labourers. By this time I was frustrated because I couldn’t get hold of anyone to ask if there was a problem so I just seethed quietly. As I had a free afternoon I decided to watch a film that I’d heard about on Netflix called Roma. Apparently it’s the first film on an independent tv network to be nominated for several Academy Awards and is tied with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the most Oscar nominations for a film not in the English language. I was expecting great things. Some people find films with subtitles hard to follow. I find that it depends on the film. Roma is set in Mexico, the title being the name of the district it is based in. It follows the life of a housemaid, Cleo, who lives and works at the home of a middle class family. It becomes clear that she is a well-loved member of the household, especially by the four young children she takes care of. Head of the family is Antonio, a doctor, who leaves early in the film for a conference in Quebec. His wife Sofia and her mother-in-law are distraught at his departure and it soon becomes clear that Antonio is in no hurry to return. The film is beautifully shot in black and white which seems to amplify the background noise so that the viewer really gets a sense of being present in the moment. We are not distracted by colour which forces the viewer to focus purely on the mundane of the daily routine Cleo must endure. Not much happens during the film until near the end, yet I remained enthralled throughout and I was not even aware that I was reading subtitles, it was so engaging. I would recommend you see it if you get the chance. It’s one of those rare moments when I felt that my outlook on life had been changed through someone’s story.

Wednesday was another non-productive day. I visited my mother-in-law in the morning as it was her birthday and Vern was away. I took a freshly made chocolate cake which made her smile, she loves chocolate! The carpenter turned up to board out the little alcove I had requested for the shower and later the tiler popped in and tiled it. That was the sum total of work done all day. I busied myself going to war with the dust which had returned with a vengeance.

Thursday and finally getting up early paid off. The carpenter was here bright and early to sand the wooden banisters and cover the hall floor with special boards which the new tiles will be attached to. I must admit it was good to see something happening again. My son and his girlfriend visited in the afternoon with my grandson Jason. It was lovely to see him but the state of the house meant that it was a little stressful keeping him away from all the dangerous scenarios. He does make me laugh though, he is a cheeky chappy who has just started to say a few words, his favourite being Oi! in a broad Berkshire accent. His mum thinks it came from her because when he is doing something naughty she shouts “Oi, don’t do that”!

Friday came and went without a visit from any workmen. Not sure what has happened to the plumber, maybe he was ill or sent off to another job but I have been promised his undivided attention next week so maybe by next weekend we will have a working bathroom downstairs, fingers crossed. We met with our kitchen designer Marco who has drawn up some splendid plans to refurbish the most important room in our house.

This weekend has been a strange one. My other half is normally a happy bloke. Nothing much gets him down. He often makes up silly songs and when he is singing or whistling I know that all is well. Every so often though, he becomes withdrawn and quiet. It often happens on the weekend and more often during the winter months. He just kind of shuts down and I can’t get through anymore. No amount of cajoling will bring him back. He loses interest in everything around him and won’t talk about it. I never know how best to deal with these black moods. I’ve learnt to just ignore it and carry on as usual. Eventually he snaps out of it but it can last for several days and I find it very distressing. My mood automatically drops too because I’m worried about Vern, but also I’m angry because our weekends are sacred. We spend a great deal of time apart during the week as he is away with work so any time we do get together is a big deal. I have suggested he sees a doctor but this is a waste of breath, after all, he’s a man and a stubborn one at that. He has tried to explain why this happens and he has assured me that it is nothing to do with me. I take it personally, thinking I must have done something to upset him but I know now that this is not the case but it doesn’t make these episodes of depression any easier to deal with. I’m not a naturally positive person myself, I’m a glass-half-empty kind of girl but I think I’m generally happy, so these sudden mood swings Vern has are hard to bear. I adore the very bones of this man. We will soon be celebrating twenty-five years of marriage but I still have no idea what is going on in his head most of the time. It is said that men and women are an entirely different species and I for one would agree with that!

Well, this blog is ending on a bit of a downer but I find that when I start writing it all just pours out onto the page, like a sort of therapy. Hope he comes back to me soon.

Thanks for reading. xx

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