Monday, April 16, 2007

Of Sun

We seem to be on the brink of summer. The weekend was so warm and balmy, and saw people across the country shedding their winter clothes in order to frolic with frisbees and drink warm beer from cans. It was warmer than last weekend. Properly warm, and I have the freckles to prove it.

On Saturday my Dad picked me up from my piano lesson and we drove down to Eastbourne. On the motorway I wound down the window and attempted to at least get a lorry driver tan by sticking my left arm out of the window, inhaling the aromatic fumes of the cars hurtling alongside us. I kept a baleful eye on the temperature gauge as it crept up, reminding me that all my friends were sunning themselves in parks and getting drunker and more sunstroked as the day went on.

We were going to Eastbourne, though, because we had to pick up my cello from the studio I had been working in, but do not anymore. Picking up my cello and was the last hurdle I had before drawing a line under that particular adventure and throwing myself with renewed enthusiasm into the next ones. There was a point in January when I realised that it had to end, because it wasn't going in the right direction and I wasn't comfortable any more with how things seemed to be panning out. It was hard. I felt horrible for a while. Directionless and uncertain, like I had squandered my time and energy on something that came to nothing. It felt like a painful relationship break up, in that I felt let down, disappointed and a bit lost. I didn't know where to try and place the blame, aware as I was that there wasn't really anything I could have done to have made things better, but still troubled by a nagging sensation that it was all somehow my fault.

This was compounded by actual 'relationship' issues, which made things seem even more bleak. I felt let down by two areas of my life, two specific people I had trusted to care about me, and it was all quite a lot to cope with at once.

On Saturday, however, I picked my cello. It was a sunny day, a weekend infused with positivity only marred by the incessant global warming quips coming from every angle. I saw a friend, Sam, who I had been missing since I no longer spent any time on the coast. I didn't have to face anyone I didn't want to and I felt oddly safe. My Dad and I ate fish and chips then ice cream on the promenade, after which I stood on the beach, picking up some smooth warm pebbles and holding them in my hands. People were splashing in the sea, others tucked in against the bleachers reading or just prostrated under the hot sun.

We drove back and I tilted my seat right back, so that I could just see the cobalt sky and the tops of the trees blurring from underneath my sunglasses. By the time we reached home I was itching to share my elevated mood, so I went to Clapham, where my friend Pippa was celebrating her birthday. The pavements were teeming with people, the sound of voices peppered with the regular smashing of glasses as they were knocked from their precarious positions. It was a night of friends, of heat and of dancing. Of gin and tonic and loud conversation. A good night.

A blue sky Sunday followed, of course. I hopped on a train to see Bec in Sydenham, where we sat outside a grubby pub with sticky menus and discussed our lives in grisly detail. Neither Bec nor I could possibly ever shock each other by our antics, which is one of the reasons we get on so well. We picked things apart and attempted to put them back together again, every so often swapping seats to make sure neither of us just got tanned on one side.

Later that afternoon I headed to Camden, to meet Dan, Sam, Lucy, Luke, Max, Sarah and various others, to sit outside the bustling Edinboro' Castle near Regent's Park and drink beer. It was lovely. I love the Sunday night drinking feeling, and this really was an excellent example of why it should always, always be sunny on a Sunday.

I felt so happy on the way home. My sense of cheer was only slightly marred by the fact that I fell asleep on the train and missed my stop, which, as I live just outside London, can be quite a big deal. However, when I woke up and looked around helplessly, a nice Swedish man helped me through my confusion by telling me where we were and then waiting with me at the next stop for a train going the other way. He gave me his jumper to wear because I was cold, and generally talked me out of my irritation extremely well. A more cynical person might say that men are nice to strange women for one reason and one reason alone, but I am choosing to be impressed at his gallantry and grateful for the help.

I am exhausted now. Today there were a few moments of near catastrophe involving me falling asleep on my keyboard and therefore fucking up all the very, very important spreadsheeting I have been toiling away at for the past few weeks. I managed not to, though, so the Universe is safe for another day. This temp job is becoming more bearable as I am making friends now instead of feeling like the invisible temp who yearns constantly for an Internet connection just so she can communicate with someone. Monday is done for another week, and next week it will be my birthday so as a week it will be much more bearable.

When I go to bed soon I hope I dream of sun-soaked Sundays and sea-smoothed stones. I feel like I will see blue skies as I drift. I hope I do.


Anonymous Robert said...

Ah yes, that admission of failure, and recognising the need to move on, can be pretty crushing. I cancelled my gym membership the other day, and almost cried.

3:29 pm

Blogger Huw said...

Ah, sunny weather. People and towns can come into bloom in it as much as any flower.

6:51 pm

Blogger Clarissa said...

Is your Dad always so nice?

7:15 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Robert - that does indeed sound traumatic. I suppose we must take some solace in the fact that we are not alone in these situations. Solidarity, my friend.

Huw - Quite. It's lovely.

Clarissa - Oh, yes. Always.

10:13 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

That sounds like a lovely weekend :o)

And now it is Friday it is time for another one (and according to the nice man on the tv this morning another sunny one)

1:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy nearly birthday mr.léonie head... miss impish loves you millions.


9:50 pm


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