DEAR TIM MINCHIN

It's not complicated.

I love you Tim, but not as much as I love my girlfriend, my soon to be ex-husband and our daughter.

  • SuzanneG

(20) Words, Music and Hot Flushes

Updated: Apr 10




I had several things on my mind this morning between 2:01 and 4:06 am. 1) It is nearly the weekend, so it doesn't matter that, yet again, awake before the fairies, I am en route to a crankier day. Thursdays have been my Fridays for the last couple of years. Some advice -work four days a week or less if you possibly can. And yes, you possibly can. I hear colleagues claim they cannot afford to, absolutely not. But then I hear about their holidays, their evenings out, their mortgage output, their list of paid entertainment and clubs for their children and I hear what Ian has always said - If you earn more, you spend more..... keep sufficient hours in a day for the reading of good books and thinking new things.

2) I am not thinking any new things at 2:07am in the morning, just drifting through the same old ground, but with a less optimistic slant towards any problems. It occurs to me at 2:07am just how much I hate the term 'close of play'. Sorry, 'positive-sentence-lady-on-the-facebook-video', I cannot say this sentence in a positive way. Doing so might undoubtedly jog my brain into a happier state, but hey-ho.... I opened a work email at the beginning of the week which had a request for hard copies of certain documents on a desk by close of play yesterday. WE ARE NOT PLAYING. Not anything like it. I don't like words that seem mass produced for corporate marketing. Building Capacity. Chunking. External Stakeholders. I don't like applying the word 'client' to children and hospital patients. 3) Words I do like include 'Visigoth', 'Behemoth' and 'bewilderment'. I have to confess that there are so many words that I have in my head that I don't quite know the meaning of. I now have read that the Visigoths 'emerged from earlier Gothic groups (possibly the Thervingi) who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378' (Thank you Wiki. I probably studied this in Classical Civilisation but have not used the word sufficiently in sensible conversation to keep it in my head.) I now know that Behemoth was mentioned in the bible in Job 40: '15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.' (KJV) Perhaps if at 2:23am I had liked the sound of 'serendipity', 'soporific' and 'dulcify', I would be calmly asleep. 4) I really do like the word 'perpendicular'. I wonder if it is to do with hearing it so many times in Isabelle's yoga classes, 'feet perpendicular to each other' in a particular balancing exercise..... I like its meaning and I like the way it makes your mouth move in so many ways (11? was my night count). Displays of children's art make sense when they are perfectly perpendicular and pleasingly parallel to the edges, and when the gaps between them are a size that works for them. I have to put on mental blinkers to go past randomly displayed artwork. (It genuinely hurts my brain....) I really like it when things hang together well. Nothing wrong with randomly displayed artwork, but only if it is carefully and thoughtfully positioned. An artist friend said I have 'a good eye for components and assemblage.' I quite like the word 'assemblage'.


5) This sounds petty (!) but I once spent three hours after school undoing and re-doing an art display that my Pupil Support Assistant had carelessly put up in my classroom. The mounts were squint and were different sizes, cut at any old angle. The pictures were higgledy-piggledy on the wall. I spent quite a while weighing up how hurt she might be if I re-did it, and whether I could happily live with it as it was. No I could not. I undid the staples, re-cut the mounts, and carefully put the twenty four pictures up in almost the same place as she had done, but where they should be, and flowing together. She did not notice that I had changed it. She did notice, though, that it was a good display. 'I'm really pleased with that one,' she said the next day.


6) At 3:09am I am trying to remember some lyrics. I like the way Tim Minchin crams too many words in some of his musical sentences. The unexpected words he puts in after leading you to think he was going down another track. I like the tone and the sincerity of his voice, his minor chords and his barefoot pedal technique.

'I don't go in for ancient wisdom I don't believe just 'cause ideas are tenacious it means they're worthy I get freaked out by churches Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords But the lyrics are dodgy

And yes, I have all of the usual objections To the mis-education of children who, in tax-exempt institutions Are taught to externalise blame And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong But I quite like the songs.'


7) And talking of singing.....3:21am Oh. Another one. OK... This time I will try not to throw my top over the end of the bed and then have to look for it in 5 minutes when I am cold again. Keep calm. Cool thoughts... Nope. Not cool. BOILING, in fact. And heating from the inside out. Since Christmas, I have been experiencing between 4 and 6 hot flushes during the night and about the same amount during the day. They are unsettling but I am finding them somehow funny. I am kind of enjoying them in a weird way. I love hiccups and grand sneezes, my body doing something without my telling it to. So long as they aren't harmful or painful, I am ok, thus far, with hot flushes. The funniest one was in a music class during a song. At the end of the second verse I had to put the ukulele down, go to the fire exit and put my cheek up to the cold glass window. Such relief. First the left cheek, then the right cheek. And then I turned back to the class, picked the uke up and said, 'No- nobody's out there,' and we resumed singing. I think that, because much of the world does not really make sense to five year olds, they didn't get the oddness of this.

8) 3:38am. What is the best kind of cat to get? When I first moved in with Isabelle, Katrina asked when we would be getting a cat - she has wanted one for as long as I can remember. When we said we couldn't have one here, she said didn't all lesbians have cats? What else, we asked, did she know about how lesbians lived? As far as she could tell, lesbians lived in farm cottages, with cats and did knitting. Apparently I am not a lesbian.


I did yoga breathing until 4:06am and tried to block out any thoughts of excitement about the move back up to Applecross. Waking up with the alarm at 7:11, I was surprised not to be cranky, but instead delighted at the prospect of becoming at least 33 and a 1/3 % proper lesbian.




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