I went out to my bookgroup last night. I don't go out much - for "much", read "at all". Last month, I got my dates mixed up and missed it. I was sooooo upset, not least because no one rang me to say: "Where were you?" The bookgroup is another attempt to make friends. Is it working? Hmmm. I might as well get the word "Needy" tattoed in scarlet letters on my forehead. I am obsessed with friendship. I blame being an only child. I am not prepared to compromise on what I expect from a friendship and what I am prepared to offer in return.
I do have friends here:
*a fellow London exile who laughs as I posture and lives along the road in the big house with the hot tub. He managed to make friends. I asked him how he did it. Golf and the weekly pub quiz. I said: "I could play golf." He said: "I don't think so."
*three old ladies; one who makes tea, one who makes conversation and one who makes peace.
*a city doctor and weekend visitor. She says: "How are you?" in that way that carers do. I say: "Fine. Y'know," and cry.
*I have a friend who made me ride a horse, one who took me to the hunt and another who let me drink her cow's raw milk; Godsome friends who, doubtless, think I will burn for my sins which are many; and mothers whom I meet and fight for words while children fight for attention and toys.
What I don't have yet is a Northern soulmate. These things take time; I know that it might be a while, but I am a careful hunter. I will lie here in the dry and golden grass, let the scent of water call her and wait out her coming.
There was a price to pay for the expedition and the cake. When I got home, my husband told me the boys had lost TV for a month. A month! That is to say until we move back in to our cottage. I was about as happy as the children were. It is one thing for me to take TV away, it is another for Billy the Kid to take it away. For a month. I wanted to know why. Apparently, the six year old swore at his brother and then his father. "Where the fuck did he hear that from? " I asked my husband. "I have no fucking idea," he said defensively. Not good. I have to admit neither of us have a clear conscience on this one. I am a foul and sweary Mary. I try to keep my expletives safely locked up and away from the children but occasionally they have been known to escape their hutch and scuttle, furry and obscene, around the kitchen. No TV for a month. Bugger.