Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't give me that shirt

Today's work day was my worst in a while: my motivation and concentration started off bad and only got worse. I was still some way above head-banging level however.

Mum and Dad came up on Thursday. We met at New World in town; they were chatting with my cousin (the one who got married a year ago) and his wife, having bumped into them. The way I was feeling, my cousin was just about the last person I wanted to see.

On Friday we ate at a surprisingly inexpensive Malaysian restaurant on Courtenay Place. Good value for money. On Saturday we went to the market, then had a drive around the coast to Eastbourne. We were unprepared for such high temperatures as we walked part of the track that leads to Pencarrow lighthouse. Dad took quite a few snaps - he found the big Optimist sailing regatta to be a real goldmine. We stopped for an ice cream on the way home, then had fish and chips from Fish Fins in Newtown (I go there about once a month). That evening we had a game of Scrabble. The luck factor in the two-player game is high enough but with three players it's even bigger. There are three good reasons for that: (a) everyone gets fewer turns; (b) the order in which you play makes a difference - if there's a player who doesn't know (or care) about defence, the player who goes next has an advantage at the expense of the third player; (c) the outcome is more likely to be determined by which player goes out at the end of the game because the point swing is greater, in both absolute and (even more so) relative terms, and who goes out is largely down to luck. Of course when I'm playing with my parents, none of this stuff really matters but I like thinking about it and I can't help that. This time, as it happened, luck was on my side: late in the game I drew both a blank and an S, put down COOLESt for 66, and even though I got stranded with the Q, I won with a score of 217.

All in all, Saturday was a good day. As a family it's nice to enjoy basic things like sunshine, a walk, food and a game. Sunday wasn't so great as Dad and I did our best to fall out with each other. I did the 6.8 km Round the Bays in the morning. It was a good walk (apart from the last bit which I ran) but now I almost wish I hadn't bothered: at work they've been comparing times and photos - especially my ultra-competitive boss - and it feels like I didn't really participate. I often feel that way about things.

Mum just bought me some more bloody shirts. She's always buying me shirts. I've now got embarrassingly many shirts in my wardrobe. Until the weekend about half of them were in a large bag in the spare room, washed but obviously unironed. Mum fished them out and ironed them. When Mum starts ironing, there's no stopping her. Dad then had a go at me for leaving my surplus shirts unironed. It seems ridiculous now, but the way he said it was quite cutting and I took offence. I couldn't understand why he even cared what I did with my shirt mountain, and how he dared criticise me when I've spent many more hours ironing than he ever has. Dad made a few other digs in my direction: he obviously thinks I should be far more interested in interior design.

Luckily our falling-out didn't completely wreck the weekend. Dad lent me another Nick Hornby book - High Fidelity. The first chapter of the book was all about teenage relationships, so I found that quite a hard read, even if it was funny. I'm hoping the rest of the story will be less of an "inadequacy trigger" for me.

Since I last posted, the Blade Runner (Oscar Pistorius) was charged with murdering his girlfriend, while a meteor exploded in Russia injuring 1500 people. Frankly, with news like that, who needs books or films? Real life is plenty dramatic enough.

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