Letting go… and picking up



Crazy, crazy week, with stress building as the prospect of leaving my little nest becomes imminent. I’m usually quite good at shoving stuff into little subconscious pockets until the last possible moment, but a trip back to Ingerland is always rife with mixed feelings. This week has been more than usually difficult.

For one, the incredibly superb weather we’ve been blessed with – I mean, we live in Normandy – and though I know a heatwave is difficult for many, the Thibois gang absolutely love these soaring temperatures. Holiday budgets are slim and the animals rule out anything more than an odd night away for the whole family so we generally spend the first couple of weeks of the summer hols making the most of what we’ve got. The terrace gives us an indoors outdoors, an old milk tank recuperated from a redundant cheese factory serves as heated mini pool, the garden is giving its all and the release from the constraints of school lifts our spirits like nothing else can. Add thirty degree days and a few balmy evenings into the mix and I can think of nowhere I’d rather spend July.

For two, I’m leaving my beloved garden in the hands of my feckless apprentice at a time when timely picking, watering, weeding (or not if we’re talking onions) is crucial for a continued healthy and bounteous harvest. Hal is my supreme garden elf at the best of times, but I’m a desperate control freak at my worst and I have a hard time believing she’ll really espy every one of those wicked little mange tout and halt them in their life mission, to run to seed. I want to go home to find my tomatoes still blight free, will she really be able to spot the first signs and run for the bouille bordelaise if needs be ? And what of those scary brown spots that appeared on some of the peppers just before I packed my bags, will I return to little piles of rotting fruit under the bushes? I don’t even know what evil they’ve been hit with, does she yet ? Eight days isn’t really that long in the general scheme of things, but in this heat ? The catastophes I can imagine don’t bear thinking about and I just know I didn’t think of every terrible possibility let alone mark its avoidance strategy on her little list of to do’s.

So that’s the letting go bit. Anxietal build up number three – and maybe the worst of the bunch – is all about picking up. Old threads, frayed certainly, broken ? Dunno…

A huge and unexpected element of all the internet activity that has been occaisioned by this blogging malarky has been my Facebook/social media awakening. Before its creation slack wanderers like me would live and leave and lose – friends, aquaintances, colleagues and lovers – and yet here I found myself scrolling through pages of faces and lives. Folk with whom I have shared intense, marvellous, mundane and terrible chunks of my life but with whom I’d also thought never to exchange again . And yet a single click, a friend request…It’s an enticing thought that has the arrow hovvering dangerously until I begin to wonder just how many people one can squeeze into a life – what’s with these guys who proudly claim hundreds of facebook friends ? Is this artificial maintenance of social aquaintance yet another way of postponing in your face, under your fingernails living ?

Aw, I don’t bloody know. What’s sure is that I have lost more than a few late night hours wading through nostalgia soup and it’s got to have been a bit of a coup de folie that had me finally, manically clicking and then clicking that fateful friend button – for the angst that followed was unexpected, I hadn’t thought, but of course, with every acceptance comes an invitation to say something. Argh, SAY WHAT ? After in some cases more that twenty five years…and then why ?

My teenage daughter has tried to impatiently explain internet etiquette but I still can’t work out if I’m taking it all too seriously or not seriously enough. Am I imagining depth in puddles ? What I can say is that after days of ponderous wandering, on the eve of departure I still have no idea if I’m going to make an effort to see one, two or multiple old pals. The only thing I can really be sure of I realise whilst scanning the visit schedule my mother has compiled, is that whatever I decide I’ll get home exhausted and desperate for the peace of my garden.

Lets hope I still have a garden to retreat to. So Hal, if you’re reading this I just wanted to say, no pressure or anything ok ?! 😉

mandy xxx

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