Today I was looking at my diary. Yes; my diary. I do have one despite all the rumors to the contrary, and the very fact of having one and updating it with the new term’s plans made me realise the absolute disaster area that is my personal life insofar as any organization skills are concerned.
We have been in England for nearly three weeks now and I have managed to do nothing, not one jot, not even a half hearted move towards seeing anyone at all, and there is no reason whatsoever for this to happen. We live in a technological age where communication has never been easier, and instead of doing the obvious thing and getting in touch all the time and being available for everyone, I find myself retreating ever more and more into myself. Perhaps the time of writing all these articles will give a hint as to why.
I write, mostly, in the middle of the night, when everyone else have long been in bed and are busy notching up zeds to themselves quietly in their own worlds, floating round in their dreams until the harsh nasal groan of the alarm clock at eight or even earlier. Night time is really the only time I have to do anything these days, as nappies, tantrums, reading stories, feeding children and getting them all into bed take up the rest of the time. This has been what has filled the last three weeks. We’re all out of bed by more or less nine, then, there are all the breakfasts to sort out, bottles to be prepared and children to bathe. Usually by twelve we’re starting to look ready to face the day and can think about where we’re going and what we are actually going to do there. Everyone is piled into the car and then we go out with the picnic prepared and scamper about the place trying to keep a seven month old baby entertained and keep a semi-tangible reign on our toddler.
Once home again at about six or seven we start the whole routine of getting everyone fed again, undressed and ready for bed, then bedtime stories are read, children are coaxed into bed and we finally breathe a sigh of relief that the day is done.
This, my friends, when all this is finished, when Raquel finally shut her eyes, Jacob has finally grumped his way through the last bottle and we are sat on the sofa is when I finally have time to ring: at nearly eleven ‘o clock at night. Most of you aren’t teachers, most of you don’t stay in the UK for your holidays, most of you have to be in bed at a semi sensible hour to get to work the next day, and thus receiving a phone call at eleven, you are probably going to assume that someone has died or that it is an emergency of apocalyptic proportions. “Thus” say I pretentiously, “ I shall phone upon the morrow” and the whole routine starts again.
So here we are at the end of August, term time looming like Lurch with a hangover, holiday nearly over and I have achieved beggar all of what I had planned, seen nearly none of the friends I hold so dear, and have to go back to Spain where I know I shall be staying until at least Christmas.
I miss you all and have been a monumentally crap friend. You are my family, the ones I chose, the people that have put up with, accommodated, helped, loved and looked after me without ever asking for more than the odd laugh or perhaps the odd pint. Please accept this apology and remember that you are always in my thoughts and in my heart and that if I can, I will. Love Ben / Winst / BJ xxx