Moving swiftly on from the previous On Being Liberal…with a small L Blog and not one to cause a scene or debacle for longer than is strictly necessary, it may simply be due to the previous six months and eighteen days (or 199 days in total) and the total lack of tactile connectivity between Charlotte and me, that resulted in this week’s Facebook post of some photos from our wedding in May 2011 which took place on Cameo Island, Zante, Greece. Facebook asks a simple question “What’s on your mind?” and the obvious response from the isolation experienced here in the middle of a field in French France resulted in these pictures.
We have negotiated quite a path since that first meeting, where Charlotte’s opening words to me were “…and what’s a twelve year old in a dead man’s suit doing in my Mortuary?”
I suppose that being an Anatomical Pathology Technologist meant that Charlotte had seen the whole gamut of life’s rich tapestry and there was precious little left that could scare or shock her. Media vita in morte sumus (In the midst of life we are in death) is seen in this profession every day, in as much as we are never sure of how long we have left. All ages, all reasons, all shapes, sizes, colours, markings, all laid out in the brutal finality of our own mortality. If this doesn’t give you the drive to be the boss and grab hold of every opportunity and chance that life offers, nothing will. Charlotte looked after the people whose deaths were classed as ‘sudden or unexplained’. (Being myself a Funeral Director, I looked after people who had died from ‘sudden or unexplained’ death, as well as ‘natural causes’ too…)
So it could be said that it is understandable how, in seeing so much death, your confidence to state your mind, to be the boss of your life, to be in command and control of your own destiny (as far as possible), would be a reasonable and understandable outcome from witnessing so many ended lives.
Which kind of set the tone for the whole of our future. I should have known back then that her dress sense, even though she was wearing scrubs and white wellies, is far superior to mine and I wouldn’t be allowed to get away with wearing what I want when I want. The commanding ability to push home an argument in the nicest possible way but in such a way that leaves you in no doubt as to who is in charge. Where “To be fair…” is the precursor to a challenge to whatever it is you are in the process of doing or saying and woe betide you if your attention wanders from the verbal pugilistic pummelling you are going to be subjected to. To be fair, points are always made from a firm grounding, make sense and, although you probably didn’t enter the room looking for an argument, by the time you leave, you know you have been succinctly and successfully challenged.
It has been quite a week here. A 7.5 tonne truck (maximum carry weight 2,200kg) from the UK, trundling down the driveway, leaving massive ruts along the verge that in the fullness of time I will have to sort out, arrived after crossing the Channel from Newhaven to Dieppe with 4 hours of rough passage…(no one likes a rough passage…). They then drove a further 7 hours to get to La Comble in the Loire Valley, with the rest of our possessions, where I was poised in readiness to receive. As it happens, there wasn’t a lot there really as the truck also held items for other people too.
As the heavens decided to open and deposit massive quantities of fluidity once more, we backed the lorry into the barn and offloaded it there in the dry. The lightning and thunder duly gave us a deafening backing track and light display as we sweated in manful fashion, attempting to place items for the shed and house in separate areas to make the final sorting for me a little less complex when the weather improved. I then took three days to sort and place strategically either around the house, in the shed or, as in the case of our garden furniture, on the courtyard patio. Last night, I fitted a clock to the wall in the barn.
Having completed all the shifting about, Charlotte will undoubtedly move everything to new specific positions when she finally arrives here. The mere notion that, as a chap, I have the understanding of the importance of product location within the home, is a travesty of everything held dear to her. I just have to accept that homemaking and having a nesting forté are held firmly in the domain of her-who-shall-be-obeyed! Interior Design (including more cushions that I can shake a stick at) is one of Charlotte’s long suits, her department where the trousers are definitely better fitted for her wearing, better fitting and figure hugging for sure and I would be best placed to remember that!
My slack attempts at being the one to wear the trousers have often raised comments such as “don’t think you’re going out dressed like that! No Sir, I don’t think so! Go and take that lot off immediately” and “why are you not wearing the pink shirt I put out for you?” #Bosslady
Never mind, there is always sifting soil from stones and weeding in the garden I can do…
Carry on regardless!