Unsuitable Girl


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  1. Thoughts that roam in the night.

    On Wednesday night I slipped into a sweet slumber around midnight, no problem, warm and toasty, pleasingly tired after an hour’s workout in the gym that afternoon.
    Around half past one, I woke up, for no apparent reason, and lay there, eventually realizing I wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon.  Some malevolent, nebulous entity was roaming the shadowy lanes of my unconscious mind and the havoc it was wreaking was leaking through into my conscious mind, disrupting any chance of sleep.
    After repeated attempts to break  the mood, walking about in the dark, drinking water, listening to Avro Part’s Spiegel im Spiegel, which lulls to sleep normally, this time it evoked tears instead. Meanwhile my husband says,

        ‘I know what’s bothering you.’

        ‘No you don’t,’ I say.  ‘I don’t know what bothering me, so how can you know?’

    But he did  know and I had to admit to myself he was right.

    My entire mind  by this time had taken on the equivalent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream into every molecule.  Millions of tiny heads screaming,

        ‘No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o…!’ echoing and pulsating along the corridors of my mind.

    What was I dreading?  What was the threat?  What was causing this doom filled dissonance in my mind?

    Answer: The first day of having the house cleaned by a cleaner.

    In my head the battle was between the imbibed memories of my mother’s attitude to folk who had cleaners do their housework, and common sense.

    With a sniff she’d say,
        ‘There goes Lady Muck frae Stoorie Castle!’

    A translation might be: ‘Who  does she think she is,  going around all dressed up, when we all know her house is a dirty tip.’  (stoorie means dusty in Scots, frae means from)

    The added dimension of dissonance from my  mother’s unknowing indoctrination of me, was that it was just beyond the pale to expect others to clear up your mess.  It just was not acceptable. She worked in her father’s fruit and florist business but  she still did all her own housework. The notion of an outsider entering her house and seeing dirt and mess was unthinkable to her.
    So the battle was between the logic and pragmatism of being seventy, having aching hands and slightly dodgy hip and sensibly getting help, or stubbornly refusing to ever have anyone ‘clean up after me,’ because ‘I couldn’t possibly’.

    Sometimes it is wise to ignore the inner voice that wakes you in the night, unless it’s a great idea for the next bit of the novel!



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