Thursday, July 06, 2006

Toys back in pram

Many thanks to Dietgirl, Lainey, Anne and Gina for their kind words in comments about my previous, somewhat hissy-fit blog. They made me feel much better. I was just a bit overwhelmed with problems. The biggest one is the son-in-law's state of mind. He's a lovely chap, and very very clever, but is sometimes overcome with terrible depression which completely floors him. What he sometimes does, unless someone is around to catch him on the way down, is to go to the doctor, and since doctors don't have magic wands, they tend to sign him off. This hasn't happened much, and indeed this is the first time he's been signed off since he's had a proper, grown-up job. But he's had this job only since October, and he and Daughter 1 have just bought a house (not that they've moved into it yet) and he needs to keep this job, even though he says he hates it. Daughter 1's job, to add to the joys of the situation, was only ever a one-year contract and ends soon. But this isn't the main problem, since she'll get something else, though it may take her a while to get something in her chosen field.

This week, which is the first of my holidays and the only one for which I was expecting to be alone in the house (in blessed peace, able to please myself for once in my life) I've been jollying the SIL along, persuading him to get out from under the covers, leave the house and come for walks with me, and then taking him to their new house to do things such as construct their Ikea bed. He's really quite cheery once he gets going, or at least workably sanguine. And he can be great fun, though not necessarily this week. But it's hard work being relentlessly upbeat, especially when one doesn't really feel optimistic about the situation.

Plus the Daughter 2 Boyfriend's situation, plus the parent situation.

However, the diamond wedding party went well, and my parents liked their jug - see above. At the party, the slide show organised by Husband and Daughter 2 was a great talking point - pictures from all stages of my parents' lives - and the young people's songs went down a storm. We managed to borrow a good keyboard, which my brother or my niece played to accompany the singing.

Son and Daughter 2's boyfriend sang Flanders and Swann's "Hippopotamus Song" - which is a funny love song about two hippos. The boys both have lovely voices and are good friends, and the audience joined in the chorus, and it was great. Then D2's B (yes, I'm not above exploiting the lad even though I'm not sure that he's the right one for D2) sang a Stephen Sondheim song, "Marry me a little", and finally the five grandchildren sang words I'd written about my parents to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's (or in this case, just Sullivan's) "And now I am the ruler of the Queen's Navy" song from "HMS Pinafore".

I know this sounds rather toe-curling - children doing their party pieces - but they actually all sing well, and it was a great success. Much applause and laughter.

So life's not all bad. In fact, it's often good. One just has to get up each day and keep trying to be positive. And I've often found in the course of this life of mine that the things I worry about aren't the disasters that actually happen. Which is why I attempt to cover most possibilities in my spectrum of anxieties.


  1. Hi Isabelle. I'm sorry to hear you are having such a rough time at the moment. It sounds like a lot of other people's anxieties are bringing you down! But it does sound like the party went off fabulously and you should pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you did pulling it together. And your son-in-law is VERY lucky to have someone like you helping him out. If only more people with depression had that kind of help.

    And I love the last two lines of your post. I was just saying the other day to a close friend the exact same thing!

  2. Morning

    Call me Sherlock, but are you the mother of a librarian that has a blog called square one?

    lainey x

  3. Well... might be... Only she doesn't seem to be writing it much recently - too busy. Well done, Ms Holmes.

  4. You are a special person...many wouldn't go the extra mile as you do!

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