Last night my mother had a birthday party at her house in the hills. It was the first time my sister and I had been back there since the wake, and I must say I was a bit creeped out by the photoboard she made for that, with photos of my dad, still being up. However, it went quite well, mostly, I suspect, because I hadn’t been thinking about it and therefore hadn’t had a chance to work myself up about how terrible it would be.
Lots has changed and nothing has. It was so strange driving up there, along a road I travelled twice a day for so many years. On the way there, ‘Dr Worm’ by They Might Be Giants came on and everyone was saying ‘oh, this makes me think of the summer I was…’ It reminds me of driving to school with my dad – it would be played once a morning when it was popular and he thought it was ridiculous. I remember arguing with him trying to explain why it was, like, heaps cool and stuff.
But somehow none of that made me anything more than thoughtful. Which was nice.
I also had a lovely chat with my year 2 teachers. Wendy and David job shared, and they are possibly my favourite teachers ever. They have a daughter approximiately my age (I think a year or two older?) who knows my cousin. Ahhh, Adelaide. My mother is and was quite good friends with them. I went to their house a couple of times as a child and while I have a vague memory of the layout and the feel of their house, I have this extremely vivid memory of a spinning wheel sitting in front of the window. I’ve had arguments with my mother about it who doesn’t remember that Wendy spun. I remember looking at this fabulous contraption and not knowing what it was but knowing that it was somehow magical and I wanted in on the secret.
Wendy tells me she used to spin in the playpen, so that her kids couldn’t throw themselves in front of the wheel. We had a good hour or two of natter about knitting, with David joining in. It was absolutely fantastic. How lovely to connect with these people who were so instrumental in my life, of whom I have such fond memories – and now to be able to connect with them as people!
I also got my tatting stuff from my mother. Because what I really need is more craft things lying around the house.