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Day three (again)

January 11, 2017

Bloody hell. This blog is magic. Yesterday I washed the bathroom floor. This may not sound like a terribly onerous job, but as I said in my last entry I’d managed to put it off for a long time. (In fairness to me, it does involve stretching out flat on your stomach to wash under the claw foot tub. That’s another story.)

I also, as I had been planning to do, hoovered the place, but unlike the past few times I’ve done this, actually put the hoover away when I was finished, instead of leaving it wherever I’d stopped for three – or more – days. (Anyone who’s ever struggled with depression will immediately understand how that happens. The simple act of completing a job seems impossible.)

And I washed the bedding and towels in the guest room in preparation for my friend’s visit this weekend. And when that was done, actually made the bed up.

Oh, and I went to the gym. And in the evening I went to the second part of the acting workshop, which was as fun as I’d thought it would be, with no stabs in the stomach.

All in all, a pretty bloody good day. More than that: an almost giant leap forward.

Here’s a thing about the past couple of months. Not necessarily the thing, but a thing and one that’s been going on for a lot more than a couple of months, but has been even more  noticeable since I started the black dog diary. I’d been paralysed by the depression. Whole days disappeared. Days when I got out of bed, dressed myself, fed myself (more or less), got undressed, went to bed. What about all those hours I wasn’t in bed? Don’t ask me. There was stupid fucking spider solitaire (and the rest) and three rehearsals a week. I know there must have been more. On Wednesday afternoons I had my weekly pool game with my 95-year-old neighbour. (There’s another story there, too.) I went to the shops, I went to the library, I went to the recycling centre, occasionally I went to a friend’s home. Even though I had hours and hours of time on my hands, the bathroom floor never seemed to get washed, nothing else ever seemed to be accomplished.

When I started this project, when I swore to myself that I would get up and write something – anything – for at least fifteen minutes every morning for the next six weeks, when I actually kept my promise to myself, I had a powerful sense of accomplishment. This sense increased when I was getting myself to the gym. And, yes, it was great that there was at least one thing, sometimes two things, I was getting done in a day. Two things I had previously not been doing. And both things were me taking action against the black cloud hanging over my head. But the bathroom floor still wasn’t getting washed. So you no doubt begin to see how important yesterday seems to me. I’m not going to get too excited. It was only one day. But it was an exciting day.

Now, those two stories…

I was in the UK when some of the renovations Mike and I had long planned were undertaken. When he and I first met I was sharing a flat in a heritage house. There was an old, full-length claw foot tub in the bathroom, which he knew I loved. I love a proper soak (preferably with a glass of wine and a good book) in a proper tub. That’s one of many things I enjoyed about being back in the UK. (West End theatre, art galleries and a decent pint in a good pub also spring to mind.)  When we bought this house I did bemoan the fact that it was impossible to have a proper soak in the typically North American, too short and too shallow tub. So, while I was away, when the renovations were going on, Mike very sweetly replaced that tub with a claw foot tub. And I was delighted when I saw it. It looked great in the bathroom. Bless him. Then I tried to have a soak. It certainly wasn’t Mike’s fault that the dimensions of the bathroom preclude the installation of a six foot tub. He did his best and I love the thought behind it. But the tub is too short for a proper soak. It just is. A proper soak, as all Brits know, involves being submerged in water from your chin to your toes. Anything less isn’t a proper soak. So now I have a bathtub which is lovely to look at, but cannot offer a proper soak and forces me to lie down on my stomach when I wash the bathroom floor. Oh, well.

Today is Wednesday, which means I will be playing pool this afternoon with my 95-year-old neighbour. He will be bringing something for me to read. When it was announced last year that Will and Kate (aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) would be visiting British Columbia, my neighbour contacted someone in the provincial government to see if there was any chance of meeting them. He is still very proud of the fact that in 1938 he was part of the honour guard that greeted the arrival of King George and Queen Elizabeth in Victoria. In fact, he is the only surviving member of that honour guard. Whoever he spoke to in the provincial government gave him, predictably, the bum’s rush. He mentioned his wish to meet the royal couple to the editor of the local paper. My neighbour still had a photo of himself, all of 17 or 18, in the uniform he wore on that occasion. The paper did a piece, including the photo, about the honour guard, my neighbour’s astonishing longevity and his ongoing appreciation of the royal family.

Although he understood that there was protocol involved in organising royal visits, I knew he was disappointed, so I took it upon myself to write a letter to Prince William. (I even consulted DeBrett’s to ensure I was using the correct form of address.) I included the article from the local paper and put it to him that, given my neighbour had also served in the navy during the war, doing his bit for king and country, it might be nice if the Cambridges could drop him a line. Last week he got a letter from Kensington Palace. The letter referenced my letter, so he knew how it had come about. He was absolutely chuffed and phoned me to tell me what I’d done was the nicest thing anyone had done for him in years.

There is a photo of him in this week’s paper, holding up his letter. I suspect he will get it framed.

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3 Comments
  1. krysross permalink

    Lovely story–not the one about the tub–heard that before.

  2. Mariam permalink

    Love both of your stories…

    I, too, have a claw-foot tub (came with the house) which is too short to stretch out properly in. I manage by propping my feet up on the wall at the end…and I have almost never stretched out on my stomach to wash under it. Will have to do that the next time I clean the bathroom floor.

  3. janeshead permalink

    And I have the same model of tub Mariam has (I love it, btw, and don’t mind its shortcomings), and can safely say I have absolutely never stretched out on the floor to clean under it. Perhaps I am just a slatternly house keeper.

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