Sunday 2 February 2020

Weekend Microadventures

A view from the descent
Yesterday B.A and I climbed Arthur's Seat and were quite alarmed. First I was alarmed by the evidence that Arthur's Seat is a big tourist draw even in February. Can you get coronavirus from a hill? Then the wind was so strong by the time we got to the top, I thought it might blow us off. Next as we clambered down the hill, B.A. reported that he was feeling dizzy, so I worried that he would fall down. But by the time we were halfway to the ground, wind roaring, tourists and foreign students mincing up and down, I felt euphoric. I love Scottish country walks, but if I can't go on one, risking life and limb on Edinburgh's hills will do.

Having worked up quite an appetite while hill-scrambling, we popped into an eatery for and by Brazilian hipsters and had quite a nice lunch for not very much money.

Then we bought B.A. a tweed suit from a good shop. I have wanted to buy my husband a tweed suit from that particular good shop for years and years and years, and at last I could, so I did. I myself was wearing a cotton tunic, mud-stained leggings, hiking boots and a battered old mac that used to be B.A.'s.

Finally we went to Brew Lab for coffee, and having spent a tidy sum on the suit, I felt a bit anxious that our coffee, cappuccino and B.A.'s brownie cost £10. Ten pounds! I mean to say.

Incidentally I have lost 12 lbs in weight since January 1st, in part because I stopped going to the glorious pastry shop across the street from my health club. It has ruinously delicious croissants. Not eating these croissants has helped to make me thinner and richer. As wonderful as croissants can be (and, really, these are among the best sold in Edinburgh), I would rather be thin with a well-dressed husband.

Today was a bit fraught as, for ecclesiastical political reasons, I went to the Novus Ordo, and then to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and then to the parish hall to prepare Coffee Hour. In the first Mass the homilist mentioned "active participation", which was rather funny, for there wasn't actually all that much action going on in the N.O. The Extraordinary Form community, however, celebrated Candlemas with candle-blessings, candle-fetching, a procession, and three sessions of lighting and blowing candles out. Afterwards there were Eve of Saint Blaise throat blessings, and when I rushed out of the hall to have my throat blessed against coronavirus, persons unknown ate all the biscuits.

"I had one," said B.A. later.

"Having one was okay," I said, feeling inordinately cross. Normally I do not point the finger at those who eat more biscuits than they should, but as a matter of fact, I am not made of biscuits and had brought only 40, an emergency supply in case nobody else brought any. They were Jaffa cakes, too. Yes, I was cross. I am turning into an cross old Church Lady. How old am I now? Get off my lawn!

After the kitchen and hall were returned to the state expected by our brothers and sisters of the Novus Ordo, I went along with B.A. to look at a lovely old historical house. The sad thing is, though, that I simultaneously fell in love with this historical house and into a pit of grief about our old Historical House. And it wasn't even the Historical House itself I was so suddenly distressed about: it was the manner of our going.

"We weren't evicted," said B.A. "The way they put it was that the job had changed."

"We were evicted," I said. "While you were being treated for cancer."

I had never been evicted in my life, which is to say, I have never been forced to leave my home, let alone my home of 9 years. Maybe this will make me a better person to work with refugees, should I one day work with refugees, but that's it for the golden lining. By the time B.A. and I were back on the bus, my stomach was in knots, and I eventually felt nauseous, and it was all very irrational.

Well, grief from trauma is cyclical, so it's to be expected from time to time. The reason why I am writing about it now is that I just read a blogpost talking about how contented people admit to their sad feelings instead of squashing them down, so that is what I am doing instead of eating a sack of milk chocolate. My mantra is "What can I do today to make tomorrow better?" Having written myself into a slightly better mood, I am now going to make flourless, sugar-free and yet still delicious brownies.

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