Friday, June 7, 2013

A long week...and my wuthering withered!

The last week of school before the long summer break should have included a last long lazy lunch or two.......nah!

Ads had the last half of his exams which one would think meant he was relatively obscure and below the radar. No - it just seem to mean there were more of him. On four days of the week he had one exam - from 9.15am for two hours, then he comes home with a couple of buddies. Apparently they did a lot of revision at school and not much more is required (fact that is borne out by the results Adam has to date). Multiple teenagers in the house seems to mean, for me, higher demands on the kitchen (or my wallet if I send them out to eat) and limited access to the computer. Not to mention the disruption to the day of Ads having to be picked up. Tho' for a variety of reasons......I'm getting to them...... on days the car didn't get to school the informal car pool worked very efficiently. Several drivers and cars would role up to Indus post exams and seemingly randomly all carless kids would pile in one going roughly in their direction and return home. Doesn't require any planning or arrangements by parents. Worst case scenario kid stays at school and gets the bus home at 4.00pm as usual, having sat and studied (oh yeah) for the remainder of the day.

And Wills, well he had two days off sick and two nights of keeping me up! He's very stoic when he's sick, and is tuned-in enough with his body to drag it to the bathroom when required. But he likes company, especially in the dark of night! Anyway as he does he bounced back very quick and could easily have gone to school on day 2 - benefit of hindsight!!

And then the car. We seem to have a very high incidence of slow punctures, which necessitate trips to the repair shop and also to the gas station to check and replenish the air in the tires. At one such "air" stop mid week, Purander left the driver door slightly open while tipping the air filler guy and a truck passing far too close tried to take the car door with it. It failed in the attempt but thoroughly mangled the door in the process. Car towed to repair shop and Simon now also home to work.

So even more calls on the kitchen, less access to the computer and everyone is home. So the chance of that last, long, lazy lunch has now totally dissipated and we are without transport.

Come in EasyCabs. Or maybe not. Booking system is all online. Text arrives immediately post booking to confirm (wrong word), to acknowledge booking has been received. An hour or so before scheduled arrival of cab another text arrives giving car registration and drivers phone number. All straight forward????

First cab of the day is to take the recovered Wills to school for his student led parent teacher meeting and pick up his portfolio (binder of highlights of second grade) and other books. Cab is 30 minutes late but as that was anticipated and already factored in we arrive on time.

Second cab of the day is to take poor Ads on the last day of 8th grade, after his last exam away from his buddies and to the orthodontist. No text arrives from Easy -in theory - Cabs confirming driver and cab. I call up. It appears my reservation was for June 7th, 2015 which is apparently all my inputting error. Very interesting as the only options on the online booking form are for "today" or "tomorrow" I am told all too easily and quickly that they will sort it and I will receive confirmation text in two minutes. A text does indeed appear -

 "Dear customer, due to non-availability of the cabs in your area we cannot process your booking, we apologize for the inconvenience caused"

Another phone call, to Easy-not at all-Cabs, me getting increasingly snooty and person at other end essentially saying tough but no resultant cab.

Ads and I get a rick in the rain and rattle our way to the orthodontist. I've now got this auto rick thing a little more organized and I know my away around town a lot better than previously.  I agree up front that the rick will wait for us outside the dentist and will bring us home.  If at anytime the rick driver seems to be deviating from what I think is the correct route or is looking hither and thither in a sort of confused fashion I ask him to pull over, dial Purander and give phone to the rick driver and after a few minutes of hindi or kannada, we are back on the straight and narrow.

But the saddest thing that happened this week was without doubt the demise of my Wuthering. The last step of our move was the unpacking and sorting of the bookcases. We seem destined to always have more books than shelves. I donated so many books before we moved to India and it's seriously one of the hardest, slowest and most pathetic part of the moving process for me. I hate getting rid of them. We have less bookshelves here than we did in the US as our CA house has built ins to complement our portable ones. I really can't get rid of any of Ads' vaste collection as Wills will hopefully, one day, read them all. Simon insists on keeping some very dull, exceedingly complex, not very well thumbed, looking nuclear physics editions from his college days so it seems to be my collection that takes the fall.

Ads and Simon have totally gone digital - kindles and iPads. Me, they give me a migraine and I love rereading my old friends. However good the book, Simon will not read it if the available version is only on paper.

My Wuthering Heights, first read in maybe 9th grade, when I first fell in love with Heathcliff, and then reread at least once a year since has disintegrated, withered and died. This last move was the final straw. It was an old copy of my mothers, price in shillings and pence on the font cover, pages yellowed, covered in scribbles, underlinings and exclamations. I knew its days were numbered but even so I wasn't ready to say goodbye and consign it to the trash.

I adored the rugged Heathcliff and despised the wussy Edgar Linton. I loved the wild and windy Yorkshire moors. The book appealed to that so very deep buried rebellious dangerous side of me, that has never come anywhere near the surface, the side that wanted to be a pirate when I grew up (never a nurse or a ballet dancer) and still has a bit of a Captain Jack thing going. I have read biographies of all the Brontes, visited Haworth, seen the parsonage where that amazing family grew up, and sat and dreamed of Cathy and Heathcliff running wild and unfettered on the moors.

The quotes I remember still....the most worn pages of my deceased book, the pages that gave up and dropped out first

"My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff!"

 "My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.—My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary"

I"ve always hankered after my own leather bound Wuthering and  -maybe now is the time...............

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