I'm returned from another Bank Trolliday weekend Dahhhhhn Saaaaaaath, although why I'm spelling it like that when that's not remotely how they speak is beyond me. Actually, it wasn't even the south, it was the Midlands, even though it FEELS very far south indeed when you live in the Land Beyond the Wall.
Happily, and much to the derision of my father, I was suffering from slight hayfever, so I didn't feel too guilty about not doing much. I went through loads of old family photos, as seems to be my custom now that I'm so old.
I know this fact is well-established and requires little further evidence, but I was SUCH A PUDDING. Clearly by having 5 more children, my parents were trying to replicate the puddingness that was me, failing miserably each time. My mother, who is currently obsessively researching family history, FAILED to mention to me until recently that my great great grandfather, the one who's appeared in socialist newsletters and campaigned for both the dockers and mentally ill people (thus winning infinity Katie points), was ALSO the Merseyside first secretary of the trade union that later became the GMB! Obviously I also have a load of relatives who were rather more conservative, and probably some who were just idiots (I can think of a couple of siblings that fall under that category, OH LOL), but many wow. I have an actual socialist, trade unionist, Irish nationalist ancestor to look up to. Also he had a cool moustache.
I also looked up loads of recipes and pinned them on my Pinterest because I'm so modern. I'm having the roasted carrot salad at the moment, which was a WISE decision.
I also trolled to my favourite cafe in Worcester, the Karmic Cafe, where I had a Greek omelette.
I would move (back) to Worcester(shire) for that cafe alone, if, y'know, the rest of my life was sorted. I never feel odd about going there alone, and they also have BOOKS ABOUT GARDENING for me to browse. Well, for everyone to browse really. I don't think they brought them in specially for me. The food, which is all vegetarian (SUCH menu choice, wow) is delicious and good value for money. They're not paying me to say this.
I didn't do a huuuuge amount else. Stumbled across a food festival in the grounds of my town's priory yesterday. It was nice, although I keep being taken aback by how middle-class my home town is. I mentioned it to my mum and she was all like 'Well duh', and part of me's CONVINCED that the town's changed since I left but I suspect I just forgot what it's like. The food festival was nice, anyway. I tried pierogi for the first time, and my reaction was very much YES PLEASE MORE PLEASE. One thing bothered me (not about pierogi, to which I've been converted). It was a lovely sunny day and really busy in the grounds of the priory. Some people were sat down on the grassy bits, merrily enjoying the food they'd bought. But quite a few people were casually sat on gravestones with their little kids and ice creams and everything. The graveyard's no longer 'in use' (people aren't still being buried there, is what I mean) and most of the gravestones are from Victorian times, and a lot of the letters have worn away, but STILL. I felt a sense of unease that surprised me with how intense it was. I thought I was the only one upset about it until I passed a group of whispering and disapproving elderly women. It can't just be me and the elderly old women though, can it? If I was dead and somebody was sat on my gravestone dripping ice cream on it, I WOULD HAUNT THEM. If they spilled coffee, I'd consider it more of a tribute.
I had a merry train journey back up north, reading the last diaries of Tony Benn. I hardly ever read political diaries but I'm glad I'm reading these. You're always a bit worried, discovering more stuff about your heroes in case they disappoint you, but so far it's just cementing my admiration. Like he wrote about an American woman who'd emailed him and said she wanted to have his babies (he being in his early eighties at this point), and instead of being freaked out and ignoring her, he just emailed back, thanked her, and mentioned that there were 'many socialists'. Such polite and kind.
I need to get properly involved in politics. I've had a strong interest, plus strong views, for well over a decade now, and I've not done much with it. Haven't been to a protest, even, since Blair was in power. I quite like these long train journeys for radicalising me and giving me the chance to read and that. Also I played on a game where you get to own a virtual aquarium, but that paints me in a bad light, so I won't mention that.
DID DRIVING TODAY. Didn't go SO well, although not as badly as the Terrible Lesson. I kept stalling at the roundabout, which is irritating because I know exactly what I'm doing wrong and how to put it right, but I can't STOP doing it. It's annoying to see yourself make the same mistakes OVER AND OVER again. But yeah, I did my best, and I guess it'll all come together. It is coming together, sometimes a bit more slowly than I'd like. And I didn't burst into tears this time, to the relief of both my instructor and myself. It's just that I'm sometimes so SCARED, and if one thing goes wrong and scares me, it'll have a domino effect until I end up a MESS. At least, that's what I fear will happen, and I suppose the CBT answer to this would be to interrupt the thought cycle, remind myself that everyone makes mistakes, and move on. YES. I'm getting good at therapy. I mean, driving. Same thing.