October 31st, 2007

(no subject)

The picture I'm using as my icon is one that Poliphilo took for my Student's Union card.  It is very recent so, yes, the hair short but standing on end, is the way it looks at the moment.  I'm trying to grow it a bit as my mother-in-law commented last time we were with her that she was glad it was a bit longer.  Poliphilo cut it when we came home and I'll grow it until after we see her at Xmas.  My m-i-l is very posh and intimidates me something awful.  She is friendly to me and perfectly nice but I continually worry that she doesn't like me.  I suppose it's because of my own mother, being a miserable cow.

I was thinking last night about my step-children.  Someone on the Rabbit forum I visit was asking about being a Stepmum and how difficult it is and I thought, well - yes and no.  When I came on the scene Alice was 12, Mike was 11 and Joe was 9.  Alice especially could have made my life a misery but was always very understanding with me.  I hadn't got a clue about dealing with children, I'd never had my own and my niece and nephew were only 5 & 3.  I can't have been an easy person to be around, like I've said I threw tantrums regularly - and we saw them at weekend, usually from Friday evening, when I was knackered from working all week.  

I've never had much energy and needed, and still do, lots of sleep.  (I had TB when I was 3 - in my leg and eye - and I'm sure it stems from then.)  So I would be waspish and argumentative, but they were very patient with me.  Alice and I would argue, but luckily neither of us bear grudges, and once I learnt not to expect her to apologise just because I was the adult, we could hug and get over it.  I learnt to say sorry to them if I made a mistake.

I may not have been the best Stepmum going, but I loved them from the word go - still do - and they were certainly the best stepchildren.  Thanks Al, Mike & Joe.

I'm reading my way through Dickens at the moment.  I'd never read any until I did the Intro to Literature a couple of years ago, when we did Great Expectations.  For my birthday I got a 2nd hand complete set and, apart from short breaks to read murder mysteries, I've been engrossed in them.  So far I've read:

Great Expectations - a good yarn
Oliver Twist - much grittier and nastier than the movie.
Pickwick's Papers - not my favourite, but a good read.
A Tale of Two Cities - definitely one of my favourites, again gritty and dark.
Little Dorrit - another 'grim reality' book and another favourite.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood - I wish I knew how the book was going to go from where it ended when he died.
David Copperfield - another favourite
Our Mutual Friend - good but not memorable
Bleak House - wonderful, wonderful, wonderful
And I'm part way through Martin Chuzzlewit

With almost all the books I find the first chapter or two confusing, but then get into it and find all his work moving and very descriptive of the era - I would have hated to be alive then - even to be a rich person - well woman at least - was so restrictive.  There again I wouldn't have known any different so I suppose I'd have been happy enough - not as a very poor person though!
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