It's a banking holiday in the UK. And I've taken the opportunity to add a Friday to that, so I'm looking down the right end of a four day weekend.
Today's also the day that my neighbour is moving. It's a little disturbing, since there's an ambulance right next to the moving van and the movers are standing around on the street, talking about the things 19-25 year old lads are talking about, and fiddle with their mobile phones. Let's hope she's okay.
I'm in a peculiar mood today - we visited the parents of our friend who died in April, just to check in on them, see how they are doing. They are over here from Spain, where they live most of the year. There's this notable absence - sitting in Chris's living room, talking to his parents. Sometimes, we're the sum of our losses.
Life's too short, really. It takes such a long time to become who we are, to do the things we were meant to do, that anything shorter than a hundred years isn't nearly enough and an insult to all the hard work we had to put in up to that point.
Being parentless, or should I say motherless, because my father only really contributed some pretty solid DNA, is likely different to be mourning a child. My mother had years that were outside my experience, and in some ways we were completely different. We had our fights like probably only two Taureans can fight.
High drama, snarls, seething accusations. Yet, in a strange way, I was always prepared to grow up very fast. I remember some astonishing insights as a small child, a confidence, clarity and strength that very often kept me in good stead. I grew up very fast as if part of me knew I wouldn't have many people to depend on in my life. Very likely I owe that to my mother, who was - working as she was, and falling desperately in love with one asshole after the other - largely absent, but never left any doubt that she loved me. I guess, apart from the gift of life, that's really the main thing I received. Self-sufficiency because there were precious few resources to back me up, and the feeling that I was loved unconditionally.
Even fourteen years later, there's this "wish she could see that", and I'll likely never lose that feeling. We do carry our dead around, sometimes as a burden, sometimes as a privilege.