December 13th, 2001

masked

warmth is relative

Oh my achey head. I've set an appointment to get more pills. Last thing I want to be is on the ferry from Oban to Mull with a migraine. Okay, not the last thing, maybe, but way down the list.

My heating is mended and so I'm actually in a good mood this morning. Woke up warm and happy. Which hopefully will make me strong enough to see my Dad for lunch.


*******

Later. Dad lunched. He's got a new girlfriend, just older than me and has shorter hair than I have, she works in a bike shop, is 4'11'' and knows karate and taikwondo, so at least should be able to defend herself. Where are the women I want? Answer: they're going out with my father. Apparently he's told her about me. What does that mean?

My neck is so stiff. Sitting there, being polite and friendly, to just the right degree -- diffident yet interested, kind not forced, pleasant yet non-committal -- it's the first of the major Christmas stresses. At the weekend I get the next -- Alex. She wants to give me homeopathic treatment for my migraine and dolls clothes. I get the feeling that there is a good way to relate to Alex, but I don't have the key. The other sisters can just coo over little Tiimu (her cute son -- his name means "little black and white caterpillar") but I've never been very good with kids. I'm just awkward, I suppose.

Dad gave me a bottle of Somerset Royal, an apple brandy of great superiority they make just down the road from where he lives. It was half out of the wrapping paper, and anyway he wanted to tell me about visiting the distillery, where apparently he tasted all the different brandies --- I couldn't believe he didn't know about it, but as soon as I told him about it he was on his bike and down there. He cycled 75 miles last weekend. His fitness puts me to shame.

He always orders the same thing as I do when we eat out. It's annoying and faintly disturbing, like catching myself using one of his favourite expressions. Women are supposed to worry about turning into their mother. I'd like to turn into my mother, I worry about turning into my father.

And now all my family have partners except for me. Sour old maid, but at least I have my brandy to keep me warm.
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