Annual Leave: Wk 10 – Day Three

All was quiet on site today as C took a days annual leave. S followed suit and took the opportunity to watch O help himself to the breakfast bar buffet offered at his nursery (he starts with a bowl and scoop and finishes with a top hat-shaped portion of mixed flakes) whilst I got on with ordering paint, carpet samples and indulging in a bit of forbidden hallway tile porn. I’m not yet convinced that S’s ‘no’ actually means ‘no’ so I continue, annoyingly for him, to work at it….

S returned from the nursery bearing an item previously believed to have been eaten by the house.
“Look what I found!” he said, the discovery of any item missing-in-action coming with much celebration. He was holding up O’s dinosaur rucksack.
“Where was it?” I asked.
“On his hook” said S
“He doesn’t have a hook” I replied. It’s a fact which has caused me, someone obsessed with space and belonging, much concern to the point that I once, in all seriousness, said to a friend about a boy who barely knows his own name, “I think he would settle much better if he knew he had a hook.”
“It’s a spare one.” said S.
I huffed. “Well I don’t quite know why it takes this long to take a photo of him to put next to it.” After all, we’ve built an extension in that time. S consoled me with a pat and ventured downstairs to take advantage of the daylight and get a coat of oil on the floor.

O does now have another school bag – also chewed over by the house but by Tuesday evening it had been spat out and was found lying under the wardrobe in the kitchen. Worse than having an unnamed hook, he was forced to carry his spare set of clothes to nursery in a carrier bag and that combined with filthy trousers made so by a last minute crawl around the base of our kitchen table meant that he had looked a little forlorn that morning. However, we are now the proud owners of two school bags which really can be no bad thing. Many of our possessions, I’m sure we will discover, will multiply similarly over the course of this last three months as, unable to find anything and exhausted by the thought of searching, we have repurchased. For example, in the bathroom no less than 15 toothbrush heads, 7 razors and 5 tubes of toothpaste were found during my spring clean. Alas we are rationing our last roll of the more essential toilet paper.

Following the completion of coat three on the floor, S and I took ourselves out for the day in search of peace, calm and contemplation. We, on S’s inspired suggestion, ventured to the peak of Primrose Hill, a place we have never visited despite both having adopted London as home for twenty years each. Punctuated by no less than four sudden fallings of snow we talked as we walked…about serious things. About funny things. About sad things. About green things (we totted up our green successes and failures on the renovation thus far) And about hopeful things. Which led us to end up in Habitat looking at dining in particular. Its not recycled, its not reclaimed, its not reused….but it is huge and is somewhere, we said excitedly, where all of our family and friends could convene. We left the shop, musing.

One decision we did make, however, was to make this day – thirteenth of the third – a day of annual leave for our family on which we pledge to do something, or go somewhere, new. We can take stock, as we did today, of where we are and how much we have and we can make the internal space, not necessarily the physical space which we are so hellbent on making right now, to just be. A Precious tradition we will do in memory of our baby boy, who, so sadly, will never sit at our table – reclaimed or not.



2 thoughts on “Annual Leave: Wk 10 – Day Three

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Taking a day of family leave every year to remember your baby boy sounds like a very lovely thing to do. You’re absolutely spot on about taking stock and making internal space – as you say, it’s a very good way to enable peace and hopefulness.

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