Today, I spent my time in trains, staring at thick fog and drizzle and rivers and deep forests. Not listening to the podcasts I had downloaded, trying to gather hwat remnants of energy I had after a weekend with the extended clan (25+ energetic people) celebrating my father's longevity (91 years).
He was brisk and to the point, late comers had to sort out their own seating. Presents were refused and simply left behind as threatened. Lunch at 12 noon on the spot, guided tour of the Rococo castle at 2 pm and coffee and cake at 3:30 sharp. Great grandchildren were hushed. My sister had a crying fit because no gluten free cake. Also, question and answer session on the history and origin of Rococo (think ornamental gold, parks full of topiary and over the top everything), just to check that everybody was paying attention. Like a 13-year old, I mentioned Watteau and got a bonus point. My brother kept his mouth shut but gave me The Look. My sister was still sobbing.
And then the king of the castle got up and drove home in time for sports news. We looked at each other and mumbled our good byes. I retreated to my hotel room and stared at the ceiling for a very long time.
His declared aim is to live at least 100 years (his mother died aged 103) and right now, I could weep at the thought that this is going to happen every January.
Five and a half hours on a train each way provide some soothing but hell, I'll be 71 when he is 100 and maybe I'll pass.
Not sure how and when I'll recover, so forgive if I won't comment for a day or three.