Saturday, November 05, 2011

Failure frustrations, living on Estates and period peices

There is nothing so frustrating as a failure; particularly when I have failed more than just myself. I got up on Friday after a week of ‘not quite right’ days, and had the plans for not only the day, but the evening, the next two days as well. It mattered, because Linda’s time is not something I want to waste, nor is seeing Cheryl, who makes a special effort to come.

I decided to sleep early, and sleep after 4 hours instead of 6, so the rest of the day would go well, and thus the weekend. I talked to Linda about having curry when I got up and then…well, then things went like going a few degrees off of destination, which becomes the widening gyre.

I wish there was some way of making an S.O.S. for the brain beyond telling Linda what to look for, what my limits are. But after a long week for her, and daily applying for jobs, which now are our only hope of a future which does not continue to get worse, I don’t know if she recognized them.

And so, I simply never left the bathroom until I was very ill, hallucinating and woke to be told that yes, all would be to plan except no, nothing would be to plan, and so it went, every time I woke. I wasn’t even in my bed.

Until at 8:00 pm or so, 24 hours later, I got up to a stack of failures: so much for putting up the DVD’s on ebay – the ones I watch and get from the UK and Asia, including the award winning Downton Abbey, Swing Girls (by the director/writer of Waterboys – Japanese), The Door – a sort of Australian film akin to Goonies, and a host more. I will try to put them up tonight, so they can be purchased and sent out as soon as possible.

Downton Abbey, is less a period piece (though it is one of those, the house is Welsh, but not in the series, and very similar to the estate the University at Cardiff owns, including the gravel walk, the servant quarters, the main staircase, library and all) than full scale war on various fronts, with the servants using the Lord and vice versa. The TV series won all hosts of awards, and the second series is out on DVD in the US in Feb, later November in the UK. For me it was doubly intriguing as the show expects a certain amount of historical knowledge (at breakfast they refer to ‘that Serbian killed’, who is of course, ArchDuke Ferdinand) and having lived several times over the years at the Estate similar. Except, as the estate the university owns is from two art rich sister who never married, I either could use the library to study, to play the harpsichord, or go into the lounge where many of the larger original Rodin sculptures are, to play the piano. Afternoons of course spent playing croquet on a course built there, forever green. I think peacocks roamed the estates. The evening in the main room, with the main stairwell and drinking port under the works of art or tapestry too large or not significant enough for the Art Museum.

I always went with my own port, and usually a few works of decadent literature (if you live in the EU, I recommend the London Library, one of the few subscription libraries left, and a large selection of both 'proper' and 'ladies' literature - meaning the decadent, ghost stories, horror tales, and novels mocking the Austins, written 110 years ago, where self aware characters decide what to do based entirely on literary convention. During my times on the Estate, I stayed in a family room, much like the three sisters in Downton, then a week in the servant’s quarters, which I take it they shared unless a valet or a headmistress (I did not share). Then time in the cottage for the huntsman, I think, and then another of the guest rooms. The main issue with these houses was adding things in, which meant electricity wasn’t bad, but bathrooms were never in the room and worse yet, never seemed quite attached to the rest of the building, always ensuring both a steady breeze up the backside. I did keep a bag for ‘feminine hygiene’ as it showed a lady with full double or triple layer, perhaps 170 years ago, with hat and a decorative brollie, holding up a smaller replica of the bag with a smile. I am oft amused at how the more something in the ‘forbidden female realm’ like bloody tampons, the more it will be dressed up like joy everlasting.

I just finished a 3 movie series on the ideas of HG Wells, also period, set in the Imperial College, where first rate UK actors are scientists and laborers, and Wells is wooing a female scientist and drawn into some of the ‘curious experiments and outcomes’. I shall start to work as soon as I take my evens’ (or was that for my ‘elevens’? And this is Tea, or rather Supper – in Wales it is always tea – unless you meet with the posh accent set at the fundraising event for ‘certain’ alumni, which was a private gathering to hear a famous tenor – I snuck in by helping people to their seats – you see, service does have some pluses).


Neil said...

I think the line from Wells should be "elevenses." My mother used that term when we first came from Britain; I'm sure you know, Beth, that it refers to what amounts to a coffee break.

You haven't failed anyone, dear. You might take different paths than you intended, but please don't think you've failed. You have succeeded in so many ways; you have LIVED whereas most of us just exist. You are not a failure.

Love and zen hugs,

Linda McClung said...

Your comment about dressing up the tampon disposal bag cracked me up. I was enver able to make it up to the sister's estate house - a few colleagues of mine tried convincing our dean that we should have a team building retreat there. He didn't go for it. I would have loved to seen the Rodin's and other artwork.

Some of the pieces the sisters aquired are on display at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff - so many Monet's...

I really enjoyed watching Downton Abbey with you. I am looking forward to the next season.

cheryl g said...

I love your stories about the estate in Wales. I have always dreamed of having a library like the ones shown in English estates. Brilliant to make sure you arrived with port and decadent reading. I have always loved Monet, Rodin and most of the impressionist artists so I am sure I would find the estate infinitely fascinating and worth a cold breeze up the bum when using the facilities.