Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Birthday letter.

Dear People,
This year I didn't write a Christmas letter. Sorry about that, hope you had a lovely Christmas and the New Year is shaping up nicely. I'm now writing a birthday letter instead, I'm 37 on the 15th. Being 36 wasn't bad at all, it was at least 20 times easier than being 16 and quite possibly 10 times easier than being 26.

We've been in the beautiful big old house for a year. For a birthday treat another plumber is coming to consider the rain that has again started falling inside, and in a few days the painter should be starting to prepare. Before he paints we have to choose colours and this is proving very difficult. We like bright and dark colours, but we know that paint is actually for protecting the wood from the elements and so should be light and white. We talk around and around, I mistakenly thought we'd settled on a red roof, white weatherboards, two brightish yellows for the trim, and maybe an orange door. Sean had no such thought.

But the house is beautiful and it is big. On Sunday we had my friend Daniel's wedding picnic here because of dodgy weather and bogginess in the Dell, everyone fit and had a good time. The kids played in the playroom some people sat in the sitting room, and lots of people leaned on things in the kitchen and sat around outside. Our sheltered garden is abundantly floral and home to many fascinating invertebrates to discuss with the kids.

Iris (just 2) has joined the rest of the family in being willing to hold her own in any discussion. She tells us she's "not funny, [she's] Iris" this does not prove her point. She was caught red-handed enjoying adjectives today "My hands painty, all slimy and not yummy; yukky and red." Iris dances, bounces and sings, her cup is usually half full.

Hazel is just 4 and one of my favourite things is listening in on the complicated and eloquent stories she tells while she's playing with dolls or sticks or her fingers. I kind of miss her imaginery siblings Molly, Sarah, Flora and Bert though, they were a lovely family, and all mine to boot. She's just learnt to swim and is full of her triumph, also she's always found two dimensions to be too limiting and swimming is fluidly three dimensional while climbing is often just switching which two dimensions one uses.

Sean's been working hard but we've been lucky he hasn't had to do much midnight support or going to Australia this year. He says the job is a bit dull but it's paying for our house which is nice.

I went with my aunt Hilary to the lectures for a first year university course on Art History up to 1800 in the first half of last year, which was rather fun. I had my cervix cored in March, which was not at all fun, but Fali Langdana, the thoughtful surgeon who found and removed it told me after my last check that my somewhat rare and rather vicious adenocarcinoma in situ* has been a bit trendy lately and compiling world results it seems I'm in a good statistical population so there's no clinical reason not to put a pregnancy on top of that beleagured and grotty old thing, in our own time of course. This news is so good it's almost inspiring us to do so, but we're not sure, with one sibling each we do wonder: is two children an elegant sufficiency?
* ASCCP adenocarcinoma | http://www.cone-biopsy.org/

Last April we went to Fiji for Sean's mother's birthday with his whole family, the first time I've been to the tropics since I was 9. It was lovely, Iris and Hazel seemed to think it was just the way the world should be, buffets and swimming. We're going again in March with his parents so that I can experience the swimming part too.

I've been working on doing some things I haven't got around to previously, I think it's good modelling for the kids and good for me too. I've got my full drivers' licence. Ta daah! I felt very clever because I realised it is photo ID and got my hair done a day or two beforehand. I'm getting pretty good at parking too.

I also finally made it to a Stained Glass course (Sean and I had enrolled to do one in Bloomington, read lots about it and then it was cancelled due to lack of interest). I enjoyed it but I asked the tutor if he thought I could finish my dodecahedron lampshade in class time and he said he thought so but I couldn't and it sits, unfinished, gathering dust and reproachfulness.

I've been the president of my Playcentre since mid-October, I'm beginning to relax a bit. You can tell because I'm writing this tonight rather than the agenda for the next meeting. It's odd, a lot like I imagine it might be being Most Popular Girl; new people look interestedly at me when we meet, everyone who gets together with a couple of other people to do a wee project fills me in on the project, if anyone has any good news to share or concern to air they call me, and people almost always ask me for an opinion, and oh, I do find I can produce one.

Happy birthday dear Susan,
Happy birthday to me.


Blogger Dee.run said...

I hope you enjoy your birthday Susan. (You share it with my yongest brother who is 26).

What an good summary of an interesting year.

8:18 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Thank you. I'm hoping to spend some of it sorting out some pictures that kind of go with the letter to illustrate the last year, so that if any of my family and far away friends that I sent the letter by email to follow the link to the blog they find something more than the letter they just read.

12:42 PM  

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