Classic Deflection

March 24, 2012 § 41 Comments

I am here but busily going in for deflection.  Deflection is the key.  Dealing with the children and cooking for tonight when eight – alas not nine – people are coming for supper.  In the garden with any luck.  So, in between Proustian thoughts and reflections and yearnings which I wish to keep to a minimum, I am thinking about scrubbing brushes and cleaning my garden table which has been hammered by the weather and otherwise, for a year, served no purpose but as an object for me to look upon from the window and to suppose, vaguely, that I am luckier than it.

Thoughts of going back to Proust and Turgenev and Tolstoy, properly immersing myself in the classics in the way I did in my twenties.  Perhaps, when the children are away, I shall just stay at home and make them almost my entire business for the whole two weeks.

I have been contemplating travelling to Paris to hook up with pre-marriage friends, and maybe to dip down further south to see current ones, and perhaps I should.  Get me out of myself.

There again, maybe I should stay at home and leave Tolstoy to do that for me.

Easier option.  Cheaper.


§ 41 Responses to Classic Deflection

  • Erin says:

    Choose Paris!!! What is that saying, an idle mind is the devil’s lunchbox, or workshop, whatever. Sitting at home alone for 2 weeks makes one susceptible to ruminating, stewing, caldron stirring. You don’t need to go there, P. And if an opportunity from latest twinkle comes knocking while you’re gone, it will be there when you return. As we said in the ’70s, go with the flow : )

  • Lydia says:

    Do what feels right and remember how very lucky you are (a) to be able to afford that and take time from work which many of us could not and (b) that the children aren’t there 365 days year as my lovely little lot are which can be a bit difficult when you might want one night alone but never mind.

    You entertain and go out so very much compared to me. It seems a different world.

    I spoke to two men today. Why do they always come at once? One who owns properties in London but seemed a little cold, never married, wants to meet. Not sure I can be bothered. I might. I’ll think about.

    Second one lovely but in a wheelchair. So this year we’ve had married man, herpes man and now wheelchair man. Herpes one who is lovely and emails several times a day as a friend was saying look outside the box but surely distance, being married, infectious STDs and wheel chairs are much further outside the box than most people would look (unless they themselves were married or in wheelchairs or HIV virus carriers which I’m not). So I’ve moved on from STD research to spinal injury issues. Lucky me…. meanwhile the widower did manage to text once today but I now used to how he is. I can tread water with it until we meet again and then decide.

    Might have been simpler in terms of my workload and child load today had I just put all men to one side today.

    • The Plankton says:

      Just to put you in the picture, Lydia, I know I am lucky but I almost never have a holiday. Once in a blue moon I go somewhere in this country but I haven’t been on an aeroplane for as long as I can remember. I don’t regard holidays as part and parcel of my life. I am not being a hair shirt. I love going abroad (though in reality I almost never do/can) but holidays as a concept really don’t enormously interest me. Px

    • RS says:

      Lydia there was a very informative piece in the Guardian online a couple of days ago about online dating written by a guy in a wheelchair. I found the piece and the comments most enlightening. Perhaps you should give the guy a chance.

      • Lydia says:

        May be. Another male friend suggested perhaps I ought (herpes man – he’s also looking now on a site for people with herpes apparently, we had a nice chat). I might have put too many objections to wheelchair man that I’ve put him off. We’ll see. he can get to the loo himself and get dressed. Oh dear, now I’m laughing.. I would prefer someone with my level of health. Seeking parity is not that bad an aim. Although I think wheelchair man in some ways is more compatible than the widower. I wish I could merge them into two and pick out the characteristics of one I need in the other and go out with the resulting merged man.

        I think wanting someone who can walk, though, is surely a fairly reasonable request. I ended up suggesting he got his BMI down to 19 and gave up alcohol and ate better. It’s very easy to let things go to seed when you’re in a wheelchair. The constant pain must be the worst thing, poor him. i suspect I do tend to prefer a man who can literally sweep me off my feet.

        (Holidays, noted, sorry)

  • Barry says:

    Let me know if you are coming further South in France ….. We live as far south as you can get. No men , but a wonderful location !

      • Barry says:

        The South of France is so conservative and uptight, with a huge Arabic population, that available men are very thin on the ground .
        I have a single Female Friend who spent 4 years here , only got one hit, he was an Arab, and tried to swindle her .
        She is back in the UK now , but we chat like “Girls” and she was so sad that the South was like this. Wonderful to live in, but a desert for good men …and She is an expert in men…. 70 years young and still a seductress .

  • rosie says:

    I don’t know if you’ve been to Florence, P, but am just watching Monty Don’s programme about the gardens there (I’ve been to the Boboli Gardens but somehow seem to have missed most of what he’s filming) and they are absolutely stunning. How about Florence, with a garden visit thrown in? Or Rome? I think you said you’d not been there and I can more or less guarantee that you would walk round with your eyes on stalks! And if you go just before/after the Easter weekend it will be a lot cheaper.

  • EmGee says:

    If I had the choice between staying home and reading, or going to Paris, I think I would pack the books along and go. Stack them on the nightstand when I got there, and if I never cracked one open, would feel I had done my duty! However, I might perhaps move the bookmark down a bit every day, just to show housekeeping that they weren’t just there for show, and yet another thing to clean around. 😛

  • rosie says:

    And if I ever envisaged that I would be watching a programme about gardens, however stunning, on my own, on a Saturday night, I would have ended it there and then!

  • Definitely head out to Paris in the spring time, or beyond. Take some lighter reading too, it might to lighten the mind.

  • Dear Ms. P

    I don’t know why it took me so long to notice this, but in nearly all of your posts (maybe all) you are always doing something for someone else. It combines so unobtrusively with your narrative, and the causal reader is in general following the perspective your headline announces, that it is easy to miss that you devote a lot of yourself to others, family, friends, acquaintances, even to some extent the readers here. 8 for dinner, above, is blithely tossed out-and I think it’s because for you, it ain’t no thing. I am afraid I’d sound condescending to commend you for it. because that is not my point-this is second nature to you, obviously, you do it as easily as drawing air. Americans stereotype Brits as somewhat withdrawn and self-centered. I thank you for comprehensively disabusing me of this fallacy.

    • The Plankton says:

      Goodness, TVM, I hadn’t thought about this. I’m not sure I do, but if you say so. I always think people do a lot for me. I hope I do do things for others, but I don’t think I do so an unusual amount. Well, anyway, thank you. Px

  • Stefanie Mills says:

    I am a new reader of your blog, and enjoying it very much! I had the same thought as another reader, which is that you do a lot for and with others, and have a full life, even without the relationship you desire with a man. Good for you!! I am almost 43, divorced after a 20 year marriage, and now involved in a very painful relationship with a man with whom I had a child a year ago. I thought he was the love of my life…still feel that he is…but he has different ideas. He loves me but is not in love with me:-( So, he is here for now, helping to raise the baby and helping with my other THREE children, but plans to leave in a year or so. I made the mistake of not developing as I should have in my marriage, because I knew any development and branching out on my part would not be good for my already unsatisfying relationship. After having the courage to leave my marriage, I put all my eggs into the basket of this relationship. Now it appears to have no future, and I have almost no social life, no hobbies, no career, no money…I am an intelligent loving woman who once had great passion for life and a lot of optimism, but I feel utterly defeated and, yes, invisible to desirable men now. I am hoping to slowly build the social life that I would like to have, so that I have woman friends with whom to share my life, even if the right man never comes along. Anyway, sorry to blather on so. Thank you for your blog, and I wish you and all your readers happiness and love!!

    • Erin says:

      Dear Stefanie, why would you stay one more day with a man who has said he is not in love with you and plans to leave in a year? Lord woman, you deserve better than this. Your self-esteem is just gone. Are you not receiving child support for your children? There are agencies that can help you get back on your feet. Do you have family that can help you? Muster up as much strength as you can and pull yourself out of this. You owe it to your kids and yourself. And send Mr. Wonderful packing. (Big hugs to you and a huge dose of courage)

    • Dawn says:

      He plans to leave… IN A YEAR??? OR SO??? My god! How cruel is this man? You don’t tell someone you’ve going to leave but not just yet.. maybe in a year… or so. That’s just heinous.

      Kick his sorry ass out now and get on with your life. Refuse to live in emotional limbo. If you must, wait until you’ve found a job to support yourself and your children, but get him the hell out of your house as soon as you possibly can.

      • Barry says:

        I’m truly shocked …… please get him out now , for your Childrens sake ,if you don’t have the courage for your own salvation.

        If your conveyed image is correct, you are not going to be alone , and as you can read …it isn’t the end of the world if you are…xx

    • The Plankton says:

      You are not blathering on. This is why I started – and continue – to write this blog, precisely because there are so many plankton. I hoped some honest truths on the subject and a resulting forum might bring some consolation to some of us. You are very welcome here and I am glad that you are enjoying it so much. Thank you. Pxx

    • Joules says:

      Dear Stefanie

      I can only second or third the response you have had below. My ex walked out with the “I love you but not in love with you” line. God knows how long he had been feeling that way but, going by the number of my friends, coworkers and acquantences that he made feel very uncomfortable by showing them inappropriate attention, it was some time.

      YOU DESERVE BETTER and better includes being on your own. Get yourself sorted with job and go to the citizen’s advice bureau. They helped me understand what my rights were – something that you need to make sure you protect by what you do next – and also what your children’s rights are.

      Then tell him to leave – no reason to drag it out for a year! His not loving you makes the relationship one that is going to pull you down, not up. The fact that he doesn’t see this also indicates that he is a selfish asshole and does not know what love is or how it works.

      Happines might include love but it definately does not include putting up with someone treating you like this. Believe me when I say that everyone in your life will support you in this.

  • Someone who is very knowledgeable about early 21st century English literature and early 21st century London area writers can probably figure out who Ms. Plankton is relatively easily- The clues are probably all right here in her writing style and her selections of words.

    The only present day writers in England whom I know are the ones who went to LSE, and I’m quite confident that none of them are Ms. Plankton…

    In some ways, I think part of the fun of reading through this blogsite though is NOT knowing who is writing this, the mystery of wondering…. …. ……

    • RS says:

      Scott, please stop going down this path. We don’t NEED to know who she is in her actual life. What would that accomplish? There have been other popular anonymous bloggers have been “outed” and it changes everything about the blog. P doesn’t need or want her identity known and her readers don’t need to know either. All we need to know is that her writing is a joy to read and that her life experience strikes a chord.
      It’s her right to unmask IF and when she chooses.

      • The Plankton says:

        Well, a big thank you to you RS! Thanks for saying that. Much appreciated. Px

      • That’s why I said that I think part of the fun of reading through this blogsite though is NOT knowing who is writing this, the mystery of wondering…. …. ……

      • Agree fully. Who precisely Ms. P is is entirely irrelevant. She speaks truths, truths from experience, and perhaps it is her anonymity that allows her to speak with the necessary candor she requires to render them. I do not know, nor do I care. I am not sure if she considers herself emblematic of those she she speaks to or for but that is her business. I come from the other side of the ship, giving my full name and picture. But as no one gives a pinch of owl dung who I am, I am free to do so. I enjoy good writing, hers is excellent, and I do not care what nom de plume she chooses so long as she continues with same. I believe inquiries into her identity are puerile, on the level of “Where in the World is Carmen Santiago?”

      • The Plankton says:

        Goodness. Well, thank you. Pxx

  • rosie says:

    “I am not sure how much I would relish the lone travelling?”

    P, you can do group tours. There are loads of guides hanging around at various points throughout the city. I lost my friend in the Vatican in the days before I had roaming on my mobile and, rather than mill around for hours trying to find her, headed off to look at something else and found a guide touting for business outside the Forum. Lots of people on their own in the group, too. Sadly, no eligible men but that’s hardly news!

    Then there’s sofa surfing, where you stay with a local and they show you around. I haven’t done any digging but I don’t think they’re all 21-year-old surfer dudes.

  • Becca says:

    Lone travelling is really quite fun. I have done a lot of it and to be honest probably preferred it to when I was in a relationship and going on holiday together.
    Enjoyed working it all out for myself (before used to rely on ex to book to book tickets etc) and doing exactly as I pleased. Yes, I felt lonely at times, but no more than I would anyway if I was at home.
    Now I would never not go anywhere just because I didn’t have a partner or friend for company.
    Recommend giving it a go! (Although perhaps you have and decided you absolutely don’t enjoy it, which is fair enough).

  • RS says:

    Lone travelling can be great. Setting your own schedule. Seeing only the things you want to see. Sometimes you’ll even choose to do things outside your normal “likes” because it’s got a bit of a sense of adventure about it… You become more self aware, reacquainted with your soul, and proud of yourself in a way, if that makes any sense.

    The thing I do miss when seeing the sights on my own is having someone to share with, to turn to and say “isn’t that wonderful”. That’s why a journal or Facebook or a blog is a good thing.

    And walking tours are great too, as sometimes you meet someone in the group who is nice to chat with. Can’t recommend those enough!

    I think getting outside your normal world for a couple of weeks would be a Ver Good Thing P. Go to Paris.

  • Catherine says:

    Oh Paris! An escape outside of myself as you say, while the children are in safe hands. I wouldn’t hesitate P. Choose your books well otherwise go to Shakespeare and Co on the Left Bank. I could walk through that city forever, plus having good friends there. Sounds all too tempting. Vas-y! xx

  • rosie says:

    “there seems something a bit sad about it.”

    There is! But if you’re in a group there’s usually at least one person who’s friendly and non weird and you soon forget about it. I’m not sure how to get round dinner on your own though. I hate that bit and would rather eat in the hotel room with a pizza than sit in a crowded restaurant on my tod.

  • Lydia says:

    When I was out last week with a man a lady came to the table next to us, with her lap top. There was another lady alone on our table on the right although ultimateily she was joined by her companion. The one on our left got talking to us which was fine for a bit – we were being polite but then she kept butting in. In the end we finished quickly. Some men are good at picking restaurants where you are not close to other people.

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