So, last week saw me out Tuesday through to Friday night, then I had one house guest Friday night and another Saturday night. It’s all very good but leaves precious little time for thinking, reading, writing posts, staring into space …
I have found myself ‘hanging’ of late, rather unexpectedly, with a bunch of people who are newish to Canberra and my church, who are mostly in public service graduate positions. I feel somewhat embarrassed being older than I think they think I am. But they seem happy to invite me and have me along to things (plus they are into bushwalking!) … and in this life that is a gift isn’t it? I am grateful to be invited and included.
I had an old flatmate from Sydney come to stay on Friday night, who came down with a friend from her Art School. They went off to paint by the lake on Saturday morning and, after going for a jog and watering my plants because I just needed to get my life in order, I joined them. The friend asked if I wanted my portrait painted and so I consented and stood there thinking I was doing him a paint-practice favour and ended up with this portrait of myself (the instagram filtered version).
Truth is, I don’t think it looks much like me. My main quarrel with it is that I don’t have a long narrow nose, and have rather a wide one, and that green could be mistaken for a moustache, but I quite like it all the same and the colours in it and quirkiness and rarity of the event and outcome, and am happy to have any attempt at an original oil painting of myself, or anybody, to add to my op-shopped oil painting and art collection.
On Saturday my niece chose a ‘sleep over at Aunty Ali’s’ from their rewards chart and since my sister and family were already coming for lunch on Sunday we decided Saturday night was as good as any. So, after farewelling the other friends I was delivered a five-year-old for the night. The same five-year-old who in years past has become so upset at being left with someone other than her mother that she’s thrown up, who still ends up in her parent’s room most nights. So, we were all a bit surprised by this reward choice and I wondered how this might all pan out, but she was perfectly fine and a delightful little guest to have for the evening. I offered her the spare room, incase that was part of the reward fun, but she chose a mattress on my floor, and after leaving her there to wash dishes I had to go in and pretend to be going to bed also, but she dropped off quickly when I started reading poetry and I could sneak out and do my own thing (and even though she woke once or twice in the night she didn’t get distressed, so it was a huge success).
Sunday morning I let her get up and drag out every toy in my house, while I stayed in bed just a little longer, then the thing she really wanted me to do was not play dolls or go to the park or do dress-ups but, wait for this, play chess with her. I don’t even know how to play chess! I read the instructions and gave her a few hints, though she’s actually pretty good at it, so she won and was very chuffed and had to report that to Dad. We also had to play Happy Families. This is an old card game I found in an op shop that she is very taken with. Then we walked down to the shops to gather food for lunch, via a brief stop in the park, after which she bounced around my house in excitement until her family and my Aunt and Uncle arrived for lunch.
So it was a random and unexpected weekend.
I’ve had a few people over for a Sunday lunch lately and I’ve decided to do more of that. It’s a very manageable hospitality option. I don’t get in the door till just after six most weeknights and don’t often entertain the idea of having people over after work, my culinary skills have only gone downhill in the lack of inspiration of just feeding myself every night, and a Saturday dinner feels like it needs to be a fancy affair that takes half of Saturday to prepare, but for Sunday lunch a BBQ chicken and some salad and rolls I fetch in the morning from the shops down the path, or some other simple thing, seems perfectly adequate, making it much more likely to happen.