Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday night yada

The kids in our neighbourhood have evidently been told that saying 'Trick or Treat' is no longer PC. Instead last night we were greeted by various motley groups wishing us a 'Happy Halloween,' while their parents teetered in the background wearing overcoats and clutching cups of Starbucks.

One kid, about eight-years-old, asked me, 'How many sweets did you just give me?
Me: I don't know
Him: Roughly how many?
Me: I dunno, a handful?
Him: Approximately?
Me: OK kid, off you go

I think he was competitively tallying up his spoils to compare with the other children in his group, and for a brief moment it was as though I were looking into the face of an eight year old Roberto.

Julia was unwell this week and the doctor instructed me not to take her out of the house, for the whole week. Not being able to leave the house is like injuring a limb. You don't appreciate just how much you need it until it's out of action. My mum came round to give me a bit or respite on Wednesday and Thursday and I practically ran out of the front door.

Things seemed so much more vivid than I remembered them. The reds and browns of the fading leaves, a smell of a passing young girl's perfume, the beautiful stillness of the church yard that I walk through on my way to town, the feel of a hot Starbucks paper cup against my bare hand, and the sting of having to pay bloody two quid fifty for it.

We've been invited to join a table at a Human Rights charity dinner. I'm very excited to be going to and event of this kind, i.e. an elegant adult thing that doesn't involve me on the sofa wearing sweat pants covered in baby food. It also raises a few questions though, like, what do I wear? Will anything that I already own actually fit me? Do I bare my upper arms? And what good will me sitting around eating posh food and pretending to know what the person next to me is talking about do for the people in the Republic of Congo that are homeless, starving, being attacked and raped, and god knows what else.

I support a few charities but I always wonder what with politicians and armies often stopping aid from reaching the people that need it most, if it's really doing any good. Of course I'm being cynical, but the world genuinely seems so screwed up that it feels as though we've just put out one fire when another one starts up. God only knows how it feels for the people and children that are in the thick of it. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.

We've started recycling. I have a big box in the kitchen that I chuck stuff into instead of the bin. I didn't realise until I started doing it that practically everything is recyclable, and the pile in our box is actually loads bigger than the amount of trash we are throwing away. OK, so it's not saving any lives, but I guess it's doing our small bit.

OK, and on to more cheerful topics:

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