about writing and life and God

Sheepless in Suffolk

on October 15, 2012

Woolly has returned to his home. I gave him one last cuddle then plonked him on the floor and left. Then I came home and ate two fruit scones with my coffee.

Comfort eating? For loss of a sheep that I didn’t even own? How sad is that!

Actually I think it was just an excuse. It was nice to have Woolly for the weekend. He was a very easy guest:

  • didn’t eat me out of house and home
  • didn’t insist on watching sport on tv
  • there were no sheets to change and wash

Of course it wasn’t all positive:

  • less than scintillating conversation
  • not interested in a nice walk or amble round the shops

Oh well, nobody’s perfect, not even a perfectly irresistible woolly sheep!

I’ve often felt prospective husbands should come with warranties from their mothers regarding how house-trained and civilised they are. However, I fear equality would demand that women should too and that might show up our clay feet a little  too soon for comfort.

When I left home for university at the ripe old age of 19, I had never used a washing machine and was so frightened of the monster in our hall of residence laundry that I hand-washed all my clothes (and I do mean all, with some dire results!).

I’m a bit better now but must confess to zero interest in housewifery and other ‘feminine’ pursuits, though I do have some basic standards of tidiness (so I can find things) and hygiene (I don’t want to cause myself illness or start an outbreak of  bubonic plague in the neighbourhood).

I cut my teeth on Shirley Conran’s Superwoman with its motto of ‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’. It was a revelation – instructions on how to do just about everything. But I look back at it now and wonder how I ever found time to do it all and hold down a demanding job as well.

I’m sure there were not any more hours in the day. I suppose I just had more energy in my twenties. At that age, there was a sense of forever stretching ahead, filled with wonderful possibilities.

Now, though, there seem to be fewer days left on the calendar than have already been torn off. But perhaps now it’s time for quality as a kind of defiance in the face of lack of quantity.

Shirley Conran’s approach to life was great in my twenties when I really rather fancied being Superwoman. Now, I reckon it’s time to make sure I’ve spent enough time being myself.

I never guessed I could have such fun spending a weekend with a sheep. I wonder what further delights await just a little way down the road?


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