martedì, dicembre 05, 2006

Grandad

Now, my British grandparents haven't always been the easiest people for me to get along with, and part of the great blow to me in my grandfather's recent death was being aware we weren't as close as other girls sometimes are to their grandfathers. No fault of his, or even I think my own; he welcomed me with open arms into his home and I went to see them in Yorkshire whenever it was at all practicable. Nonetheless, it seemed talking across the barrier of generations, countries, cultures, attitudes to the boiling of vegetables, ethnic feuds and the sea was a thing that didn't always come naturally to us, and then in the last year or so his mind turned more inwards to deal with his body and its demise. I was fortunate to have visited them last March, after my thesis defence and before he started preparing himself in earnest.

Since he died I've appreciated more and more the bits of me that come from him - a certain not-incompetency with money, the ability to coldly analyse out of a hot situation, an abstract spiritual faith based on love and rational optimism - and while I'm not so sure we'd be any better at being close today if he was still alive than we were a year ago, I am sure that as much as I loved him then, I'd be more understanding of him now. I miss him.

This is on my mind in a poignant but cheerful way today, because the days I used to go to England - in my plans to see him, in reality to bury him - were, with the agreement of my manager, sick days, since I didn't think I had any vacation time left. It turns out I do; and in the almighty fucking wisdom of the Canadian labour establishment I have to use them before the Christmas break instead of cashing them in or carrying them over to next year. So next weekend will be four days long and the weekend after that will be threepointfive.

Now, much as I'd prefer to carry the days over to next year, I'm not complaining; I need a couple of days off to get shit done and organized, and as you all know I'm not crazy about being at work in the first place. But what I am doing is asking myself what I should do with these days, that feel like a gift-from-beyond-the-grave from Grandad, when by any stretch of the imagination I only need one long weekend to get shit done. I feel just as I did back in university, when they still sent me money for Christmas and I resisted, generally successfully, the natural inclination to spend it on reefer instead of something clever like mutual funds or panties.

Maybe I should go home and see my parents. I'm going to see them for five or six days at Christmas but of course that will be all crazy with people and parties. Grandad would no doubt approve. Maybe I should go to Vancouver and see Elvis, who I've never gone to visit out there. Grandad would approve of that too, though not the massive deficit spending it would entail. Also Elvis works in flowers so he's retardedly busy in December. Maybe I should go to Montreal to see the Virgin and Miss T, or Mrs. R I suppose she is now, but in all honesty I neither want to go to Montreal without Figaro (who gets no time off) nor do I want to drop in on friends last minute (for it would be this Friday) at this time of year. Also Grandad would approve less. Especially of the Virgin.

So unless I have some bright fucking ideas or remember suddenly that what Grandad always wanted from life but never did was to find a cheapish flight to Costa Rica and smoke reefer in the jungle for a few days with that nice Roumanian girl I used to work with who moved there six or seven months ago, I think I'll go up north this weekend. Any other ideas?

14 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

from my grandpa i got the love of partying and the ability to do pretty much anything that needs to get done. i wish i'd had more time with him. :( i lost both my grandpa's by 13.

i think you should come to my party this weekend, since i haven't seen you out dancing in forever, but that's just me...

Anonimo ha detto...

If I were you, I'd go to North Bay - but that's because the dude is there this weekend.

I think you're right that the best way to spend this gift is with your family. Maybe your presence will lift your parents' spirits since December can be a difficult time of the year for people who have lost a loved one. Your mom might not be able to think about it with the level head that you have.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah - I think I will go north. I was dithering but then I remembered my mother's symphony's Christmas concert is on Saturday so that settles it. Sorry to miss your party again, Lady.

Melbine ha detto...

Oh, you should definitely go and be with your mum and attend her Christmas concert - that will be so nice! However, you should still try and get out to see Elvis sometime. It's kind of like a 2 in 1 since Ms. P is there! Wasn't Magnum just out there to surprise Elvis recently?

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah, he was, in the thick of the lousy weather. Which means I'm the only bastard who hasn't been out there to visit him yet.

OH SNATCH - Westjet is having a big seat sale this weekend and I could go to Vancouver for under $500. But I think I should go to Mum's concert and see Elvis when he's not so busy.

I'm torn! I wish I knew if Westjet had lots of these last minute sales or if it's just because of Christmas.

Anonimo ha detto...

I think Westjet has a lot of those seat sales and it's in spite of Christmas not because of it.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yeah, I bet you're right. Anyways, if I wait until Elvis isn't so busy then hopefully I'll have paid off my credit card.

Melbine ha detto...

WestJet has seat sales frequently. Tink and I got a ticket for $60 from Ottawa to T.O. in the summer. And you're right, the new year might be better when Elvis isn't so busy and you've paid off more of your cc.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

That sounds ex-cellent. Also now the HR manager who brought the days to my attention is second-guessing herself - I might go to North Bay anyways, though.

Melbine ha detto...

What, is she trying to say that now you're not entitled to those days? How cruel!

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Hopefully I'm jumping the gun. But yes, it would be awfully cruel and I think we would have to have a fight about it.

Jiri ha detto...

A certain not-incompetency with money, the ability to coldly analyse out of a hot situation, and an abstract spiritual faith based on love and rational optimism sound like a really nice and useful things to get.

Have fun in North Bay. Good luck with the management.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

They were really nice and useful things to get. He was something else. I could have done with more hugs, but maybe if I'd had them I'd be all snivelly and lame by now.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

And indeed, I have been given the time off, and indeed, am surprising my family up North with it. Gosh, I hope all the naughty language turned my mother off reading this blog!