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Saturday, November 06, 2004

I've been reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It's simply outrageously well-written, not to mention almost over for me. I have less than 100 pages to go, which means less than an hour. Anyway, There's so much in it which is so worthwhile talking about... The castle seems to creep into my vocabulary as well as my feelings.
I'm living in a strange house at the moment, because mine is being systematically enlarged and en-nicened. I'm getting a big room, which is nice because I have lived in a 7 1/2 by 8 foot box for 7 years. But anyway. The one I'm in now reminds me of the castle, with its high ceilings and coldness. It's brown and previously austere, but in my mind it's a cold blue ice palace.

When I was little, and I lived in America, we lived in a warm green mansion. (Well, it was mansion to me). In our open yard we had a tree with a yard-sale trapeze.
I would climb up into the fork of the tree with whatever book I was reading, and look into the sun-porch. Probably thinking of being a secret agent... And I would grab the trapeze and swing for hours, meaning I was thin and innocently muscled. Anyway, it's dreamily romantic in hindsight.

At school there though... I was moved up a couple grades (nothing special.. I had started earlier because I was English). And a couple things happened that changed me. For one I was bullied (unsurpisingly). Quite badly I guess, which I never understood or reported for months and months. I accepted it and took it out on my brother, ruining our relationship forever. It's just antagonism now, but I imagine we'll be ok sometime in the future.
And two, I told mum I was in love with a girl in my class, and not to tell anyone. For weeks I was teased by my family about 'Angela', in a disgusting sing-song that stopped me from talking to my mother for... Ever. I love her, but my trust was bruised iodine.

But in this house now, I'm alone now as I often am. My parents work almost the whole time, for our new house. I feel like every stage of my life they've drifted further away from me. Tonight it's the fireworks (Guy Fawke's night), and I'm going to sit inside away from them.
One of my only memories from my first home is sitting with my parents in Tesco car park, completely safe despite the ash falling around us. Totally absorbed in the smell. We won't go tonight. They've given up surprise outings.

What I really miss is my mum being home. I want the smell of cooking through the house. I want a hello when I come in. I know it's not fair, but she's already given 17 years of her life towards us. Why can't she just make it a few more?

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