Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

keeping up with the herd

I've been watching a little boy playing in the field outside the cabin. Marching along with his little riffle, in his hunting outfit, pretending to shoot lurking animals in the leafless trees. Utterly consumed in his world as an intrepid hunter, stopping to wee in full view of anyone who happens to be watching only to retake his stance and forge into the undergrowth. It struck me thats what i'm doing today, playing, by myself.

The rest of the group are ski-ing, the last day and I have chosen not to but instead to spend the day alone playing my games. Comes from being an only child i suppose but I'm a solitary little person sometimes who likes to loose hours in my own world and all of this following the heard doesn't come naturally to me.
Yesterday i did some euphoric ski-ing, so proud of myself for how well i did down red runs, my turns feeling wonderfull, picking up my speed to new brave level, i was on top of the world loving every minute. But it all collasped around me again when my legs got tired and the snow was churned up by the hordes. I was glad for my hung over friends as they needed more rests than normal.

The afternoon was tourture, trying to get down the mountain and back to safety ski-ing, stopping, falling, struggling over huge (to me) moguls formed in the poor snow conditions. It was painfully slow and labourious, my shins splintering with pain inside the damn ski boots and my legs so jellyish and wobbly I'd have struggled to walk down, let alone slide down in agony on two out of control planks of wood.

Theres something utterly infuriating about your partner being useless in a group, so i felt terrible for mine yesterday. A stranger you would have patience and sympathy for but mix love and expectation into the equation and empathy does not sit well with irritability. My partner wears irritation on his face as one of his only two expressions and yesterday that was his expresion of choice. I've learn't over the years to ignore his unwillingness to hide it, as i've found even when in the foulest of moods and at his most unlovable nothing really bad ever happens. So I sail along in the knowledge that it'll pass, even amused now at the shocked looks of anyone unfortunate enough to be on the recieving end of one of his looks or cutting comments.

But yesterday i did take notice and take it to heart. Although I knew there was nothing I could do to get back the strength in my legs and along with it my ski-ing ability, i did feel sorry for holding him up, marring his enjoyment and generally letting 'team us' down in front of the others.

Hense my day off today, to give them all the chance to really ski without having to wait for the lame duck at the back. Shame as i'd like to be as good as them and hope to be one day but it is just a question of practice of which my partner has had much more than me.

The little boy has gone home now, incarcerated once more and no doubt scolded for muddy knees or torn sleeves. Such moments use to shock me as a child, when I would come bounding home from endless walks with my dog, full of euphoria only to be jolted back to reality with a good telling off for the lateness of my retrurn or the mess I was in or the loss of something which I was supposed to be guarding with my life (never my dog - she was my solemate, partner in crime and grime). The worst scoldings of course would come about at the lack of arrival of whatever treasure i was supposed to have brought back from the errand i was sent on. There would always be some utterly made up excuse that my father would see straight through and another roasting for telling lies would be heeped ontop of my already burdened head. Sorry Dad, even now at 42 i still get lost in the adventure and totally forget that i have responsibilities. I can waste hours like that and to me it seems an utterly cost effective use of my time. others never seem to see it that way of course.

There is a school next to our challet and i've just watched a little girl carrying her coat and skipping rope who had obviously been instructed to cross the playground to the classroom diagonally opposite. She carefully laid her coat down on the playground floor and skipped to the other side only to dash back to retrieve her coat and scurry again to the ordered location. I wonder when we decide not to take the time to have that skip. When does childhood go out of the window and we go straight from A to B grumbling at articles we have to carry with us instead of taking that moment to play with them, just for a little while.
I suspect thats what a lot of coming away with a group is all about, doing what you should do instead of wondering off and having those moments of doing just what you want. Completeing the errend whitout a risk of getting sidetracted so you dont recieve the roasting at the end. I've tried to follow the herd this week but i suspect if you asked them they'd say i don't make a very strong member of it, I'm the one at the edge nibbling the grass in the sunshine while the others have moved on, I'm the one that gets picked off by the lions.......

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