Saturday, 3 July 2010

Girl with a chainsaw

    Earlier today I helped my mother by trimming back some branches on her huge lilac tree that are providing a little too much shade for part of her garden. Chainsaw in hand, manhandling hefty branches in the way only someone built like me can, very blokey indeed.
    But strangely it provided the backdrop for a conversation I wish I'd had with her decades ago. About the "girl moment", that stab of GD grief that hits you unawares and gives you a little trough of depression. She's expressed her concern about my depression for the whole of my adult life, and only now can I tell her about it. The catalyst for today's moment, Serena Williams of all people. Yeah, I know. BBC slow-motion analysis makes t-girl swoon. Stupid, isn't it, you could write my knowledge of tennis on a postage stamp. But she is amazing.
    Then since we were in the garden we progressed along a fairly usual path for us, plants, flowers, vegetables and apples. Sweet peas, in flower in the UK at the moment. Except I think we were both aware it was a girl conversation. Magic.
    A muntjac deer crossed my path only a few yards in front of me as I did my usual weekend exercising of my mother's dog. They were once the most timid of creatures, now they're so bold as to be almost unconcerned. They're a voracious pest, a foreign species escaped from the private collection of a stately home, but there's still something special about seeing one this close.
    I feel very fortunate to be able to have these conversations with my mother. She'll probably never see me as physically anything other than bloke, but mentally it's another matter. She understands.
    And that, as I hope you'll agree, is very good indeed.


  1. Serena does not do it for me but I know what you mean.

    Can't quite swing a chainsaw about with casual ease any more.

    Never did have a "real" conversation with my mother though my sisters have just told me that she would probably have been accepting! Families!!!

    Watch out for them deer when on your bike, they have written off several friends cars there are so many now.

    Caroline xxx

  2. I've already managed to "modify" a couple of cars that way, sadly. I don't like hitting any animal, but they do have this nasty habit of just jumping out.

    Lest a mental image is forming of bib overalls, John Deere baseball cap and slack jaw, I'd better stress that I was using the saw as a surgeon would use a scalpel, scarcely swinging it! :)

  3. The area I live in abounds with white tail deer. One day while driving down the road a few miles from here, I thought I was going to slam into one, when a large buck came bounding out the woods in my direction. It all happened so quickly, that there was no time to react. Fortunately he came to sudden halt at the edge of the road, just as I sped by! He was large enough, that a collision would have made a mess out of my truck.

    So nice that your mother understands, and that you can have such conversations with her.

    Careful trimming those overhead branches. Wear you hard hat.

    Melissa XX

  4. hi Jenny
    another lovely blog entry, it is nice that you could share some of your emotions with your mum.

    perhaps it will help with some of the derpession? by not feeling you have to supress so much


  5. Its so nice you can share moments like that with your Mum.
    I found they become more and more frequant as my Mum bacame more used to it.

  6. Thanks all. The glow hasn't worn off yet. To be able to talk to her about these subjects may not make GD and depression go away but it certainly removes a huge source of stress.

    @Melissa: Muntjac deer are tiny things, the largest is about the size of a medium dog. So they're not quite so dangerous to motorists as their cousins. We do have full sized deer in the UK, but they aren't common in these parts.