Wednesday, August 23, 2006



My love is of a birth as rare
As’tis for object, strange and high:
It was begotten by despair
Upon impossibility.

Magnanimous despair alone
Could show me so divine a thing,
Where feeble hope could ne’er have flown
But vainly flapped its tinsel wing.

And yet I quickly might arrive
Where my extended soul is fixt,
But Fate does iron wedges drive,
And always crowds itself betwixt.

Andrew Marvell 17C

I had lost my heart to Jamie but somehow he had got inside my head and our relationship was out of balance.  It was that damned see-saw of love again, but this time I was way up in the clouds; losing control and totally dependent on his smile or nod of approval.

We had to make do with fleeting visits when Jamie would try to hitch-hike  – sometimes with Paul who also was back at Oxbridge.  These had to coincide with my days off and it was a long way to come for such a short time.  Things didn’t always go according to plan and there would be times when I was kept on duty and Jamie left, twiddling his thumbs at home.

My next holiday was in February – some months off – but we planned I should join him in Oxbridge then.  That was something to really look forward to.  Jamie was in his final year and I had a further year after he graduated.

There was plenty to keep me occupied – work on the wards and endless revising and writing up notes, as well as working on the play we were doing for Christmas.  Social life was sparse as Ginny was on night duty.  Two other close friends were either at Fever Hospital or the Baby Hospital which was part of our training.

My only contact with Jamie was by letter and the odd phone call.  The only link was Paul and I received odd snippets of news from Paul via Maddie which were not always reassuring.  Nothing concrete – just vaguely disquieting.

Maddie and I weren’t getting on too well.  Looking back I realise that life wasn’t too easy for her at this period.  I seemed to be having all the fun whilst she was stuck at home with the baby.  She coveted a Prince of Wales check suit I had and wanted to borrow it for a trip to Oxbridge.  In return she would lend me her black suit.  I kept my side of the bargain but Maddie changed her mind when it came to the black suit.  I think the aunts didn’t approve but anyway I flew off the handle - Maddie cried and I ended up in the dog-house.  Normally this would all be part and parcel of sibling rivalry but I earned Jamie’s disapproval and was shattered. I did behave badly but I thought I had reason to.  I have since learnt always to try ‘to rise above it.’

Once when Jamie came up I had bought a pretty beanie hat in a cool dove grey.  He frowned and said we were meant to be saving up.  He was still very loving but I began to feel I was walking on egg-shells and my spirits would plummet if I saw his frown.

The monthly dances started up and one evening I just happened to answer the phone in the Nurses Home.  It was Andrew.  He said he was coming to the next dance in his role of Entertainments Officer so I reassured him that I wouldn’t be there.  Then he asked me how I was and had I changed my mind?


Dr Maroon said...

I feel the chill of a cloud on the horizon. Your story is subtly addictive. I have discovered.

PI said...

doctor Maroon: that is music to my ears.

Life of a Banana said...

Beanie were a trend-setter.

apprentice said...

Temptation and how apt he's Entertainments Officer!

Sim said...

All I coould hear when I finished that post was "duh duh daaahhhh!!"

Cliff hangers! You do keep your readers avid for more...

R. Sherman said...

Dear, your story could be the text on the perils of the LDR, i.e. long distance relationship.

When the EMBLOS and I were in college, after her Masters, she wanted to go to Austin Texas to study. I talked her out of it because I had two more years of law school. She stayed in Missouri and got her Ph.D. The rest is history.

I wonder sometimes whether I made the right choice in "putting my foot down" as it were.

Maybe we would still be together. Would things be better for her, had she gone.

Perhaps worrying about these things is not beneficial.

Can't wait for the next bit.


PI said...

LoaB: these were more like a twenties snug fitting hat made of felt.

Apprentice: what can you be thinking of?:)

PI said...

sim: that's not the theme tune from East Enders is it? Puleeze!

Randall: that's what I would have wanted you to do in EMBLOS's shoes. MTL and I agreed many years later we both could have tried harder but then would it have lasted? Who knows. I have no regrets about our timing.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Pat, you had better post again soon. Soon!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yikes! Anytime a gal feels like she's walking on eggshell around a guy...not a good sign!

And then there's Andrew, waiting.

PI said...

Sam: Friday - God willing!

PI said...

GG: it really is a horrid feeling.

fjl said...

Do you think fate always does drive a wedge? Lovely post. I am fed up with fate. It drives a wedge between you and everything you want, I wonder why that should be. Some say it's due to nature developing us on- part of nature's way of ensuring the next generations are fitter, better- you an always find a humanist explanation. I prefer to think God laughs at me. x

By the way say Oxford, 'Oxbridge' means both Oxford and Cambridge combined x

R. Sherman said...

You may be getting more hits from St. Louis in the next few days. The EMBLOS is teaching English composition and the first assignment is to describe an event with "autobiographical significance." She's referring her students here.


PI said...

Randall: how super! Many thanks to the EMBLOS. That'll be the St Louis of Judy Garland fame?


egg shells is a no no. I've a black suit you can borrow anytime.

This should be a book. Even Caz is reading this and she's not into blogging at all. Thinks we're all nuts but she likes this a lot.

PI said...

4d: I'm honoured Caz is reading it. Readers mean a lot to me. Thanks for the offer of the suit.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I was once in a relationship where I had to walk on eggshells. Watch every word. I never knew when it would upset him. Even a little joke could do that. sheesh.

PI said...

Gg: you know how it feels. It sort of creeps up on you.