Since Mark’s parents were here during the weekend, there was no time to do our silly little tradition that we always seem to do at this time of the month, even as we swear that we’re not going to be so twee. We celebrated our one plus month anniversary, we did. Around the sixteenth of each month we do this.

Our days are so full of things to do that when we come home we just chill, or entertain one group or another of friends that will descend upon our house, because you know it’s better for everyone if our friends come to our place instead of us going to theirs. No parents.

Often that doesn’t give us time for just us, you know, so we keep on doing this thing that we say we aren’t going to do, and by now that saying has moved to the realm of sweet little lies that I suppose carry any relationship.

So, today we locked the doors, left the house, and went down to eat at a restaurant that we know will serve us, despite being minors. As long as we don’t order booze and beer, they’re fine with us being there.

I am converting my working class husband-to-be to enjoy the finer things of middle class existence, and his protests against the restaurant-eating and fine-wine-swilling toffs are becoming more and more rare. I have accomplished something, then. When I get him to join me on gallery-excursions my work will be complete.

***

School is proceeding along many hectic strands at the moment. Only a week in, I feel like I’m stressed out of my little mind. It’s not about the syllabus, really, because from what I’ve seen of it, it is not that big of a deal. What stresses me are all the things around.

If I seem strangely preoccupied with things like University even with a whole year until I could reasonably start, it’s because I have to apply within two weeks, and I have to get the staff at my school to arrange for a predicted grade that is high enough for me to be considered at Oxbridge.

The grades I have got are fine, and on their own merit they would give me a chance equal to any of the other tens of thousands of applications with straight A’s from all over the world. But Oxbridge isn’t interested in my AS-level grades. They want to know what my A-level ones are going to be. So, the staff have to give me a grade prediction.

That, with the actual application, is turning yours truly into a little hamster in a big wheel, and I have to keep spinning the wheel like I’m a little mad. No, I need to spin three-four wheels at once, at furious speed, so that people will recognise the ardent little work-monkey and his spinning. It’s exhausting. That’s part of the reason why today and the visit to the restaurant was welcome.

***

Another thing that is stressing me is that Dad was back at hospital. Apparently his tumours have come back – still not malign – and with the amount of cancers that’s been among my relatives it’s a cause for concern for me.

I mean, in the fucked up world of our family there have been a few constants. We don’t keep those kinds of secrets from each other. While Dad until a few years ago was a part of the background noise because he worked all the time, and while our interactions now mostly seem to be about him correcting yours truly about everything, I don’t actually want him to die. You know?

With a cool aloof mother, an absentee father, a dead sister whose shadow lingers to make her feel like a ghost… the amount of thoughts I have about my family could enrich a psychiatrist for years and put his or her children through a doctorate.

Anyways, dad is going to be operated on because apparently the tumours are pressing on some nerves. This I didn’t learn from him, but from my conversation with my paternal aunt. You know, I wish he’d tell me, so I didn’t have to hear about it from a third-party that I don’t talk that much too?

***

I don’t feel like reading books now, because I have books coming out of my arse in school, and so I’ve opened my attempt at a computer game, but I just sit and stare at it. Instead of being constructive and creative, I’m writing this instead.

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