Thanks to everyone who’s left such wonderfully encouraging comments here. Linda, I loved the Proust quote. (“L’habitude! Amenageuse habile mais bien lente…” Something like: “Habit! She’s an expert at arranging things, but takes her time doing so…”) Indeed, habit is so soothing, but it does take time. On the other hand, it’s quite amazing how adaptable we humans are, and how quickly the strange becomes familiar. I’m feeling much less disoriented now and less numb.
So the Dafter is going to take one course at school: digital photography. She will go for the class three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which will leave her the other days to rest and recuperate. It’s going to be a first pass at the year, which she will repeat. If she starts to feel very much better, she can do some studying at home with a tutor. We all pray that she will continue to heal and gather strength over the year.
She’s mostly very excited about being back with other kids her own age, but naturally also very nervous, since she has hardly been on her own at all, and not often out of the house, in the past two years. It’s a big step, but one I know she is ready for because she is very enthusiastic about it. So we’ve been shopping for school uniform!
For some reason, blouses for teenage schoolgirls are rather hard to locate. But we have managed, and have learned quite a bit about shopping in Glasgow city centre. If you’re wondering why the fitting room above is palatial, it’s because it’s a wheelchair-friendly one.
A few days ago, the Dafter had a great day out – on her own with a friend! That was also a big step for her. They went to visit the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery (with the wheelchair), and she’s taken some photos to show you:
She had a great time, and really enjoyed seeing the art. Here’s some contemporary art:
And older art, in such a beautiful setting:
She came home full of very insightful remarks about different styles of art. She bought me a postcard of a Gustave Dore painting, a dramatic and sweeping Highland landscape with some tiny little people in the foreground to indicate scale. It was so much fun to share her impressions, and to talk a bit about some of the messages that such a painting would have conveyed to its viewers at the time. (The romance and wildness of the Highlands, Romantic sensibility, etc.) She was tired afterwards, but also very energised, so that was great.
Meanwhile, work continues on the house. This is the living room fireplace at the moment:
I entitled this post “throwing our hearts over the bar” because school starts day after tomorrow (the 14th) and we are all three very focused on the Dafter clearing that initial hurdle. We’re not sure how much she will manage that first day, in terms of how long she will manage to stay, but that doesn’t matter. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression in relation to high-jumpers: you throw your heart over the bar in your imagination, and then when you jump, your body will follow. The Dafter has been doing a lot of mental preparation for this next step, as have Michael and I, and we are both hugely proud of her.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you again to everyone for the good wishes coming our way. It makes a real difference to us! I wish you all a very good week.