Slogging away



[slog]  verb, slogged, slog·ging. noun

verb (used with object)

1. to hit hard, as in boxing or cricket; slug.
2. to drive with blows.
verb (used without object)

3. to deal heavy blows.
4. to walk or plod heavily.
5. to toil.

 #s 4 and 5 are most apt for today

I got up extra early this morning and managed to be almost on time to pick up my friend to go to college. We aren’t usually timetabled for a Monday (I know, lucky us) so it tends to be an assignment/housework day. Today we’d been promised electro-fishing, an experience both of us were reasonably keen to try (keen enough to attend – that counts for something), even if it meant wading round a lake in the freezing might-as-well-still-be-January weather.

We arrived to be confronted by two busfuls of students from the sport fishing course, who, despite their individual loveliness (probably) are rough-necked lads. The conversation on the bus ranged from the coarse to the profane and back again, repeatedly. They’re not malicious though – they’re very straightforward, which is one thing I do like about boys – if they’re going to be rude or abrasive, they’re endearingly brazen about it.

The traffic though. Oh. My. Life!

There’d been an accident on a major road and it had been closed, so all the traffic to the south-west seemed to be taking the same route as us. A journey which should have taken 40 minutes took 2 hours before coming to a standstill. Under much pressure, the tutor who was driving was eventually persuaded to turn around and take us all back. Traffic going east was fine, so we whizzed back in about half an hour. Then all went home. What a total waste of time.

Arriving home, I decided to crack on with an assignment whilst Husby had a short, 1hr nap. He said he’d get up and begin packing ready for our sometime-soon house move (why do we call it ‘moving house’ even though we’re going from one flat to another? Strange, that.). 3 hours later and still no movement. The assignment was getting a bit wearing and the empty boxes and masses of crap we seem to have accumulated had taken on looming proportions.

I got up and asked Husby (tersely) how he felt about having a few million more alarm clocks, and whether he thought he was going to get up.

“I don’t really think so” came his drowsy reply.

To be fair to him, the cold he thought he’d beaten has come back (or sent a close relative) but wow, I was in no mood to hear that.

I got on with clearing the dishes so that I could excavate some working space to pack in. As a swarm of angry ant-like thoughts of distinct uncharitableness overtook my mind, I tried quite hard to remember my promise not to slam things when angry and mostly managed not to. I just wished that Husby had been awake enough to keep to his end of not ignoring me when I was upset.

We managed to escalate quite nicely from there and he did come and help me in the end, after I packed several boxes and nearly cried with the (probably mostly imagined) stress of Doing It All By Myself. We even hugged and made up. Eventually. Then packed what felt like several hundred more boxes, though it seemed to make little enough impact on the way the place looks.

The thing they don’t tell you about marriage when  you sign up for it is that it tests your initiative almost more than anything else. No-one will hold your hand and spoon feed you the answers, which is one of the initial attractions – going it alone together. The problem seems to come when one half wants/expects the other to have the answers and pass them merrily over and the other half hasn’t a clue and is making it up as they go along. Talk about your unrealistic expectations.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the time you’re likely to get hit with ‘in sickness’, ‘for poorer’ and ‘for worse’ may be (whilst always inconvenient) at a time when you really need the both of you working hardest as a team – the precise moment it’s impossible to manage, in fact. These are the times for prayers for strength – when you are least likely to remember it’s even an option or be too angry to contemplate doing it.

So, a mantra for myself for the coming few weeks (I may need to get this tattooed over my corneas to make it stick)

I must be patient and kind
I must not envy or boast
I must not be proud or dishonour others
I must not seek my own ends
I must be slow to anger and quick to forget wrongs
I must love.

Above all, I must keep trying.

I must glory in these trials and tribulations because they allow perseverance, which brings character and character, hope.

I hope.

[To end on a delightful, if tangential positive, SETI’s poll to name Pluto’s moons has been a resounding success with around 175,000 votes for Vulcan – about 75,000 more than the next leading choice. Thanks to all who voted. Here’s hoping they accept the choice of the people]


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