My first night back home. And although nothing has actually happened, it feels a bit like a crime scene, as if I'd been burgled while away and everything of value has been removed, and taken from me, never to be seen again. Of course I speak figuratively, and exaggerate. The house was waiting for me, friendly, looked after in my absence, and Teddy Tinkoes was on guard, ready to repel any intruders, if there had been any, with an austere glance. But while I was away something went out of my life, and it really does feel as if I've come home to find that a kind of robbery has taken place.
I can't quite put my finger on it. It's in my mind, of course. A question of how I feel. Perhaps it was saying goodbye to my fifties, and stepping into the unknown sixties?
The holiday in Cornwall was not a success. I was not able to meet up with my stepdaughter A---. The weather was pretty awful for much of the time. And I couldn't help feeling worried about the cost of my 60th birthday gathering, and further costs to come.
I suppose that, of these three things, not having any word from A---, let alone the briefest of meetups, got me down the most. I told myself, this is their vital break from the unrelenting round of visits while in the UK. You simply musn't feel bad if you are kept at arm's length. But it was difficult not to feel forgotten and very unimportant. And it was certainly an opportunity missed. If A--- wanted to have a heart-to-heart with me about my transition, she could hardly have had a better chance. But the days passed and that chance was not taken. Probably for perfectly good reasons. But it was an opportunity lost.
I countered this negativity with runs out in the comfortable and completely weather-proof Fiona, to places like Cotehele, Fowey, Bodmin, Doc Martin City (aka Port Isaac), and Boscastle (where there was a fantastic sunset). And there were a couple of warm and sunny afternoons. I spent one of them at Trevose Head and Treyarnon Bay, both west of Padstow. But then that was sad for a different reason - it was the scene of several Cornish holidays with Mum and Dad and my brother W---, long ago when I was in my teens. I couldn't help feeling emotional about my utterly vanished family. Still, the sunshine and the breeze and the sparkling waves were a strong tonic. I simply couldn't be downbeat for long when the sun was out, and the sky was so blue.
And on my 60th Birthday, on the 6th July, I had the very best company anyone could want. Angie and S--- came over to join me in a meal at the St Tudy Inn. A candlelit dinner. It was fun! The landlord, dapper in his bow tie, took note that it was a special birthday and made it a proper occasion for me.
To be honest, encounters with other people redeemed this holiday. So thank you to a dozen or so people who made my day in one way or another, although two stand out: the lady who discussed women's life chances (and church matters) with me at St Petroc's Parish Church in Bodmin, and Gemma, the very friendly girl in Wroes department store in Bude, who searched their store of bedlinen for me and discovered exactly the right king-size fitted flannelette sheet that I'd been looking for. But I bumped into nice people everywhere I went. Our eyes met and that was that. I can't tell whether I exude friendliness and good vibes, and so draw people to me, or whether the world at large is full of really excellent people who have time for you and seem to relate to what you have to say. I dare say I really do catch their eyes somewhat - something a bit different or unusual about my appearance, perhaps, I can't say really - but however it is, we begin chatting. Strange that. And yet those who assert that it's a dangerous jungle out there must be right too.
I didn't resort to Retail Therapy. Well, not much. Seasalt in Fowey had two flattering dresses that I tried on and tried to dislike, but couldn't, and simply had to buy. But that was all. They are the same dress, but in red and blue, and so comfortable. They'll probably get a post to themselves.
Hmmm. Writing this has lifted my mood like magic! Ah, the power of blogging!