Wednesday – school in the morning for the kids – afternoon free and most kids are members of some sort of sport club. There are athletic clubs in the schools, soccer clubs, pony clubs, rugby clubs, archery clubs…It’s a rare kid who doesn’t do some sort of sport on Wednesday.
My sons tried everything – karate, soccer, ping-pong, golf, riding, polo, and even rock climbing. They eventually ended up liking karate best, and stuck with it longest. My daughter is into horses, and so she spends Wednesday afternoon at the pony club. Moms are usually chauffeurs on Wednesday – and most women who work full time manage to get Wednesday afternoons off.
Today my husband and son spent the afternoon wrestling the ivy off the wall at the front of the house. 25 years of ivy growth and the damn thing had a trunk as thick as a man’s thigh. It is holding the wire fence up, so the only part that came down was the one growing over the stone wall. That part of the garden wall looks strangely bare now – like someone who’s just cut hip-legnth hair off and stands, bemused, in front of the mirror.
I spent the day working – and I wanted to finish, so I was peeved to have to go shopping as well. I went down to the little shop in the nearest village, the one that used to be independent and is now part of some huge chain. Prices are lower, but the produce isn’t as nice, the meat isn’t at all as nice, and the place looks like what you’d think one of the outer rings of Hell would have as a 7-11 shop – echoey bare spaces, glaring lights, and somehow all wrong. It used to be owned by a family and it had lots of aisles, crates holding veggies, and the nicest, jolliest butcher who would tell you exactly how long to cook his roasts, and on Christmas, would leave a little cup out with ‘tips for the butcher, thanks’ taped to it along with a sprig of plastic mistletoe.
I can’t see that happening now.
I stuffed food in the bags I’d brought with me (stores don’t hand out bags anymore – too polluting) paid and left. My daughter remarked sourly that the whole world was getting bought by big conglomerates. I don’t suppose I’ll find my favorite brand of Chinese noodles there anymore.

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