Friday, 1 May 2009

But at least this one has sky in it

Somedays I feel someone took a pair of scissors to my life, chopped it up into bits and gave me back a jigsaw. I can't piece it together. Key pieces don't fit. And I am sure I lost some under the sofa.

Grit's jigsaw pieces, the fragments she usually holds, are all about education against the odds, worry and loss, handling triplets, distributing banana sandwiches at 70 mph, getting lost, wiping up snot, serving hard boiled eggs, making ends meet, staying alive, and tramping across an English field in rain and mud persuading herself that she is making the best of a bad job.

I like to imagine one day there'll be a whole picture and it will add up to a lump of grit that turns into a pearl, because if it doesn't Grit will always be nothing than a shard of grey grit that is just like grit in your eye or in your shoe. A bit of bloody irritating thing that isn't going anywhere except sluiced down the storm drain and off to the local water treatment to skulk for the rest of eternity in an effluent pipe.

But then there are the other jigsaw pieces I'm handed. Ones which don't fit, and they are Grit's life when she is with Dig. Dig leads an entirely different life from Grit. People around the world ask for him; he's honoured and feted, treated with respect, is invited to meet government ministers, royalty and Melvyn Bragg. Last time I looked, he had a Wikipedia entry. While Grit is scratching about in a field grubbing up some life lesson, Dig is wined, dined and head hunted.

Which is partly why we are in Hong Kong, so I'll admit that much.

And because this week I am with Dig, and our hosts want us to have a lovely time, my jigsaw pieces have been an escape from my ordinary life; I have been dined in good grace, transported round by taxi, brought to apartments, dined some more, showered with advantage, shown the benefits of Hong Kong life, dropped into property agents, reassured there is no problem with the home ed options, the lifestyles, the bookshops and weather. And when we are all left alone at night I've shared Tiger's whispered fears about what her cuddly snow leopard might think, because he is frightened by typhoons.

Well, as we approach the end of our time in Hong Kong, Dig says he's not making any decisions just yet, because his freedom's not for sale and he won't grace anywhere more than a year. I can consider myself lucky then. He is, you know, not interested, unless everything's on his terms, because he is basically a free creative spirit with a world vision and he is not swayed by a house on a hillside, a shedload of cash and a Hermes handbag. Not at all. Dig is principled and good and not at all corruptible and has absolutely no interest in Chanel or anything like a pair of Jimmy Choos. Nope. Don't even mention those to him, because his free soul is not for sale, and I do agree with that. Oh yes I do, even though I would in all honesty like that lifestyle on Lamma Island and that Chanel handbag very much.

Where is this leading? I don't know. Probably to another jigsaw piece that doesn't quite fit if it leads to those rooms with a view over the beach of the lotus eaters.

Rooms with views.


The Lamma Island hippie set take to the herbal tea garden...


before spending their last few Hong Kong hours on the beach.

1 comment:

Wife in Hong Kong said...

I can totally see you living happily on Lamma. We love going there for a hot walk and then a fab lunch in one of the fish restaurants. As for Chanel handbags - oh so accessible in HK, the land of convincing fakes.