Winter lasts 91 days and began around the 6th November (refer). So there are only 48 more days of winter to come that will be worse than now. Encouraging.
And I had R and his partner up from Somerset staying with me this weekend. It kept me busy all week, as I strove to get on with the mess in this house in preparation for their State Visit. It was a very productive week: I had no reason to be depressed. I got things done, but of course I still didn't get as much done as expected. I had to resort to opening up the sofabed downstairs to accommodate them, since the spare bedroom was unfinished. The foam mattress in the sofabed had not been opened out for over 5 years, and I think it has been squashed into permanent and useless disfigurement.
We headed into town last night, stopped to look at the beautifully lit courtyard of Somerset house with its skating rink (which could do with being bigger), then had a bite to eat in Chinatown. The West End was heaving with tourists. I have not seen Central London so busy since before 9/11. In Covent Garden, what I think used to be the TGI Friday's has now been converted into a very theatrically camp dining hall called Papageno's. It was impossible to get into any restaurants without having to queue. We drank at the King's Arms, which was packed with hirsute men of all shapes and sizes. They love their drink more than exercise, to say it kindly.
This week followed Piano-moving Sunday, which sat on my mind all week. Why? X finally moved his piano out of my house last Sunday. His tall lanky friend came to help, and that friend of his is one of those gay men that I can do without. Attention-seeking, self-absorbed, always subscribing to some new form of pretentiousness, and unable to hold down a relationship of any duration. If you're a couple, and you have "friends" like that, you may as well be alone. Because such "friends" have no interest in the welfare of your relationship, either because they are unable to help, or because they harbour envy.
So the piano-moving proceded smoothly, and my feathers were unruffled until the end. X had a tragic story to relate to me on the doorstep.
The background is this. When X and I had the mother of all rows, the one that finally broke us up 18 months ago, the irreconciliable row, it was started at a party. This party was thrown by a couple to which we were acquainted, in X's circle of "friends". I'm not fond of parties anyway, because I find there are too many people acting in pretentious manners, and I see no need for any of that.
At this party, I was infuriated by the self-centred, emotionally ignorant attitudes of some of X's friends. The kind of people who like to bounce around like grasshoppers in summer sunshine, and who when winter comes, fly south while other grasshoppers die off or beg food from industrious ants.
The row escalated rapidly to a key failing in our 9 year relationship. The issue of loyalty. Within a primary loving partnership, loyalty to each other should exceed any other loyalty (except to the children, if there are any). Well, when I'm being told once again that I would never be placed above X's "friends", and it seems clear to me that these are friends that are unworthy.... I really have to wake up and realise that X is incapable of ever understanding Love, let alone delivering it. His ability to say "I love you" in the context of "I need you" is as easy as having a shit, and with the same useful end product.
Back to Piano Moving Day: X announced that the couple who threw that party, had broken up since, after many years together. And after they broke up, one of them committed suicide.
I was appalled by the tragedy, and I despise the expectation that I should adopt the reaction of sadness to such an event. Sadness might seem the prescribed response of a Church of England vicar, but then they don't really change the world that way, do they? I was angry, angry, angry. How many "socially aware" and "new age" types were at that party, ignorantly revelling on the Titanic bow of this gay couple's partnership? And where were they to lend an ear after the couple had split up?
Amidst my feelings of anger, I also felt vindicated. After all this time, tragic proof that X's circle of friends weren't any more use as human beings than any new stranger you could chat to at your local pub. It is as well that I broke off my relationship after all. There really isn't a sufficiently widespread understanding of Love in this day and age, for the likes of our relationship to have had the nourishment it needed.