It never rains but it pours.

Haven't written diddley for squat and now I can't shut up.

Boxing Day is such a curious, anticlimactic holiday. The streets of Auckland were busier than yesterday, but still the tumbleweed tumbleweeded down Queen Street.

I find myself watching 'Four Weddings and a funeral. The only reason I can think of is: because it's Boxing Day, the holiday with no point. So pointless excercises in media consumption suddenly make sense.

I do feel slightly awkward by some of the film's insights. The girl who corners Hugh Grant in the corridor of an hotel at one of the eponymous weddings with the accusation that he is a serial monogamist makes me squirm. And the death of the old fruit who's lover reads the WH Auden poem is a poinant moment that stops my clock:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

The reason I watch at all, in truth, is to hear that rendition. (Who was it that said New Zealands national pastime is not reading poetry?)

It makes me sad. For a couple of reasons.

First of all: change the gender to "She was my North, My South, my East, my West...." and away we go. I think of Megan, my first wife and am guaranteed to well with remorse and sadness.

Ironically I had never seen the film before I was sorting Meg's things immediately after her death. The film soundtrack was among her treasures. The monologue is featured on the playlist but, at the time, I couldn't hear it through. It was consigned and sealed in the box with her answerphone message tape and a cassette of a clairvoyant reading (apparently Megan would live a long and happy life. Pretty sure it was a happy life for the best part, so that, at least, was accurate).

The second cause for remorse is the loss of my Scottishness, ipso cultural self. In the immortal words of Hugh Grant in his whatsisname character…"fuckadoodledo".

My heart turned black when Megan died and I have had trouble experiencing joy on anything more than an intellectual level since--when I struggled in the first place. The Scottish trait I never lost.

I miss her terribly at times like these and feel cheated by the speed with which her illness overtook us all.

Let that be a lesson to you.


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