we took to the woods

Rant. Tropical island with high GDP, universal healthcare and exemplary good manners, take that and that. So there’s not much free press, Carmen, and they cull cats. Why can’t you just be content?

All really is, at the micro-level (from where I have little business straying), fine. E.’s penmanship is awful so I have begun to make her copy out poems by Keats. Maybe a phrase or two will stick. U. refuses to do much schoolwork, though Harpreet can sweet-talk her into practicing Hindi most days. To my fit of grumpiness late last week she objected, “Mama, you’re supposed to take care of young girls, not be mad at them!” Fair enough.

Older gentlemen at the club have suddenly begun to race me in the mornings, sometimes with notice and sometimes not. More than once in the past two weeks I’ve popped my head out of the water at the wall to see a goggled stranger giving me a thumbs up. “Very fast!” Then I feel like a million bucks. Then I blush and mutter and duck underwater and escape down the lane. In Swedish it is delightful: motionssim. “Forty-two!” said a man last week. “What’s your record?” “I guess forty-two!” I said. It was only last Friday that I realized those giant clocks at either end of the pool move in unison.