Thursday, May 06, 2010

There's a Volcano in Iceland

- - and it's got nothing on me.

Because today, I blew my top.

I don't blow my top like that very often. Just when it's the last straw and then a little bit more. And usually, when I'm tired too.

I was in Manchester working with some medical students yesterday evening and it went really well, but it meant that I didn't get back till late. And then I was working with some students in Leeds first thing this morning - - and actually, when I woke up I thought "I'm too tired to do this job justice" but once it started it went - - well - - brilliantly, actually, with a superb group of students.

So when something quite major, and needlessly expensive, happened today, I just blew. Off like a little rocket. Actually, off like a rather big rocket. For about twenty minutes, non-stop. It didn't involve much bad language but it did involve a huge amount of very focused anger.

It reminded me of the last ever time that I blew my top with the Communist, which was after we came back from visiting my brother in Amsterdam once. Olli - then rather small - and both my parents were trying to get back to Blighty and this involved Schiphol Airport.

Schiphol Airport was a nightmare, especially if - as my parents did - the slightest thing made them panic, and wander off. They wandered off in opposite directions, generally, apparently in a determined bid to get completely lost.

When I found one, the other would disappear. Sometimes they lost me: sometimes they lost each other: sometimes they lost the luggage. Always they bickered, and each blamed the other for these disasters. Olli, I thought, was remarkably tolerant of it all.

When we got home, I finally exploded.

"You and Mum are just completely impossible! I am never, ever going through that airport again and I am never, ever going to any airport with you two again! I will never go back to Amsterdam, never, never NEVER and it is YOUR FAULT!"

As with most top-blowings, there was, of course, more to it than met the eye.

It was partly that I kept hoping that my brother and his family would come back to Britain, and that my parents wouldn't keep telling me quite so often all about the superiority of Holland over England in every way, which felt to me - though I know it wasn't intended to be so - as though it was about the superiority of my brother over me in every way. Even though I've always liked my brother.

That was in 1999. I've never been back to Amsterdam, even though my brother and his family live there, and even though it's a lovely city.

I never went to any airport with my parents ever again.

Yes, I can do Stubborn like nobody else.

I do like Amsterdam, though. Perhaps it's time to go back.

4 Comments:

Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

My philosophy, although I am of the quiet sort myself, is that it's better to let it all out once in a while than seethe forever on the inside.

I guess it can come as quite a surprise, though, to those used to our normally placid selves.

Good for you! You needn't feel guilty one little bit, although I've no idea what your latest row was about.

10:19 pm  
Blogger Dfo said...

I'm sorry you've had such a terrible day. I note you don't say what it was, but good on you for blowing your top. Sometimes it needs to happen.

11:32 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

The tulips are lovely at this time of year....

12:34 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

There may be, as John Donne told us, no mayonnaise in Ireland, but truly there is, as you point out in your post's title, a volcano in Iceland.

Someone had to say it.

10:38 pm  

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