In one scene half-way through the last season of “House of Cards”, Claire (brilliantly played by Robin Wright) is seen pausing pensively in the dim light of an open fridge. When her husband Francis (Kevin Spacey), walks in and asks her what she is doing, she replies “I was feeling hot. It will pass.” Claire was actually pondering bigger problems than menopause but I found interesting, and a bit refreshing, that to deflect attention from her state of mind, the writers chose to briefly introduce hot flashes.
Month: March 2015
Every year I scan the horizon for the Two Oceans Marathon. As it sails into view and sends thousands of runners on a 56km/ 35-mile ultra-scurry around the Cape Peninsula – I know it is bringing new weather with it. The race happens over the Easter weekend, winter starts on Easter Monday.
Cape Town winters can be fierce beasts – weeks of the sweeping, howling rain that comes straight off the sea, bangs into a mountain, is rebuffed, regroups and swats at the peninsula again. It can rain for days, weeks – the clouds completely obscuring the scenery. Land here during one of those storms and you’d swear there were no mountains. Wake the next morning and you’re sure someone moved you overnight. But Cape Town winters can also be gentle – April and May have some of the best days of summer. The ideal time to head down to our beaches – no wind, no traffic and no tourist police: so our dogs can gambol and sniff while we eat non-crunch picnics.
On Sunday night at midnight, our tree broke. At least a century old and over 150 feet high, it simply tore at a massive joint and collapsed … falling with a muted scream and blue explosions – taking down the power lines and shorting out our electric fence. Its branches touched my bedroom windows, shocking Jack and me from sleep.
That tree has history for me … the first day I saw it was when sofabrother was looking for somewhere to live in CT. I was still in New York and had interrupted a return flight home from Sydney to lend a hand. At the time I was trying to make sense of a career that felt like it was disintegrating and he was starting anew after 18 years in London. As we pulled up, there it was – this big, bright green reassuring presence, gently leaning over the road, softening down the sounds of the trains that pass every half an hour. We knew immediately the house was right. And the tree has watched over us for almost a decade. Always changing but always there.
“I wish I could do that, sometimes. Escape myself” says President Francis Underwood, in a dark and intimate moment of Season 3 of House of Cards.
I can relate, Mr. President. Not that I have many complaints about my life – as lives go, mine is pretty pretty pretty good (to borrow from another tv icon, Larry David). Blame it on nature coming alive at this time of the year, but, in a familiar rite of spring, I find myself wishing I could take a vacation from being me, from the roles I inhabit day in and day out: wife, friend, step-mother, caretaker, middle-aged woman, chef, dog-walker and, yes, even blogger.