Tim and Peter did come round on Thursday night. I had gone out shopping, so they rang my mobile when they arrived, and we met in Starbucks , where I tried to confuse the staff with my order (look, if I didn't want a grande-sized cold skimmed milk with chocolate and vanilla syrup poured over ice, I wouldn't ask for one, would I?). Then we went home, had dinner, and played Unreal Tournament and Wild Wild Racing (ye gods, that's a scary picture on the WWR site). They went home relatively early because they needed to get up early to sort out things for their holiday, and I got on with cleaning the house.
I started to tidy up and clean our flat the day before Richard's mum's funeral (Tues 22nd May). Since then, I've spent something like 5 or 6 whole days sorting through all of the stuff that we have here - dusting and tidying up shelves, putting things into order (chronological, alphabetical or both), emptying boxes and sorting the contents into "stuff to keep", "stuff to recycle" and "rubbish", repacking things into nicer boxes, taking old magazines to the recycling bins, and suchlike. It's been worthwhile, but it's rather strange, as some of the boxes I've been going through are ones that haven't been touched in 4 or 5 years. Sorting out old letters from people I'd forgotten I'd ever known is particularly indusive of weird introspective moods - I used to be a very prolific letter-writer when I was younger, and I'm wondering just what happened to some of these people. The oddest thing was finding a whole series of letters from someone called Darren, and not even being able to remember how I knew him - I'm sure he wasn't a ZZ9 member, or from the Mensa Rock Special Interest Group, and I don't think he was an Acorn computer person, and from what he said in the letters he didn't have net access - so how the hell did I know him? I'm tempted to write to the last address given (which was a house that he'd actually bought) and ask who he is. I might do a 192 search for some of my old friends and see if they still want to know me. Hmmm.
Shifting through seemingly-stratified layers of accumulated junk is like deconstructing my life - taking who/where I am now as a starting point and moving backwards through time. It's all very odd, and I'm lacking the right words to describe it in more detail. In myself, I feel as though I'm the same person that I've always been - as I've changed with time, I've become more me - and yet, to an outside observer, I might look like a completely different person now than the person I was when perhaps they knew me. That dichotomy between change/no change isn't somewhere that I've ever tried to explore before: I mean, until very recently I had in my signature file the quote "What's the name of the word for things not being the same always? You know... the thing that lets you know time is happening?" from The Sandman book "Brief Lives". More about this when I know what to say.
Good things that have come out of this obsessive burst of house-cleaning are that our flat is much more comfortable to live in, and actually feels like "home" now rather than just a place where we sleep. Also, we're richer by the tune of £105, as that's the amount I've found in gift vouchers that people had given us that we'd never got round to spending. Bad things are that sorting through my old stuff has triggered a very strange mood in me that it's hard to talk about. Yesterday I was so depressed that I couldn't get to sleep even though I was exhausted, so I woke Richard and asked him to hold me, but couldn't stop sobbing for long enough to tell him what was wrong, so we ended up having a massive row. We never stay angry at each other for more than a couple of minutes at a time, so we made up easily enough once we felt better, but I don't like having my emotions all stirred up into that utterly bleak type of depression when I feel as though I'm never going to be able to be a normal person again. Interestingly, I only ever get suicidal when I have PMT. Go figure.
On another note, I had a phone call from college on Friday (in the middle of the afternoon. It woke me up.). They were hinting that I should be getting on with work again soon. Right now, I don't feel up to it at all, but I can't keep putting things off forever... *sigh*
 I was going to include a link to the Starbucks web site, but decided not to as www.starbucks.com is patently crap and doesn't seem to acknowledge the existence of the UK , and www.starbucks.co.uk is, er, not actually owned by Starbucks the coffee company.