Temporary Reprieve

After a crappy night’s sleep, waking intermittently to decide that I had indeed come down with ebola, and possibly meningitis, scurvy and the bends, I woke up feeling groggy but much better than yesterday.

Clearly the universe was as bored of my CLD (TM) whinging as I was and decided to allow me to crawl out of the dying hole and into the light of a new day.

For which I am profoundly grateful.

Further good news:

Jason has been doing manly things in the garden, putting up some more signs. We are rather keen on signs. We have road signs, and railway signs, and advertising signs. The garden is nearly as full of crap as the house now. My theory is that the signs and the rampant growth of all the climbers I have planted will eventually render my need to garden obsolete and I will have created a cross between a rain forest and a railway yard which is peculiarly our own. It will be so unusual it will be light years ahead of gardening trends and in thirty years time I will suddenly become achingly fashionable without even having to try.

We have also put up a lot of pictures inside that were hanging around in aggressive little clumps waiting for their space on the walls. This is not to say that we have done with pictures yet. There are several waiting to be framed. Funds are such that they will have to keep waiting for a while longer. I am maturing them.

Jason has fixed my poorly wing back chair, which is now not poorly at all, and is sitting in our bedroom waiting for me to have a spare hour to sit in it, smoking a pipe and staring into the wild blue yonder looking philosophical. By the time I get to sit in it I might have grown that luxuriant beard that is demanded of this kind of chair. I will probably have to swathe it in plastic by this time as the beard will undoubtedly come with the onset of menopausal hot sweats.

We have picked drifts of sweet peas and filled vases with them. The house smells of honey and summer. If only the weather knew it was summer. If only the aphids would leave my bloody lupins alone. They were beautiful, those lupins. Now they are mere shadows of their former selves. They look like emaciated sticks which have been roughly chewed by angry badgers. I have washed them down with soapy water. I have blasted them with the spray attachment for the hose, and still the bloodthirsty little suckers come. I am developing a pathological hatred of aphid kind.

Tallulah has come out of her zombie trance of sheer exhaustion and has started singing and performing monologues in the voice of teeny old Eastern European men, and harassing her brother and wondering what sort of vegetable Benedict Cumberbatch would be if he were a vegetable. She is finally, completely home.

Tilly and I have new bras. We are now able to be run over without shame, and the sure knowledge that our families will not refuse to identify the bodies should the worst come to the worst. Clean underwear is very important in these situations as anyone English will tell you. Readers who live overseas, tell me, is there the same stigma about being run over in dirty underwear where you live, or is it a peculiarly British thing? I cannot count the number of times my mother has yelled at me to ‘put a clean vest on, in case you get run over,’ as I have left the family home. Even to buy milk.

I have started reading the new Nicola Barker novel, ‘In The Approaches’. I’ve been hooked ever since Belgian Waffle recommended her book Darkmans. Her work isn’t for everyone, but I’ve never read anything by her that I didn’t like, and she never disappoints. Three chapters into this book and I’m already entranced and delighted by the sheer oddness of it all, and she writes like a dream. Her work is very odd, very funny and rather dark, and if that’s the sort of thing that appeals to you and you haven’t read her, you really should. I’m always amazed she’s not more widely known.

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