I think quite often about how to describe my life to strangers. This is not because I am ever asked about my life by random strangers. In fact, given my usually deranged appearance I am exactly the sort of person that random strangers avoid like the plague. I am the madwoman on the bus.
No attics for me.
I think this, because this is how my thoughts go. To be honest, a lot of the time I think things like: ‘Blimey! That car looks like a frog’s face.’ or: ‘Those are marvellous shoes.’ or ‘Oh, dear, Madam.’ I think this about myself as often as I think this about strangers, so I believe I am allowed to have these thoughts, and even if I am not, I can’t help myself. So there.
The rest of the time my thoughts are along the lines of writing things down for blogs, books, essays and/or being asked penetrating questions about my life by people when/if I ever get famous and am required to be eloquent in public. I narrate things. I interview myself. I am my own worst Jeremy Paxman.
I was thinking about the whole life describing thing this evening, when I realised that a blog post was due and it might be good to be more succinct, more themed in my missives. This, on reflection, can never happen, given my magpie mentality, my insatiable nosiness and the genuinely eclectic experiences I gather like other people collect lint from cardigans (not as a hobby, just to get rid of it, although you could collect it, if you like. Please don’t invite me round to look at it though).
So, my existence is catholic in the broadest, non religious sense. My experiences are scattergun and haphazard, and this weekend has seen this writ large. To whit:
On Friday evening in pursuit of Jason’s new varifocal spectacles and a dinner of chips, I pushed a man aside in the middle of the street, and barked at him in my best school teacher manner: ‘Get out of the middle of the road, do!’ It was only upon gaining the other side of the road that I realised how a) inappropriate and b) potentially deadly this was. I then proceeded to scuttle at great speed down the pavement, worrying about being stabbed.
I was not stabbed. But I did end up giving succour and indeed bed and breakfast to a friend of Tilly’s who ended up being stabbed in the face by a low flying biro on Friday night. He now has an interesting scar on his top lip, and an even more interesting story about how it got there. Headline:’Middle aged woman saves teenage boy from Biro death.’ Most satisfactory.
On Saturday I went on a road trip to Liverpool for the day with my friends, Alex and Andrea, and Tilly, who is also my friend as well as being my daughter. We got hideously lost in a concrete car park that looked like something from a post apocalyptic zombie film. Once we had emerged, blinking into the light, we then spent a splendid few hours seeing Daniel Kitson (Mouse. See it) in his one man play at the Everyman, and wandering around the Catholic cathedral, more commonly known as Paddy’s wigwam.
I have not embraced Jesus, but the stained glass windows were nice. I am not convinced about Joseph’s chapel if I’m honest. It’s all done out in wood, presumably in homage to his carpentering skills. It looks like a Seventies Scandinavian sweat lodge, and I imagined Joseph, pencil stub behind one ear, sucking his lips in and pronouncing: ‘You’ll want twelve metres of tobifour, tongue and groove, ginger pine. It’ll never date. Mind you, it’ll cost you.’
I looked for an integrated spice rack, probably for the myrrh. There wasn’t one. Shoddy workmanship.
I do realise I’m going to hell.
There were chips.
This brisk and fulfilling bout of cultural activity was leavened by a wealth of scatalogical stories which were shared all the way home, along with taking photographs of motorway bridges encrusted with graffiti about pies.
Today I have ignored all domestic duties in favour of writing. I have ignored all culinary duties in favour of eating out with my brother and his girl friend at a splendid Turkish restaurant we like to frequent and I have ignored Sunday night’s administrative tasks in favour of watching Kenneth Branagh’s return to being Kurt Wallander.
There were chips.
Now I have written it all down, a common theme emerges. I feel satisfied that despite the many disparate elements of my life, I have committed to chips, and to chips I will stick. Particularly in the thigh areas I suspect.