The holidays have been dispatched and we are now back to the ‘lunchbox/PE kit/forty five quid in loose change/permission slip to sign away your soul lunacy of the school routine. In the true spirit of back to work Mondays’ everywhere I have spent an hour wrestling with a recalcitrant ticketing website which crashed my computer once and then crashed its own site shortly after I had rebooted my Mac. I have realised I have several important yet unreplied to emails lurking amongst the dust bunnies in my in box, a meeting I have failed to read the minutes for tomorrow morning at some ungodly hour, and my printer has chewed up a ream of inky paper because it can.
I have to go and fight the good fight elsewhere in a short while, but before I don the ‘it’s fucking freezing and it’s nearly May’, coat of despair and make good my escape, let us review the last week.
Health wise it was fairly shitty. My headache went away for a while but came back with a vengeance. My skin started to itch again and my joints hurt to buggery. I forget every third word. I even called my friend Liz, Lynne when she came for coffee last week and knew I had it wrong but even though she was sitting in front of me, could not for the life of me think what her actual name was. This sort of malarkey continued until Friday when I had my second wonder jab, whereupon things started to slowly improve throughout the day, aided by a trip to see my friend Nicki and chip butties all round.
On Saturday I woke up feeling almost human. Yesterday, apart from a sore neck, I felt better than I had in ages. I thought about doing many exciting things, but plumped for reading the latest John Connolly book in the garden whilst eating biscuits. It was a brilliant decision on my part and I don’t regret it at all.
Despite being slumped against death’s door knocker for a large part of last week I did spring clean the house, almost finish spring cleaning the garden (with Jenn, who did far more than me and is a wonder friend of the highest order), cook many meals, bake many cakes, host dinners, have small children scribbling and scrabbling round every nook and cranny and generally not give up. I have donated nine trillion CDs to the Loros shop. I have donated several bags of children’s clothing to the charity shop. I have been to the tip more times than any woman should ever have to go to the tip. I have done reverse parking. I have forced my oldest child to register to vote as she is eighteen (FUCK) two days before the election.
I AM MENOPAUSAL WOMAN. HEAR ME SWEAT.
I also managed to kill my car battery and had to be revitalised by my dad and his jump leads of joy. I lost my best feminism badge and am now worried it is wedged somewhere inside the washing machine we only just had repaired because it was too full of hair pins and Lego to spin properly. I have run out of money and am existing on IOUS and stock piled tins of beans. I have failed to pay for dodgeball because of this and am expecting NO 1 son to come home looking scowly. I totally failed to feed everyone yesterday and made them scavenge for scraps because my book was too good and I was being selfish. I cried at the ending of Broadchurch. I’ve been reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton for six weeks and I’m only half way through and keep falling asleep. I’m in despair at the thought of the General Election. It’s not all shits and giggles.
There are things to look forward to though.
Tallulah and I are going to see Elbow at Sherwood Forest in June with my friend Nicki and her family and we are all tremendously excited about it and it will be epic. Guy Garvey’s voice is one of the only things between me and despair at the moment. So much so that I had even planned a blog post on the healing power of listening to Elbow, but was too tired and emotional to write it.
Andrea and I have just booked tickets to see Imelda Staunton in Follies, Ann Marie Duff in Common and Olivia Coleman in Mosquitoes at the National, and we already have tickets to see Salome and Angels in America. I may not have any money but my cultural life is going to be rich beyond measure and what a privilege to see such amazing actors it will be, and how fucking brilliant is the Travelex deal that lets you see these things for fifteen quid a pop? Capitalism isn’t all shite.
I’m going to see my friend Claire in a few weeks in that there London. We are going to see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. I have seen it. It reminded me of a story Claire once told me about her school days. One very similar to my own school days. I felt we should bond over it. We are going to do this. There will be food. There will be drink. There will be raucous laughter and Barba Poppa worship (something else we have in common). It will be terrific.
So this is all good. I am clinging on to the good things, even when I can’t remember what they’re called.
I shall be very annoyed if we all get melted in a nuclear blast before I’ve been to see Elbow. It’s all I’m saying.