First week of the summer holidays done and dusted – just like that. The children and I have done very little this week except to perfect the art of lolling around. There are books in various stages of being read propped up in every nook and cranny of the house. This is very pleasing to all of us. It’s not good to be stranded without a book, even on the stairs.
My reading has been pretty sparse (for me) of late, even though I have so many wonderful things to read. I’m hoping that I get my reading mojo back soon, particularly as I’ve just signed up for Net Galley and it looks amazing.
I’m pretty proud that the kids are trained so that if we announce they need to get ready because we’re going somewhere, the first thing they pick up is a book. They’re still terrible at the coats/shoes/appropriate clothing stuff, but the book stuff is in the bag.
We are also deep into watching season six of Parks and Recreation and thanks to Tilly and her boyfriend who happened to start watching it and lured us in, starting season three of Shameless. I’d forgotten how much I love that show. I know it’s not appropriate for Oscar, but he’s too small to shut in a cupboard anymore anytime the television goes on, so I’ve stuck another twenty quid in the therapy jar and decided it probably won’t kill him.
Tilly said to me last night that every time she watches an episode of Shameless it reminds her how much of an accent she has when she speaks, even though most of the time she doesn’t think of herself as having one. A ‘Lestah’ accent rather than a Mancunian accent, obviously. I said, as we were driving to the chippy, and she had to buy them because I couldn’t be bothered to change out of my pjs, that I was reminded how much like the Gallagher family we are, only in a nicer house.
Tallulah gave me a pedicure yesterday. It took a long time because it is fair to say that my feet are like hooves. Years of walking around barefoot and a total disregard for doing anything to a part of my body I can cover up 99% of the year means I am never going to make my living as a foot model. Tallulah however, is up for the challenge. She tells me that if she keeps working on me for a few months I might even be able to go to an actual nail salon and not frighten the proprietors. I left her drawing up a rota of treatments which may have had: ‘N.B. borrow the belt sander from the shed,’ on it.
We have left the house a few times, correctly dressed for once. On Monday I went into town to meet my friend Rosalind. Rosalind and I met at the age our oldest children are now (18), which is a pretty mind-blowing thought. Despite the fact that we have always lived the nearest to each other of all my uni friends, we often go for long swathes of time without seeing each other. This is not down to any rancour and entirely down to the fact that we have seven children between us and really busy lives. When we were chatting over tea on Monday morning, we worked out that we haven’t seen each other for eight years. When we parted company we decided not to leave it that long again, although as she said; ‘Even if we did, we’d just carry on as if we’d seen each other the previous day.’ It’s true. It’s just one of those easy, comfortable friendships that just works, which is rather lovely.
Also lovely was popping round to see my splendid friend Jenn’s newest niece, who was born last Friday and who really is teeny weeny like a new born chick. Weighing in at six pounds it was quite marvellous strange to be holding such a tiny dot of a human being when Tilly can drop kisses on the top of my head from her vast height, and Oscar makes my thighs go numb if he sits on me for too long.
It was delightful to cuddle her for a while. I had forgotten how easy it is to slip into that rhythm of jiggling a baby when you’re holding them and it reminded me of the first time I went shopping without Tilly (she was at the child minder’s) and I was so unused to being solo, I kept rocking the shopping trolley in the supermarket, much to the alarm of my fellow shoppers. Holding a newborn did make me a little nostalgic for a while, but not enough for me to want to sacrifice sleep, and the fact that I may no longer be able to jiggle Tilly in my arms, but she can make a mean jug of Pimms’, makes up in practicality what it lacks in cuteness.
Health wise, I’m a week into withdrawal from the menopause drug and the side effects are not quite as horrible as I had feared, which is bloody marvellous. Headaches are a thing however, which is one of the reasons for a lot of lolling this week, as is nausea, mild cramps and weirdly intense but short mood swings. Hot flushes continue much the same. It’s not great, but it’s not buckets of blood and nihilism, which is what I thought might happen. I see the consultant next Wednesday. I’m hoping to hang on to some kind of manageable life until then.