I have just finished cleaning my house, for my friend Claire is coming tomorrow so that we can go to my friend Nicki’s beer festival, and I cannot inflict sticky floors and interesting (for interesting, read disgusting) dust bunnies on her. People clean their houses all the time, obviously, it is no big deal. I still sit here feeling that the door bell will ring in a moment and some kind of equerry will bring me a huge medal for services to domesticity.
Anyway. Enough of that. Here are some things this week that weren’t medical.
Tallulah is at Thorpe Park riding roller coasters with her dad. It is her birthday present from him. They are both coaster junkies, and every year they set off to fling themselves off of precipices upside down at eye watering speeds. Today is that day. I am trying not to think about it as I scrub dried on toothpaste off the walls.
Tilly is still en France, wrangling les enfants. People keep asking me how she is, and whether she likes it. Here’s the deal. I assume she likes it because she is not at home. Our conversations never actually get round to real, practical issues. Take this, for example, from yesterday:
Tilly: ‘I had such a strange dream! I dreamt that mum got crushed by a ceiling, but the ambulances were too slow, so granny and I had to take you to hospital in a carrier bag, and then Jeremy Clarkson intervened and made you a wooden brace, so you could walk to the Royal, and then auntie Penny was there, and she said you were fine…’
Me: ‘Well, great outcome but I still hope it’s not a premonition. Particularly the Jeremy Clarkson bit.’
Tilly: ‘It would be a bizarre turn of events.’
Me: ‘It would, but it’s a funny old world, so you just never know.’
Tilly: ‘Very true. I will try not to tempt fate.’
Me: ‘BTW, Ambrose messaged me today.’
Me: ‘He said he’d like to come over and take some family pictures.’
Tilly: (clearly snoozing through the previous message somewhat) ‘What? Jeremy Clarkson?’
Later on the same day:
Tilly: ‘Today I caught some crabs ‘a la plage’ (not the scurrilous, infectious kind) and then we came back to the house and I had to look after the smols (general Tillyism for small people) while X and X went on a hot date.’
Jason: (totally not interested in anything but food) ‘Did you eat some cruswants?’
Tilly: ‘Non. I had madeleines for ma petit déjeuner’
Me: (more interested in sea life) ‘Did they take the crabs with them on their date as an interesting talking point?’
Tilly: ‘No. I couldn’t wrestle them out of the hands of X’
Me: (clocking the breakfast news) ‘Ah! How Proustian.’
Tilly: ‘The crabs or the breakfast?’
Me: ‘The madeleines, not the crab wrestling.’
Me: ‘Although Proust could have been considerably more entertaining had there been crab wrestling.’
Tilly: ‘True enough.’
We then got into a discussion about how I had said ‘fanny’ in an important NHS meeting earlier that day.
This is how we roll. Earlier in the week we discussed chucking baguettes into mountain streams, whether Mr. Whippy really was a fascist (NO. Liz Yeates I am looking at you. We agreed that Mr. Whippy is for the Everyman, and Everywoman.) and Swedish people called Smorgen who really ought not to be people but your actual dragons.
Hence, I have no idea, but I am very grateful for modern technology which means we can talk absolute shit without racking up huge phone bills. Hooray for the 21st Century, even if it does have its drawbacks (Donald Trump. Kale. Dusting).
In other news, I survived a day of paint balling with ten small children in the pouring rain. I did not take arms against a sea of trouble and by opposing, end them. Which in retrospect is a bloody shame, because it seemed to go on for about six weeks and the toilets broke down at two p.m.
It was paint ball purgatory and nothing on God’s green earth will persuade me to do it again. The only good thing is that as a pacifist (I classify myself as a really angry pacifist, which is a particular and special sub set of the genre), I fundamentally oppose weaponry. This is difficult because my son, in the manner of small boys almost everywhere, likes the idea of shooting the shit out of everything that twitches. Endorsing his gun fantasies by taking him paint balling seemed a bad thing to me (in all kinds of ways, not least the expense. How fucking much?). However, I love him, and I am weak willed, so we went. At the end of the day after he had spent six hours crouched in dripping undergrowth in a sodden, khaki jump suit, had to pee in the woods and come home with a startling array of bruises after having been trounced by grown ups with too much money who should frankly know better, he was very disillusioned and has gone off guns. A small victory but mine own.
We have been to the dentist. Steve says our teeth are marvellous. Another small victory considering Tallulah has taken up biscuit making in grand style this holiday, and we are dutifully eating the fruits (and biscuits) of her labours. I have taken my car for a service. I am on top of things.
As I type this I know it is the cue for all the things I have pushed to the back of my mind as ‘too difficult to contemplate’ to come surging to the fore, and I will, much in the manner of expecting a medal for housework, realise I have done a paltry amount of things that most people consider normal, and be overwhelmed by how utterly difficult it is to be a real person.
I shall put that off a bit longer however, as Nicki has insisted that we dress up for her beer festival and I need to go and raid a few shops for the final festival touches. I was feeling confident until Tallulah told me that Ellis (Nicki’s son) is going as an inflatable horse. The stakes are high.