Fancy having a bank holiday weekend that was actually hot, with real sunshine and everything. Surely this is a clear indication that we are truly at the end of days? Not that I am complaining. I have done ninety thousand loads of washing and thrown all the doors and windows open. Everything smells of sun baked laundry and the flowers that are suddenly popping up in my garden.
Do not be fooled by this last sentence. It is not a domestic idyll. The garden is full of things that we need to take to the tip but haven’t quite mustered the energy to do anything about. The flowers are the self seeding variety that push the dormant woodland that is the foundation of our garden into the foreground and fill all my borders with bluebells and forget-me-nots I never planted. The laundry is everywhere, given that I’ve had a lot of guests in recent days. It is all tolerable however, because the sun is shining. Although I really must clean the French windows.
Let’s see. What do I have to tell you?
Work is overwhelming me a little bit at the moment. I have so many things to do and I am at the point where I am somewhat paralysed by the sheer number of those things. I shall persevere and accept the small victories.
My health is on the fritz ( I am tempted to smack it with the flat of my hand, like you would with a wonky telly), which may be why things are a little overwhelming. Hot flushes are back, like the renegade master with their ill behaviour. It turns out that flushes coupled with boiling hot weather is not the funnest thing in the world. Who knew? I have signed up with a lady I met who does hypnotherapy for menopausal women, and offers a programme around hot flushes. My first session is next week. I will report back. Sleep is crap, and eye bags are rising, or indeed falling. I look ‘tired’. I am tired, that’s why.
My ribs are slowly improving. I went to see the Dr on Thursday afternoon after my mum very fiercely reminded me that if I went to the Dr it would turn out to be nothing, whereas, given that it was a bank holiday weekend, if I didn’t, it would be bound to be pleurisy or some such thing. The Dr had a good prod, which made me want to smack him with the flat of my hand, and announced gravely that it was my ribs. Thank God for seven years of medical school I thought, but didn’t say. Waiting is the best cure for ribs, so this is what I am doing.
Friday afternoon saw me back at the hospital for the second attempt at my gynae consultation. This time it actually happened, although I’m still not entirely convinced they were real medics, given that the whole place was like a ghost town because it was not only Friday, but the Friday of a bank holiday weekend.
I am to have a scan, followed by a camera to take internal, aerial shots of my failed uterus and a biopsy. While they’re there, they will also do a smear test, because why not combine all the agonisingly painful procedures into one heady bundle? I am considering asking them to put in curtains and a convection oven as well. To say that I am apprehensive about this is possibly the understatement of the year. I am fairly sure that because women are supposed to be tough, the closest I will get to pain relief is biting down on a chair leg whilst thinking of England.
In other health news, Tallulah ate a dodgy sausage roll on Sunday night on our way to see Amanda Palmer, made it through the gig fine (thank God) but spent the rest of the night and some of Monday throwing up. Fun times.
Now that the awful bits are out of the way, let’s look at the fun stuff.
I’ve finished reading a book (dismal, will not recommend) and am half way through another (Louise O’ Neill’s Almost Love), which is harrowing but very compelling. After this I need something that is not only good, but also charming. I shall sort through the 3000 books in my to read pile. There is bound to be something.
I went to London to see Andrea. We were meant to be seeing Macbeth, but it got such all round terrible reviews that we bunked off and went to the pub for lunch instead. We went to the Queen’s Head and Artichoke (Great Portland St tube) and had delightful seafood linguine. I had the nicest glass of wine I’ve had in about twenty years. It was a rose, something grenache. I don’t know why I didn’t write it down. It tasted like drinking a bunch of flowers, but in a good way. We puttered about in the sunshine, catching up, browsing for a lazy hour in Daunt Books, eating cake (chocolate cake, dark and not sweet at all, and with tahini buttercream. Surprisingly good). It was delightfully stress free, except for the drive home when I spent half an hour in the boiling heat stuck in a traffic jam near Dunstable.
My gorgeous friends, Alex and Connor arrived on Saturday while I was jaunting. They’re the official Merch Queens for the Amanda Palmer tour and had just come from the Gateshead gig and were headed off to Birmingham, so decided to break their journey with us. It was wonderful to see them. Despite the fact that we were surrounded by boxes of vinyl and t-shirts for most of it, we managed to catch up on all the news, eat lots of toast and laugh a lot. They had to set off to Birmingham before us on Sunday to set up shop, but we followed valiantly behind after picking up Tilly from work, and inadvertently poisoning Tallulah with a sausage roll.
The gig was great, but super long. Three and a half hours of performance was extremely good value for the ticket price, as was the support act by the surreal but brilliant Andrew O’Neil. We had the best time, despite getting lost on the way there and on the way back.
The way back was the worst, given that Tallulah was starting to feel ill, it was very dark, the roadworks were very confusing and we ended up on a road full of heaving night clubs with drunken brawls sprawling into the road and Nineties house music pumping out at ear melting decibels. It was all a bit apocalyptic at this point.
We did get home eventually, although at one point I considered abandoning the car and just taking the kids into the nearest club to continue their education and the devil take the consequences. We got home at one, and Tallulah finished throwing up enough to go to sleep by half two.
As an aside, I think that there should be an olympic event which involves sprinting for 100 metres whilst wearing stretch lycra skirts and five inch stripper shoes in pursuit of a kebab. I saw turns of speed that would put Mo Farah to shame.
Yesterday was more low key. We waved Alex and Connor off to their next venue in Liverpool, and I started grappling with real life again. This largely involved lists of jobs for this week, making sure Oscar was organised for school, Tallulah was organised for week two of work experience and wondering where Tilly was now.
Jason arrived home from a weekend of scamping with random bags of weird costume etc. Thanks to the weather none of it smelled too terrible, or indeed, clogged the washing machine filter with unspeakable lumps of mud. I count this as a victory.
Wonder Carol came round in the afternoon to organise us some more, and spurred on by her calm confidence, after she had gone I properly tidied my desk, shredded a ton of once important papers that are now no longer important, tidied the medicine cabinet, sorted some pottery to sell and cleared out the drawers in the bathroom cabinet. Nobody will know about these small pools of calm in the chaos that is my house except me, but every time I open those drawers I know I will feel better.
I may have to go and open one and stare into its calming depths now, as real work beckons.