Many things to tell you my little bolletjes (why I am addressing you as small meatballs, in the manner of Jean Paul Gaultier presenting Eurotrash, but in Flemish, is open for interpretation).
Part the First - the trip "up West" (non-English people, this is what the residents of fictional outer London borough Walford say when they head into Central London in popular cinema verité (ahem) television series Eastenders. "Getcha glad rags on and I'll take yar up West to see a show, Peggy!").
I have new hair! New, shiny, much darker and slightly longer hair. And new, non-orange eyebrows. I would take pictures but I have mislaid my memory card thingy. This should be deeply disturbing to my colleagues who are unaware of the fact that this new hair is not my own, but stolen from the head of some poor starving wench. However, their total absence of interest in normal human interaction makes a nonsense of this assumption. They have not noticed my hair getting longer and changing colour over night. A couple of them looked mildly perplexed, momentarily, but soon forgot in the heady contemplation of regional aid to crane manufacturers in Wesfphalen. Anyway. I sort of like it once I get a handle on my desire to flatten the fuck out of it. I like going to the hairdressers anyway, even though it does only happen once every two years. My hairdresser is mildly flash and "does" Kylie and Elle Macpherson and the like, and is quoted in magazines. But I knew him before all that, smug smug.
I mentioned the magazine thing to him.
"You were in Elle! I read it on the train, and there you were! This is happening more and more John. Soon you will be such a tremendous celebri-guru and you'll refuse to deal with saggy hairless people like me anymore. "
"Oh god, what was I saying?"
"I dunno really. Something about hair. I don't pay too much attention to that stuff, no offence"
"Some old load of crap spouted with a hangover doubtless. Much more importantly tell me what to do about the gorgeous Swedish boy with no legs" [a long story].
Apart from that I bought a new coat in Liberty, very pretty and thin and impractical and, inevitably, not in the sale. "Sorry", said the fey boy with the quiff and the skinny jeans falling over his concave buttocks, "I know it's on the sale rail, but um, it's, um not. Sorry". He looked so mournful and confused I didn't have the heart to fight with him. It is black and sort of heavy cotton, fitted, cocoon shaped, with 3/4 length tulip sleeves. I like.
Then I had lunch with Violet (culminating in one of those undignified bouts of what we call "granny fighting", where both of us try to grab for the bill. "It's my turn! Put that AWAY!" "No, it's my turn. I INSIST" while bored Eastern European waiting staff look at us disdainfully) and brought Antonia an offering of Belgian fondant Jesuses. Jesi? Jesu? There's fairly little call for the plural, which I suppose figures what with Christianity being a monotheistic religion and all. Antonia was rendered completely incapable for some time by the South Effrican blondes next to us talking about "horse physiotherapy". I was unable to stop talking during both these encounters, words spilling unbidden from my crazed flailing lips after months of speaking either French or lawyer. They were very patient and it was great.
I got home late with fifteen half-ripped collapsing carrier bags filled with heavy magazines and biscuits and small squirrelled-away apparently essential trifles, in a state of manic excitement. Predictably it has been downhill ever since.
Part the Second - the crazy and the sad
I have a terrible case of the lower abdomen doom today, combined with the upper chest cavity stressiness, classic symptoms of the crazy. I attribute this to:
- the lack of the sleep
- the missing of the London (it is NOT getting easier having no access to ready chopped stir fry vegetables and real milk in my extra dry cappucino and all the other lamentable trappings of London life)
- the continued woe of the elder child (he cut someone's finger by mistake* while I was away and apparently spent the day in inconsolable tears in case he got sent to see the headmaster. Poor poppet)
- the CFO's belief that it is All My Fault. "He's isolated because the teacher makes him sit separately because he's so messy and you KNOW where he gets that from" he said (I paraphrase, but it was, if anything, blunter than that) narrowing his eyes. I am refraining from flaying him alive, in honour of my quaker schooling. But it is making me feel part devastated and part stabby.
I was thrashing through this with BMF on email in a trembly lip fashion. Ooooh, the woe, the hardness, the sadness, the intractable, tragic nature of human relationships.. Then just as it was getting ridiculously sad we ended up mildly hysterical. "Dead end zombie jobs, relationships with uncertain futures and the damning certainty of fucking up my children's life! Damn, we know how to be festive! Pass the mince pies and sherry! Merry Christmas!". So then I told him about my coat and he told me about his new jeans, and I showed him this (which I am getting a bit obsessed with - go! Worship! The crane haiku is magnificent). He knows how to cheer a girl up.
Part the third - the internet lifts me up on its html wings
Just as importantly, all your support on my recent wobbles has been so, so, extraordinarily wonderful. Truly. I was toying mechanically with the chocolate plate this morning, but I heard Pearl's (um, cyber?) voice telling me that chocolate is not my friend, and all your urgings not to let a bad day become a habit again. So I didn't. I came home and ate crackers and felt mildly cheered. Yay the internet. Where have you been all my life? Seriously, this is a million times better than group therapy. I didn't even tell the group therapy lot about the bulimia. They would have sent me away to the eating disorder group and kicked me out of the depressives coven, leaving me to wail in the corridor with nary a tissue to my name. You lot are non-sectarian and without fail supportive and wonderful. No wonder the CFO views you with small stony eyes and suspicion.
And this last fact means I must post this now, before my spouse type person returns home from the nineteen fifties.
*Admittedly, I do wonder quite how one cuts someone's finger "by mistake". An involuntary spasm during which he found himself taking other child's hand and applying scissors to it?