The holidays are nearly over. The children are the colour of delicious, buttery Normandy croissants and the fine hair on the backs of their necks and round their ears is white blond. The CFO is mahogany. I have a slightly pink mark across my thighs where the laptop has overheated, a giant green bruise from falling upstairs and a deep purple lovebite that looks oddly like a cigarette burn courtesy of Lashes, but have otherwise maintained my deathly pallor. All is as it should be.
With my propensity for fretting pre-emptively, I am already worrying about:
1. The next 4 (FOUR - count them) days in the Cotswolds. Not only do I hate the countryside, as amply documented on these pages, but the Bearded One regards information technology as the devil's work and is about as likely to have a functioning broadband connection as he is to sprout wings and fly. My niece and nephew will also be there. The last time we were all united in these circumstances (exactly a year ago I note, archives are a wonderful thing), it inspired me to poetry. My nephew, who I respect enormously, is my ally in this nest of rural doom. He declared his hatred of all things farm and animal related last year and I can't imagine anything in the interim will have changed his mind. He does make me laugh, especially when he gets enraged at the mere thought of farmers, or pigs, or similar. Shame he is only 4, because otherwise I might have an accomplice to lead a breakout. We could hitchhike to Oxford and then get the bus or something. At the very least maybe he could come on day release with me to Daylesford and spend £18.75 on a cappucino and a scone. Maybe he will if I bribe him with a Power Ranger?
On top of that, an inventory of my packing reveals that I only have two pairs of shoes. First, Fitflops, and second, Lanvin suede ballet flats with a giant satin bow on the front. Lord. The thought of putting my feet into the mildewed spiders' nests that are the spare wellies at the Bearded One's house is almost as bad as the thought of sleeping in all that dark, cold rural silence. Bleugh.
2. On our return to Belgium, some kind of dangerous brain fever has caused me to buy tickets for a proper young person's music festival in a field in Flanders. Approaching middle age and distinctly middle of the road, I am going for Vampire Weekend and the Ting Tings and to pretend I am down with the kidz. The CFO, profoundly in the throes of mid-life crisis even before I propelled him into apocalypse, is up for anything and particularly wants to see Squarepusher, a disturbing bearded introvert who makes a noise like a time and motion study in a turkey processing plant. This alone would cause me misgivings, but now I have seen the rest of the programme I am REALLY worried. I can't decide which act causes me the greatest anxiety. Crystal Antlers? A Place to Bury Strangers? Fake Blood? Actually, I think "Das Pop", because any suggestion of German is not a good thing where music is concerned (yes, Red Shoes, now you may kick my head in). It doesn't bode well, does it? If any of you have actually heard of these people and have recommendations, or particular things to avoid, do let me know. The less time I can spend curled in a foetal ball rocking backwards and forwards to the strains of Flemish death metal, the better. Mrs Trefusis compounded my worries by wondering aloud what I was going to wear. I don't know because I HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THAT SOURCE OF ANXIETY YET, oh god, and now I have something else to worry about. Jesuzemann.
3. It is the CFO's 40th birthday soon. Given recent, uh, Things semi-documented here, you can imagine that neither of us are viewing this happy event with quite the innocent joy we might be. What can possibly be an appropriate present? How does one celebrate given the circumstances? I DO NOT KNOW, internet, and neither does he. The children will not let us cancel it entirely, of course but the CFO would rather gnaw his own leg off that have a party right now. Ideas?
That is all, worry wise. Well, that is plenty, anyway. I'll keep the rest to myself for the moment. These teeth aren't going to grind themselves, you know.