I have not blogged for, oooh, days. What, FOUR days? This is most unusual. The OCD pockets of my mind are most displeased and whisper sermons of my inadequacy at me in the small hours. I must absolve myself, however, since it has been utter carnage. I have vague memories of drowning in a sea of unsatisfactory and impossible to complete admin. I remember blagging a hire car without the proper paperwork using the power of sheer embarassment and a light topcoat of cleavage. I distinctly remember being absolutely convinced my credit cards had been used fraudulently, only to discover they were just used - and abused - by me (and being galvanised by this discovery to actually sort out the various money making pieces of paper concealed amidst boxes of household detritus, thus proving that necessity truly is the mother of getting your fucking act together) . And the snow! Having testified to Czech colleague's "impeccable moral standing" on a peculiar Brussels road trip on Thursday, we came out of our fourth embassy of the day - me having sworn for the first time "on", or more accurately "about five feet and behind a perspex window from" the Bible - to whirling, mad snow. So beautiful until you are stuck cursing and weeping, on a steep, icy main road (just conceivably, possibly, because you may have your feet on both the brake and accelerator simultaneously. But probably nothing to do with that at ALL. Nope).
And now, after four or five minor miracles, the magical mystery ferry to Hull, and having only got stuck on the ice perhaps eight times, not all of which involved pedal stupidity, we have managed to reach York. Well, I am reliably informed that York is still out there, though apparently Barnitts is moving into the Minster, the only space now big enough to accommodate its collection of stuffed squirrels and mysterious cabling. I have spent the day finishing the pre-Christmas orders. Prog Rock was entirely unphased that I spent the day making arse biscuits, sitting companionably in the kitchen as I cut out row after row of "wank", telling me about 18th century religious movements on the east coast of America. He's learnt to be stoic. The Space Cadette has apparently taken to making her own soap. In a cagoule. And goggles. The combination of my sister and caustic soda is causing me no little anxiety (no to mention endless hilarity. Cagoule! Goggles! Space Cadette! I want pictures), but he floats above it all, a zen master with library privileges.
Tomorrow, however, I intend to force the spawn out for improving, Viking related pursuits. They could not be less enthusiastic if I had suggested spending the day choosing soft furnishings or going to a porcelain museum. But it's not York if you haven't poked a historical reenacter in the eye with his own broadsword. We will also: walk aimlessly around the town centre eating pastry products, stare in a bovine fashion at the people in Betty's and maybe buy an ornamental screwdriver holder in Barnitts. Because that, since time immemorial, is what we do.
I have to stop because Prog Rock has come back from the pub to tell me, entirely unsolicited, about Hans Kung, Gunther Grass and the Pope and whether observance of the seasons can replace the liturgical calendar. It's all go round here.
(I have not bought any Christmas presents. That's ok, right? Maybe I'll get my sister to make a batch of soap?)