Worst first: iphone bill. I am pleasantly surprised, even though it is eye-wateringly expensive at 450 euros. I had begun to fear - dream even, in prosaically convincing detail -that my iphone bill would be somewhere in the region of ten thousand pounds and I would have to sell all my surplus organs (there must be a few) on Ebay. This fantasy has been ghoulishly fanned by my friend, the wonderful Ms Deseine, whose iphone bill equals the national debt of Somalia. This is bad, terrible even, but it is sort of conceivable. Stupid, but conceivable. The next time I am in a foreign country with my iphone and alcohol is available, I will be asking someone to wrap my hands in thick black masking tape reducing them to useless, iphone impractical, flippers. Who knows, this might pass for a courtship ritual in some places.
Next: credit card statements. I mistakenly open the old one before the new one, so my pleasant surprise is dashed on the second, which covers the whole Christmas period. Bleugh. Not unexpected, but not pleasant either. If I look at it with both eyes half closed and the lights off, it looks perfectly fine. I will continue doing this right up until the moment the HSBC loan sharks come to take my kidneys.
Third: ominous looking envelope from the bank. I take a deep breath and open it, only to see that it is actually Elle PAYING ME. Hurrah!
I open the electricity bill completely blasé, the worst is over. Until I look at the numbers. The electricity bill is TWO THOUSAND EUROS. I start breathing again when I realise it is actually for the CFO's house. Not that he would ever run up a two thousand euro electricity bill, not in fifty years. I am filled with a cold terror for my own bill, but at least this one isn't my responsibility.
I stagger back into the light, where the boys are playing Mario Carnage whilst the dog, whose chair they have stolen, looks on appalled. I inhale forty three nasty mini muffins (trans-fats are good for shock) and contemplate the bottle of Smirnoff Black that someone has unwisely left on the table. I drag my eyes unwillingly away from it, and prepare a nutritious meal of grass and dog biscuits. This is no way to start the week.
Not even Kiss and Ride can save us today. The whole message board is trying to sort out "Voyage Perturbé", who wants to know what it means if a man on her train stares at her. There is page of page of vague, slightly philosophical advice and pages more of sensible people saying WHAT TRAIN WHAT TRAIN. I have been completely sucked into the hopeless poetry of Kiss and Ride. I even like the ones that go "Cherche femme qui ne veut pas être seule ce soir" (looking for a woman who doesn't want to be alone tonight) or the deadpan economy of "cherche plan cul mais pas le courage de m'inscrire sur Meetic" (basically 'want sex but can't be arsed to join Meetic', but the way they say it is funnier). The height of romanticism this week is Vincenzo, who would like the beautiful blonde to know that he was so aroused by the sight of her, he had to masturbate in the old SNCB toilets. Delightful, Vincenzo; I'm sure that's going to work. Especially since you don't even say what TRAIN you saw her in, you ass.