"It's SO WARM"
"It's -2°, there's a foot of snow out there".
"But it's SO WARM!"
"Go and put a coat on please".
"I don't need one! It's like spring out there!"
"Now I will hit you".
We have been amusing ourselves by comparing Christmas messages from her father, Prog Rock.
"He texted me to ask if I'd seen Santa, like I was five or something. And since when does he say 'Santa'? I don't know what's wrong with him".
"Well, at least that's sort of seasonally appropriate. Mine said 'Mulberry Hall Kitchen Warehouse having 30% off sale, anything you need?' Nothing else".
It's a good thing she came, I was sinking into sort of Apocalypse Now Brando torpor, lurking in the shadows in a kaftan to hide the ravages of a kilo of pannetone in 4 days. I had not left the house for days, pleading "a bad knee" and had not worn make up, or anything with a waist, for over a week. All I have done is have baths and stare blankly at my attempted editing. Things were getting .. feral. Today I have played nice and put on clothes and foundation and stuff and been all the way into town to buy books ( thisand thisand this) and last night we went out and drank prosecco and I tried to remember to shut my mouth and not stare, bewildered, at the bright lights and other humans. She is officially a good influence. Sadly she is leaving this evening to be replaced by my children who are decidedly not a good influence, and who would rather never get dressed but lie in the dark in grubby pyjamas, bathed in the warm glow of Mario Kart, helping themselves to sugary drinks and ignoring their mother.
So, a last Christmas inactivity update before the children come back and I have to go to the zoo repeatedly and break up fights and purchase 'Oasis' and Happy Meals and remove small pieces of Lego from the dog's gullet. Soon I will not have the energy to do anything but open the Hendricks and pour it down my throat, so enjoy it.
When I first tried Laurent Gerbaud chocolate, I was seriously underwhelmed, but either my palate has evolved (unlikely, I still mainly eat toast and Cadbury's Caramels), or he's developed new skillz, because these salted pistachio milk chocolate discs I've just bought are really good. They're dirty good, like a salty chocolate covered pretzel, and I can't stop eating them. Perhaps even more importantly, the shop is absolutely stuffed with samples, easy access, generous samples. Incidentally, follow the link (no, it is not one where I get paid €0.0002 - and thank you to all of you who have clicked those, you are very kind) and check out the dude's crazy, shaggy haired chocolatier look. I approve.
2. New Year
I have no - quite literally no - plans for New Year, but before you pity me, let me say it is a deliberate strategy that M and I have come up with. Last New Year we had a brilliant, hilarious, amazing time. We were in Paris and we ate (haggis) and drank (everything) and danced (Single Ladies) and laughed (cackled) like you're supposed to at New Year. I lost my blue fake eyelashes halfway down my face well before by midnight and M split her amazing vintage prom dress and a box of meringues caught fire and there was a strange scene involving two unexpected Japanese guests, and I snored so loudly M had to leave at 5 am, but we didn't care, because it was brilliant. From here, a year later, it seems both very vivid and outlandishly distant, and all I seem to have to show for it, physically, is this photo of M with a bag of chicory:
The rest of the year, frankly, was shite. I could - I might even on these pages tomorrow - conjure up some good bits, there were some very good bits, but the basic tenor of the year - relationship-pocalypse, job-pocalypse, other varied and tedious shit storms - can be summarised succinctly as 'shite'.
We are both keen to avoid this happening again, so we're deliberately returning to the disappointing, anticlimactic, frustrating New Years we're used to. I for one spent about three consecutive New Year's Eves going to bed at 10 with ear plugs; I might well do that again. I'm not confident about my abilities in many domains, but 'managing to have a rubbish evening entirely of my own making' is one I totally excel at. It better work. We're not sure what to do if it doesn't and we're not going to think about that just yet. When the thought crosses my mind, I eat more salted pistachio chocolates.
Really? Are we going to do this? Are you? I'm almost tempted by a couple, for the first time in a bloody age. I could get behind the following:
- Have more dinner parties. Like, one, would be a start. I am thirty six years old. I can totally do this. I have a repertoire of at least, oooh five things I can cook which are not baked goods. I own lots of glasses and a modest amount of €3 Cava. I am paralysingly awkward in company. What more could possibly be required? Form an orderly queue for the invite of the decade.
- Form a government. No other bastard can be arsed, so I might as well. Who's with me? I have a "carte de séjour" with a holographic miniature version of my face on it, I pay taxes (I think), I know two lines of La Brabançonne. I must totally be entitled to form a government.
- Find a new animal for the year. Not to own, you understand, just to think about frequently. The capybara is terribly 2009, owls - and I hesitate to say such a thing, because those talons are razor sharp, but someone has to say the unsayable - are a bit 2010, and since my elder son's shocking revelation that he not only eats, but particularly enjoys tender pony flesh, I think horses are out. Your suggestions for the animal of 2011 will be considered in the comments box. Links particularly appreciated, and the winner wins .. uh. A whippet? Or some Laurent Gerbaud chocolates. As you wish.