My father sent me a lengthy text message featuring the word "ebola" in what appeared to be an entirely inappropriate context. He may be a victim of autocorrect, or it may be code and the message was intended for another recipient. He is terribly important, you know.
B emailed from the Eurostar terminal, where he was using all his whiles to try and get one of the last 12 seats out of Brussels, to wish me "rilly happy fucking goddamn shitface holidays". He later updated me triumphantly with the following communiqués: (i) he had not only got on the train but was in first class (ii) why had no-one mentioned to him the glory that is Fortnum & Mason (I am astonished he could find it glorious on 23 December when if memory serves, it is like the black hole of Calcutta, but it just shows what an excellent mood he must have been in); and (iii) that he was contemplating the purchase of some extremely expensive Victorian cufflinks for himself. A whole triumvirate of win.
F's latest missive contained the phrase "Shanti shanti shanti as that fascist fuck T S Eliot used to say", which cheered me.
Another friend - who I will not even grant an initial in order to preserve his or her anonymity - emailed a meditation on the kinds of spousal torture he or she was fantasising about.
Beatrice merely sent me a video of a song about Charleroi. It sounds exactly like the kind of horrendous shit that gurning "variété" halfwit Patrick Sébastien inflicts on France bi-annually, but with fewer references to meat and Hawaiian shirts, and more footage of the airport.
Miss W choked me up slightly with heartwarming tales of the amount of booze being consumed by cheerily incoherent Glaswegians on the train from Kings Cross up the East Coast mainline to Scotland, stopping off at our mutual birthplace, York.
Also in York, Prog Rock texted to ask if I would like him to send my copy of Bootham School magazine, so I can indulge in my annual round of forensically examining my former schoolmates' wedding outfits and finding out who has died in an unfortunate incident involving agricultural machinery. Why yes, lovely stepfather. Yes I would.
I am recovering from the theft of a bag of shopping earlier in the town centre by mainly using words like "fuck" and "shite" and watching episode after manipulative, overwrought episode of lame-ass hospital drama that I simply cannot get enough of. Why is it in Grey's Anatomy that emotion must be conveyed by repeating the same sentence three or four times with slightly varying stress, viz:
Meredith is annoying.
Meredith. Is annoying.
Meredith IS annoying.
Meredith. Is. ANNOYING.
Etc. Every character does it indiscriminately, it's their thing, and it must be a great wheeze if you're paid by the word and noone has ever stipulated that the words must actually be DIFFERENT ones. I'm not sure we quite captured the dialogue on Facegoop when we wrote about taupe eyeshadow in the style of Grey's.
The heating is misbehaving, but in a hot, not cold, way.
I have, to all extents and purposes, functionally sedated the children - one of whom was cruising towards a full on, tinsel coated, Mariah style tantrumming breakdown - with a secret mix of cheap hippie bath oils from poor Belgian Boots substitute, Di. I am surprised by my own cunning. I have taken advantage of their hemp 'n' lavender coma to perform the annual pre-Christmas paring of the fingerclaws. I try not to touch their gnarled talons too often, since I fear tetanus infection.
The dog is still limping.
But now what? The CFO has called to tell me that apparently France is in the grip of some big old, histrionic weather front and he is not actually sure they will be able to leave tomorrow. What? All this psychological preparation and soul-searching may all be for nothing? I might have the children for Christmas after all?? Obviously that would be completely lovely if it happens, though they will be disappointed if they don't get the full-on cousinpalooza they have been expecting and neither I nor the CFO have a chipolata to rub together for Christmas lunch (that sounds utterly, utterly wrong). But you know, I had got to a Place. It had been a whole process, but I had reached a Place of cheap hippie bath oils, and box sets and books and prosecco and a whoooole heap of nothing. And now I don't know. I don't know either way, and I won't until the CFO - who spends the 12 hours preceding any departure in a state of code black high alert and preparedness at the best of times - has studied his bank of webcams across the French motorway network and made a decision. He has told me to expect a call around 5 if they are leaving. Cheers, snow.
I had better go to bed, before being woken, Jack Bauer style, in very few hours to discuss cloud formation.