1. I defeat the forces of calcium carbonate
For the first time in several years I am drinking a cup of tea without each mouthful coming with a teaspoon of suspended limescale. Man, if I had known the obscure satisfaction of descaling the kettle before, I would have being doing it obsessively.
2. I reclaim my Saturdays
Despite it claiming to be full, I have, by dint of pleading and flattery and prayer, managed to enroll both my children in DORK SCHOOL on Saturday afternoons. It isn't called Dork School, of course. It is called something seductive and science related. I can't pretend they were white hot with enthusiasm but I do not much care, particularly since Lashes's only other suggestion for an extra-curricular activity was a faintly insolent "golf?" followed by some Muttley style sniggering. It is three hours on a Saturday afternoon and they will learn about circuitry or the water cycle or something. Perhaps they will love it, perhaps they won't. We all have our cross to bear. I will go and buy the English papers and go to "boring" shops filled with soft furnishings and clothes rather than mangas and Bakugans. I will go to exhibitions and drink cups of tea peacefully. Imagine, I'd even have time for a FILM, or better still, I could finally go to the Plasticarium. A hundred and fifty euros for a year of peaceful Saturday afternoons is an even bigger bargain than that time I got an 800 quid pashmina from Pickett for 80 quid, back when it wasn't shameful to admit to having a pashmina. This is transformative stuff (until they get expelled).
3. I accomplish ninja level administrative fuckwittery
I have tackled the complex Electrabel telephone "help"line ("si vous avez votre numéro de dossier à portée de main, tapez 1 et attendez jusqu'à ce qu'on vous remet tout au début du menu téléphonique, mais cette fois en néerlandais, crétin") without giving in to my impulse to throw the phone out of the attic window AND with alleged success (doubtful). AND I finished "plastifying" all the exercise books (AKA the world's most futile task) with only one complete catastrophe) AND I finished my VAT. AND I to the Post Office, AND it was empty AND I remembered to stock up on stamps andzzzzzzz. Ok, you can wake up now. Boring admini-boasting over.
4. I plan to leave the house
Later today I am going to assist my cleaning lady with a photo shoot I have roped her into. Mainly my rôle will probably involve saying "I am very sorry I roped you into this, please do not sack me", but it's an outing. On Thursday I am going to a dishwasher sponsored fashion show. This is deeply mysterious but my FREE tickets say they are worth €68 each (how???), so I can only assume there is a shred of entertainment, or possibly a free drink, to be had. Then next week I am going to London by myself like an adult for a couple of days (including to a party with an '80s dress code, I am thinking this) which is always cause for rejoicing, and planning how much Marks & Spencer's convenience food I can fit into my wheely case.
5. I walk the dog without simmering resentment
I have spoken before of my fundamental misunderstanding of the "walking" bit of dog ownership. In my head, pre-dog, I had assumed that the dog would come with me, in the manner of an elegant accessory, on nice walks to the shop and cafés. When we both got older, it could sit on my knee in Le Cirio and eat biscuits apéritifs while I got gently sozzled on 'alf en 'alf. I was soon disabused of this notion by weepette's intense fondness for running fast, pulling me along obnoxiously, entwining himself with my legs, grossly licking up puddles of other dogs' pee, barking at wastepaper baskets and other idiocies. Instead, I found myself condemned to daily trips to the park, a place I ordinarily avoid at all costs, due to having a head that is a ball and frisbee magnet. Occasionally, however, against my better judgment, I find myself enjoying it. Today was one of those days. We went to the wood and it was cold, with a pale wash of autumnal sun. On arrival a large fox trotted casually past us, jogging along the line of trees and ducking under the fence. Have there always been urban foxes? I don't remember ever seeing a fox in York growing up. I like them, anyway, them and the screeching green parakeets and the chipmunks I keep seeing in the Bois de la Cambre. All this odd, displaced fauna going about its business.
Weepette did not even notice the fox, anyway, nor did he harass me endlessly with vast, inappropriate half trees dropped at my feet every twenty seconds. The ground was littered with perfect fat conkers it was hard not to pick up and fill my pockets with. Annecy, the cold blooded attack terrier did not try to kill either of us. I did not have to talk to the Italian guy with the obese labrador. My ipod did not insist, as it usually does, that I listen to endless The XX tracks (I tired very quickly of The XX). It was a good morning.
Tell me your five tiny triumphs of recent weeks?