It helped put into perspective the worrying revelation that the children have started eating my food. Yes, I run this household along the lines of a student flatshare, there is shared food, and then there is *my* food, namely anything produced by Saint Bonne Maman of the Dairy Goodness, and St Cadbury of Caramel. I fall just short of putting labels on things, but only because they are lawless fiends and would take no notice. Yesterday, however, Lashes said casually over breakfast:
"Can you put one of those crème caramels in with my lunch today? Ils sont TROP BONS".
Yes, child, I know they are and that is why I have been keeping them from you. This is a very dangerous development. They have already seen through my attempt to pass Caramels off as "medicine", and now they are developing free will and helping themselves to the Bonne Maman stash? It's a worrying trend and no mistake. I am hoarding them in the crisper where no child will think to look. For now. Thankfully they are heading to their grandparents tomorrow where they will be fed on a variety of tinned goods for three weeks, and the fruits of the "cocotte minute", which is a tool for boiling everything until it looks like brain tissue. I hope this will lower their culinary expectations satisfactorily.
It is the end of school tomorrow, another year of irregular verbs and last minute demands for €7,30 a soldering iron, 5 yellow socks and a fragment of the thigh bone of St Anthony is drawing - thank the merciful heavens - to a close. The children did not win anything at prize giving, though we did get to hear them sing a song called "If I ruled Belgium", which is presumably some form of irony, given that at this rate, their generation will be the next people to actually run Belgium. I am so glad it is all over for another year, though the children keep saying ominously how very much they are looking forward to buying their new year's school supplies, the tiny stationery junkies. Apart from stealing food, they are celebrating the end of the year by taking toys into school and losing them, and torturing each other mentally and physically, as is traditional. They show every sign of having lost the ability - desire? - to understand anything I say and squint at me quizzically every time I open my mouth as if I am talking some kind of rare Macedonian dialect. Presumably they are practising for adolescence.
In other news, I appear to be having an unpleasant skin reaction to some - beautiful, expensive, desirable - free perfume I got on Monday. This is cruel, but predictable, particularly since I went and read the marketing materials for the two fragrances I most liked and am wearing. They are unisex, and there is a description of the inspiration for both men and women. They are all magnificently appropriate for me as you will see.
The first one reads:
"M: Ocean going sand boys. Jacques Mayol in The Big Blue
F: A radiant, natural beauty. Sun kissed (with bikini lines of course)"
And the second:
"M: Clean, fit, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (the film)
F: White teeth and lip gloss. Young, sexy, fashion models"
You can see why I have come out in a disfiguring facial rash now, can't you?
I have had lots of fun with the whole brochure. My other favourite descriptions include:
"Mirte Maas on Mount St. during London Fashion Week"
"Fashion girls out to lunch. Roquette salad and spring water".
"Daria Halprin in Zabriski Point".
"An elegant weekend gardener"
"An equestrian abounding in natural grace. Faye Dunaway in Roman Polanski's Chinatown".
"An immaculate young priest".
I got slightly hysterical just typing these out. The silly thing is, they are beautiful, exquisite scents, and I love them. But how can I wear them now I know how hideously far short of the creator's references I fall?
"Sagging with mid-life defeat. Wearing a bin bag. Smells of Old El Paso burrito seasoning. Eyeliner smeared to mid-cheek".
Admittedly no-one would actually want to smell like that. Especially with the ephemeral top notes of dog and putrifying meat disposal.
I think I will have to start each post for a while by informing you whether I am "immaculate young priest" or "tanned, dressed all in white, sandals, no sunglasses". Or perhaps you can suggest your own deathless fragrance inspiration in the comments?