Anyway. I have been to the London and I did not spent more than £20 in Marks & Spencer, or indeed anywhere except BOOTS (mainly dental ephemera and a range of Lemsips) and possibly Waterstones, but that was using a voucher, so well done me. I have seen the Hockney (marvellous), drunk one cocktail over the advisable limit (marvellous until the next day) and been to the Delaunay, twice (very nice, and gorgeous service, but not as visually lush as the Wolseley). I also saw my sister in the flesh and my dad both on TV (sitting next to Brian Cox, no less) and in the flesh, as well as six other extended family members so clan duties have been well fulfilled.
Since then, I have been much preoccupied with Fingers' birthday, which was this week: the house is strewn with Lego warriors and their weaponry, there were very specific food requests and a last minute birthday cake change of heart that has shortened my life by several months, I fear. Having said he wanted "a large round cake with lots of sweets on", Fingers decided, at 6pm on the day before his birthday, that he wanted "a monster with a hole for a mouth". On fait ce qu'on peux avec ce qu'on a as sideburn-abusing 1980s French chanteur Kent put it, so I cut a hole in what was formerly the large round cake and did my best.
My best was emphatically not good enough. My cake was variously described, mainly by Wee Birdy, who found it completely fucking hilarious as "a tapeworm mouth" (yes, look at this, she is right), "vagina dentata", "borderline pornographic", "vaguely Lovecraftian" and "a scary volcanic sex-pit". I took all these comments entirely on the chin, it is not as if I could even really comprehend them, because I was reaching a new height of sugar induced psychosis since the cake involved three varieties of icing and several hundredweight of Haribo. And no, those are not penises, they are Colin the Caterpillars.
"For my eighth birthday, my mother made me a dead eyed sex toy for a birthday cake".
Fingers did not seem unduly distressed by his cake, look, here he is looking perfectly relaxed in its vicinity.
A very, very happy birthday to my gigantic, kind, funny second son, who has been a total joy ever since he was born. Well, apart from the unhappy month when the neighbours threatened to report us to social services because he was crying so much, and that time when he was 11 months and discovered head banging. And then there was that trying period around 18 months when he spent every evening furiously staggering around the flat in a permanent rage shouting "CRACKER WAITING", placated only by regular offerings of Carr's Melts. If you didn't give him Carr's Melts he would headbang the cupboard where we kept them until you gave in. Apart from that, he's been a total joy, honest.
The great thing about having such enormous children, apart from their ability to get up and turn the TV on without waking me, is that they are now not merely able to build their own Lego, but they actively want to do so, so I have taken no part in constructing any of: the chief alien's vessel, the abduction spider, the snake jeep or the golden motorbike of Fangshue (no, me neither). The rise in constant trash talking each other, violence, defiance and laughing at their mother is a small price to pay for escaping the Tyranny of Lego.
I have little else to relate. There is quite a lot of work at the moment which is good, but very little invoicing or progress on Dodgy Non-Fiction Magnum Opus which is bad. Last week's cold is segueing seamlessly into this week's sinusitis with added cold sore, which is mightily attractive. On the plus side, there are distinct signs of spring in the air and Satan has spared two of my snowdrops and one of my crocuses (whilst methodically transforming the rest of the garden into Passchendaele). Next week brings the mixed bag that is: first trip to the dentist in 5 years, interviewing a comedian and a trip to Paris to see Peter and find out about his prize-winning charcuterie bothering trip, and conduct further Intensive Cake Research.
I would close by noting that this time last week I was in the tiny Ardennes town of Stavelot desperately trying to find things to write about so spending this afternoon in front of the fire eating pieces of vagina dentata cake is a massive improvement. How has your Saturday been?