God, adulthood is a bit of a swizz at times, isn't it? When you're fourteen, you think it's going to be all parties and presents and being famous and living in a loft and hanging out with Simone de Beauvoir, then when you get there, it's self-doubt and failure and pulling other people's pants out of their trouser legs nightly and worrying that you're going to end up in prison because you lost a piece of paper from 2003, or that you've ruined your child's life by shouting at them about potatoes or something. That, and paying the accountant when you haven't actually earned any money and smear tests and the news, which is full of unspeakable tragedy so awful you can't even find a place for it in your head, or a way to comprehend it. And the dog has probably given you all worms. And Simone de Beauvoir died when you were 12. Sometimes it's all just .. too much. Today I have mainly been crouched on my office chair like a forlorn, sparsely feathered cormorant on a windswept rock, surrounded by a sea of scribbled on pieces of paper, none of which have progressed me beyond my default Tuesday state of .. actually I don't know how to transcribe my Tuesday state in actual words. 'Bleuurgh-thud', it goes. If it were a noise, it would sound a bit like a cormorant regurgitating a whole fish onto its rock.
I'm having a bit of a shit day, as the more perceptive among you may have divined from a few subtle clues concealed in the previous paragraph. You should also be able to tell that work isn't going so brilliantly at the moment from the amount of blogging I am doing. I am all out of courage and confidence and ideas and god knows, I wouldn't employ me, so I can't really expect anyone else to, can I? I keep giving myself these kinds of brisk pep talks, and then myself looks sullen and rolls its eyes and slams the bedroom door and starts listening to Strangeways Here We Come really really loud.
Anyway. Nothing is really bad, I don't work in a Nigerian sawmill and everyone is basically in good health and safe and happy, so I have absolutely nothing serious to complain about, and should almost certainly just shut the fuck up. Instead, whilst sulking my way round internet, I happened on and remembered Schmutzie's Grace in Small Things and I thought it would be a salutory exercise once again to think of some small things which are good and for which I am very grateful. So:
- The children now really like stupid cooking shows (Masterchef, The Great British Bake Off, Come Dine With Me), so I no longer have to watch Pokémon or Galaktik Football or anything which was once Japanese and has been dubbed into moronic French by a 45 year old woman pretending to be a 10 year old boy. This is the golden time when they can watch normal TV programmes and make cups of tea, yet still submit quite willingly to being hugged. I am cherishing it. Fingers is quietly singing me an aria from Rigoletto tonight for mysterious and hilarious reasons which I will attempt to elucidate in an upcoming post.
- It is B's wedding this weekend and I am mad to see him again and there will be dancing and booze and silliness and as a bonus I get to meet Elsa and her ferrets.
- People are nice. Loads of them. Often they go out of their way to be nice in touching, wonderful ways. Ok, that is not a small thing, it is a huge thing, and M, who puts up with my near-constant whining, merits an extra-special mention.
- Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady body cream, which is the most grown up and complex and delicious smell of incense and dust and roses I can conjure, even when I am wearing fleece and tracksuit bottoms.
- I have Nicola Barker's new novel to read and can continue my wintry catharsis-through-Scandinavian-brutality stomp through the crime novels of Asa Larsson, recommended by someone in the comments here. Person from the comments: will dogs die in every single one I read? Just so I can prepare myself mentally.
- I no longer need to faff around trying to find things to wear other than sturdy opaque tights and forgiving dresses or skirts, because it is properly cold.
- Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, which are like therapy but (marginally) cheaper and make the whole house smell civilised, like a really expensive, understated spa.
- Cold weather breakfast is crumpets cooked until they are brown on top and singed underneath, with butter with big salt crystals in and there is simply nothing more delicious. And when you are an adult no one can stop you having them every day, so I suppose I must concede that is one small advantage of adulthood. In fact I might go and have one now (later: there were no crumpets, but I will let this stand anyway. Even in the abstract, crumpets are a good thing).
- Prog Rock has just reminded me that David Sedaris was on the radio on Sunday night, so yippee, I can go and listen to it.
Would you like to tell me a thing that makes you happy tonight? You don't have to. You can come and sit with me on my slithery be-guanoed rock if you like.