Wednesday, 12 December 2012
(i) Twenty grand tax bill five months ahead of when it should have come according to the previous year's schedule. I will be handmaking all Christmas presents henceforth and they shall be made from the dust and tiny Lego bricks that gather in Roomba's reservoir, and my tears, topped with the glue of shame and the ubiquitous glitter of despair. Honestly, how is it possible that Belgium is a tax haven for Gerard Depardieu and not for me, hmmm? I enjoyed a hilarious report on the Belgian news a few nights ago where Gerard - who has just bought a house in a rather grey and undistinguished Walloon town near the French border - was reported to have expressed great, unforced enthusiasm for the quality of life and great friendliness of Belgium. The culture! The conviviality! The report was accompanied by a photograph of Gerard smiling heartily in the dingy town hall towering over, and with his vast arms like whole hams spanning, seven slightly shifty looking municipal officials simultaneously, as well as excellent footage of four toothless old men in a dilapidated bar wordlessly drinking, and long static shots of Néchin town 'centre', with a sort of low, grey mass of rain moving in on the leylandii and bungalows. The whole thing was a little bit Dardenne brothers, and absolutely delicious.
But I digress.
(ii) Discovery eldest has nits. God, the tedium. Do children just stop getting nits at some point or is it that they become teenagers and you are no longer permitted anywhere near their heads? I remember I spent all my teenage years self-medicating for any and all possible ailments with drastic and slightly medieval remedies so that I would not have to talk to my parents about Stuff. I distinctly remember cutting a small wart off my leg with nail scissors and taking a great deal of garlic capsules for reasons that are now mysterious.
(i) A €70 painful, scary filling from a teenager who the dentist had very naughtily got in to replace him. I am still aching from all the metalwork she seemed to have carelessly left hanging around in various crannies of my sad donkey mouth.
(ii) A €90 trip to the dentist with children who were told in no uncertain terms their teeth were filthy. "NULS" bellowed the dentist with a sort of jovial fury. "VOUS ÊTES NULS". We skulked away, shameful, never to open our mouths again.
(iii) Spillage of a large glass of red wine intended for post-filling therapeutic purposes all over me, kitchen, floor, cupboards, and over my new - FINALLY THEY ARRIVED - Topshop boots.
(iv) Theft and consumption by the dog of my Picard scallop and Riesling pie intended for post-filling therapeutic purposes while I went upstairs to change out of wine-stained clothes. He's fast, the little fucker, you have to give him that.
(i) As a near inevitable consequence of (iv) above, rising to discovery of a sea of dog effluvia of both main offensive types in every corner of the ground floor at 7am this morning. I should perhaps be grateful the dog avoided the rug, but I was too busy being furious he had chosen the floor with the big gaps between the floorboards and also, couldn't he have considered alerting me to his gastric distress in some way, rather than just exploding silently, then going back to sleep on the sofa? Horror.
I cleaned up all the dog effluvia. I did not do so with a shred of stoicism. I did not offer up my suffering. I raged and moaned and used four whole rolls of kitchen towel and a large bottle of Monsieur Muscle Salle de Bain because it was all I could find. I shouted at the dog, because I know perfectly well that he has no idea that the pie and the gastric issues are related and this maddens me, the stubborn tininess of the whippet brain, and the dread knowledge that given the slightest sniff of opportunity he would do exactly the same again. Then, finally, I ran a large bath of bleach (well, cheap eucalyptus bath salts) and sat in it scrubbing all my skin off and wondering whether I dared to leave the house in case a gigantic anvil fell on my head, cartoon style.
Apart from that, and a broken glass, and the Roomba eating a whole DS cable in the manner of a hungry boa constrictor (note to the dog: I do not see Roomba loosening its robotic bowels all over my house when it swallows something untoward), and one mad tram man who kept shouting EMPTY SEAT EMPTY SEAT EMPTY SEAT, today has been largely without incident. But the tally for the week is: €20160 down, gained a pair of boots but also a splattering of wine stains, may have contracted e-coli from dog, back tooth wholly reshaped by a YTS infant. I've had better weeks. However I must confess, and I know this is twisted, I think part of me rather likes it when smallish things like this go wrong (though no one could call the dog bowels "small". Who would have thought the bony dog would have so much shit in him?). On some pre-rational level I believe that small misfortunes innoculate you against huge ones, so I now consider myself vaccinated for the next 6 weeks or so against all larger disasters: death, fire, flood, tempest, locusts, etc. Oh hang on, I think it only works if I don't tempt fate by expressing that sense of relief out loud, so now it was all in vain! I have broken my bad luck vaccination! Sigh. It is SO HARD having the mindset and world view of a medieval peasant sometimes, you have no idea.
So what now, I ask myself? Is there some kind of sacrifice I should make to placate the plainly angry gods? I am willing to offer them, for instance, 2 capfuls of Elemis Supersoak or one Peanut Butter KitKat. To whom does one address the sacrifice? Help a medieval peasant out here.