I'm fairly sure there comes a point in every January where I become completely eye-swivellingly maddened by the ambient murk and the constant undercurrent of everyone's snot and the daily feeling like I've been sitting in the same place without movement for 87 years, but simply knowing it is an annual event doesn't stop me going absolutely STIR CRAZY. I am mad. I am hours away from some kind of slaying rampage. For the moment I am turning it in on myself by picking strips of dry skin off my lips, but I don't know how long I can hold out. The dog is first in my sights, since he has spent the morning pacing and whining, jumping up on my knee only to jump down again two seconds later.
This, this is my life this week. Dog bollocks in the face, savaged lips, red nose, facial leprosy, double chin, dog haired bosom and being used as a stepladder.
God knows why he's so twitchy. He's not lacking exercise: I took him out for such an intense, speedy walk yesterday to work off some of my lunacy and frustration that I ended up with a huge blister on the end of my big toe. This came shortly after an inglorious scene during which I dropped my phone, then flailed wildly trying to pick it up and ended up sending it right under the dishwasher. Things that you cannot use to retrieve an iPhone from under a dishwasher: broom handle. Spatula. Magazine. Hand. Unrolled length of masking tape (ok, yes, this was a stupid idea). Things that you can use: an untwisted coat hanger, but it will take you over 40 minutes lying on your stomach. Also, there is a lot of horrible shit under a dishwasher. After that I drank nasty wine from the corner shop (the label just reads "Vin blanc". No further information necessary).
F and I are on day three of our confinement. He is ratty and sick and the most bored it is possible for a nearly-nine year old to be without literally setting fire to the house (though this too may be imminent). His brother loves these kind of sick days when you're not too poorly, and can hole up with a hot water bottle and a duvet and a pile of comics for hours on end, but F is fretting about missing school and learning his ghastly poem and wandering around silently, radiating ennui. I, being a delicate flower capable of drawing on almost infinite excuses not to work, am unable to achieve anything due to the mournful figure appearing at my shoulder every half hour and the sountrack of "Are You Smarter Than a Ten Year Old" emanating from the telly ("NO" I mutter to myself involuntarily every five minutes). I click fretfully between pointless open documents on my computer, waiting for something amazing to happen, or at least for someone to remind me what on earth I am supposed to be doing. In half an hour we get to trudge through the rain to the doctor's (F is required to provide a doctor's note for school absence), where we will sit in the waiting room for seven and a half hours and contract all the other illnesses in Belgium. So that will make a change at least.
I feel like we need to break out of this rut but I don't really have any ideas and also, you know, F is confined to the house because he coughs like he has swallowed a live seal. I've already baked all the things and the bath is broken so I can't fill it with gin and lie in it all night muttering. I want to whisk us all off to Acapulco, but realistically, I think the best I can manage is whisking us off for a pizza. In the kitchen. From the freezer.
Hmm. I need to put something uplifting in here, don't I?
(There is a very long pause whilst I try to think of something uplifting)
(The pause continues while we spend 7 hours in the doctors with a gang of people suffering nineteenth century illnesses and then, having taken €23,20 from me, THE DOCTOR SIGNS FINGERS OFF FOR TOMORROW TOO, OH GOD WE WILL DRINK EACH OTHER'S SPINAL FLUID IT IS THE END TIMES)
Ok, fine. Five uplifting things since it's good for my shrivelled soul:
1. Tropicana Blood Orange & Blackcurrant is very delicious.
2. The baker I was desperate to include in an article I'm writing has said yes to an interview (date not fixed and proving tricky, but thank fuck and also YIPPEE and fingers crossed, yes, mainly that actually).
3. The telly is quite good at the moment. There's The Good Wife, and still a little bit of Borgen, and André Manoukian is back on Nouvelle Star, which reminds me of the glory days of 2008. My love for him is undimmed. He is still talking utter nonsense in collarless jackets. One day I will meet him, yes I will, this must happen. Sinclair is still there too, but somehow, my love of him has been slightly dimmed over the years. Which is a shame since Tom recently reminded of this picture of Sinclair he had photoshopped some years back, in which he was wearing armour and riding the weepette and fighting a capybara with fiery eyes, thus:
In and of itself, this picture would be sufficient to cheer me, actually.
4. I have been on a framing bender (as benders go, surely the least rock 'n' roll? Hmm - how about a handwashing bender? A VAT bender? A cavity wall insulating bender? Choose your own) and now 2 things (amazing photographs by this lady) I have had since 2008 are FRAMED and HUNG. Framed, bitchez. Two more are still at the framers but imminently returning and I definitely feel a puny sense of achievement.
5. B has sent me many darkly amusing materials this week, including an eagle owl savaging the residents of Inverness. The picture on this article is pure gold and I know it is not actually funny to get savaged by an owl, but I AM SORRY IT JUST IS FUNNY, FINE SEND ME TO HELL, also, the man with the net, I think, knows he is really not onto a winner with this cunning recapture strategy.
How has your month been? Any triumphs, major or minor? Or merely Scandinavian levels of gloom?