(Apparently, I learnt recently, lists are good for your SEO. I don't think this is the kind of list they had in mind)
I have been absent for a long time, a combination of:
1. Ongoing hospitality industry based farce. I cannot fully air my amusement/impending nervous breakdown about this workstream because it would not be Professional, suffice to say, copywriting continues to fill me with hysteria and I hold firm in my belief that 'nutritious' is not a good word to describe a boutique hotel.
2. Trip to London on semi-secret Facegoop business (how loathsome is this kind of coyness? All the loathsome. Soon, I can tell you all and you will doubtless think it is wholly tedious). It was GREAT to be in London, which was looking extremely fetching in a thrillingly grubby way, and to see other live humans (delightful ones!) I had not given birth to. Speaking of grubby, however, Professor Voffle, my father, had left an interesting life-form in his microwave for me to discover and slay. His house is notorious for never containing more than one shrivelled Spartan apple (complete with mummified earwig), four dried cranberries and a walnut (he does not even have soy sauce, I know because I tried desperately to find some), so this was a new and alarming departure. Never one to allow a good deed to go un-broadcasted, I texted him to let him know I had decontaminated his kitchen. "Possibly chicken stew, but probably best not to further explore origin" he texted back from La Fenice, where he was watching Don Giovanni, because he has a vastly more glamorous life than me. When we were staying at Chateau Tetanus over Easter, he casually mentioned whilst gloweringly suspiciously at The Voice that he had met Will.I.Am ("interesting chap"). He moves in august circles.
3. Resurgence of work in one ludicrous rush this Tuesday, after ten days of mainly thumb twiddling, alternating with panic and Eyeoreish sulking. I should really be used to this now and not don the weeds and commence the ululating of imminent doom when there is a slackening in workload, but rather go for long, thoughtful walks, and drink leisurely cups of coffee in congenial cafes and read proper books in which no one is murdered in an icky, but compelling way. Sadly, I am an idiot and committed to shortening my life in as many cortisol and adrenalin based ways as possible, so I don't. Fool. I will have earned the ulcer/heart attack when it comes, at least.
4. Extensive child wrangling, complicated by (i) public holiday on Wednesday; and (ii) L's 11th birthday, today. The children have not been particularly cooperative. Yesterday evening, for instance, after a long trying day at the adjective coalface, I was up to my elbows in Mary Berry's chocolate fudge icing (veritably the king of all the icings: 60g butter, 30g cocoa, melt together, stir in 3tbs milk, remove from heat and add 250g icing sugar, then apply whilst still warm TO YOUR FACE), when F came in to harangue me about his shopping/hardware needs.
"Can we buy a padlock now?"
"Not really, no"
"I really need one now"
"The shops are shut. I am making 36 cupcakes at you and your brother's urging. I see no padlock based emergencies. No".
"Can we go tomorrow?"
"F, why do you need a padlock?"
Lengthy pause. "Des utilisations variées".
"What kind of utilisations variées do you have in mind?"
When he is not demanding hardware he is in the garden trying to set fire to things, as evidenced by that picture of the dog in the sidebar. It's a hobby of sorts, I suppose.
I left them to their own devices on Wednesday for about 40 minutes and when I was dragged from my bed, where I was stealthily describing things as "blissful" and "thoughtfully decorated", by sounds akin to some kind of Viking rampage, they were both soaking wet, F was crying and the dog was covered in pipecleaners. Borstal beckons.
When I emerge from this, remind me to tell you about the day of the school fête, which featured giant cardboard stovepipe hats, the lion of Waterloo dancing to ABBA whilst carrying a mystery beach ball, a brief cameo by Charlemagne, Asterix losing his moustache, much Jacques Brel and a brief and entertaining interlude at a science fair in the middle of nowhere. Tune in, er, sometime.