I am very anxious at the moment. I want simultaneously to lie face down in the sunshine until the warmth leaches the dread out of my bones, to hide in the small space under the sideboard and to run away to a distant Yorkshire field. This time of year always seems to have this effect on me. I mean, it should be good, school ending, no fecking homework, no pieces of paper to sign, no small amounts of exact change to provide, no exam revision to chivvy along. And yet. I don't know. Maybe it's the insistent reminder of the passage of time, the lack of clear structure or simply my enduring horror of summer clothing. Maybe it's the way all the bills and the second quarter VAT return cluster around the end of June like a team of STIB ticket inspectors waiting at the barriers at Porte de Hal when you thought that just this once you'd chance it when your travel card was empty. Or maybe I have reverse seasonal affective disorder. Whatever. I feel deranged. It will pass, by 1 August as we board the magical mystery ferry to Hull for another fortnight of wholesome North Yorkshire isolation, crisps and gin, at the very latest.
My back is still unhappy. I need to learn how to sit properly, I am currently, and always, folded up into a bad tempered pretzel in front of my screen and now my back has said it will no longer tolerate this abuse. I have regretfully stopped the valium and good drugs. What now? Yoga? Bouncy ball? Stupid backless chair (ooh, we have two of those knocking around, I ought to try one)? Alexander Technique? My mum used to send me to that, it was bloody weird, some whispery woman on the first floor of a terraced house on the Hull Road making me lie with my head on a pile of books. I would have been fifteen or something. Why on earth did she make me go? I wish I could ask her.
If I am forced to spend another 24 hours on the "reply all" happy email string about the school end of year barbecue I will not be responsible for my actions.
Interestingly disgusting bumpy elbows, like a giant toad. The bumps, not the elbows. Do toads have elbows? Perhaps.
A large bunch of chard is perishing slowly and reproachfully in the fridge because I am too lazy to deal with it.
We bought a special chicken shit shovelling implement with a super long handle at the weekend and I am fully confident it will revolutionise my life.
No builders in the house for a week.
I ate a delicious melon today and when I finish this I am going to eat a promising looking mango.
My father was very touched that I wrote about him in the most recent Boots magazine ("There wasn't a trace of irony!" "BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T LET ME").
We had an enormously middle aged Sunday afternoon, buying said chicken entrenching tool and pottering round the city farm (goats prefer credit cards to leaves, it transpires) while we waited for F to finish at a birthday party, and ended up on the terrace of a rather chichi café in a park. The talkative man feeding his alsatian cubes of sausage at the next table suddenly leant across us and stared at the woman two tables across. "Is that .. a WEASEL?" It wasn't. It was a ferret, drinking water out of an ashtray. Then her companion brought out a tupperware box of ferret food and it ate that. Then we realised his shopping bag was wriggling and there was another ferret in it. The ferret lady was very calm and happy and the non-bagged ferret wriggled a little, had a sniff around, ate its food then fell asleep belly up on her lap, small pink feet in the air. We were all mesmerised. Jane, I thought of you. My milkshake wasn't bad either.
Tonight I had to make scones because there is some kind of culinary slapdown going on at school and everyone has to bring in a dish of their country of origin. I am apparently up against: some Toblerones (cheating), popcorn, churros and .. some kind of Congolese vegetable. I don't fancy the scone's chances, but neither do I fancy the Congolese thing much, what with being a vegetable. I have burnt the scones, though, so.. hmm. It's anything goes week at school. F went on a "visite gustative" today (ice cream at the end of the road), whilst L did rather better with a trip up the Atomium, a hamburger at Quick (debatable whether this is better than anything) and a film. There is more 'bring a board game' style dicking around until Thursday afternoon, when we all have to dress up and get on the train and go and listen to my father give a speech whilst wearing some kind of massive ceremonial medal at the Japanese embassy.
La Dame aux Furets
55% Seasonal dread
20% Decay and infirmity
10% Late for hedgehog feeding
10% Going full hobo, sartorially
5% Purchase of 3 Muji nailclippers triumph. Say goodbye to insanitary fingerclaw shame.