- Got locked out and had to crawl through the grate at the front of the house, only to find - quelle horrible suprise - that there is now a second grate behind the first grate and it has a combination padlock on. Twenty minutes head first down a tiny brick tunnel trying various combinations surrounded by all the spiders of Belgium has left me with elbow abrasions, a mysterious forehead lump and PTSD.
- I got spooked riding and ended up in tears. Nothing actually happened, so I don't really know what to make of it, I just had a comprehensive failure of courage. Now I am scared I will never get my confidence back, because I am getting older and more breakable (or rather, more conscious of my own breakability) and fear seems an ever more potent force. That is a lot of 'more' in one sentence.
Ideally, one would react to the terrors and fragilities of life by seizing every opportunity for joy and living fully and fearlessly, but I am very bad at that. I feel so anxious so much of the time, it is exhausting and unnecessary. I have had a CBT-style book called "Overcoming Anxiety" on my Kindle for about a year, but it is not helping. Its whole strategy seems mainly based around asking yourself 'what's the worst that could happen' and 'would you cope' to which my answers are "THE MOST TERRIBLE THINGS IMAGINABLE, THINGS ONLY WHISPERED OF IN THE DARKEST OF NIGHTMARES" and "HELL, NO".
It is a particular sadness in relation to the riding, because in my head this is one of the few things I am good at, but it appears I am not good at it any longer, because I just think 'fuck, I am at the mercy of several tonnes of unpredictable, flighty equine death-muscle' whenever I get on. I do still adore being around horses though (the smell, the velvety noses, the general loveliness of them). I will persist, for now, even though it is a very expensive way to make oneself miserable, because I will feel even worse if I give up.
- One of those evenings where the children were evasive weasels about homework, tellings-off from teachers and lost books, all of which came to a head at half past fecking bedtime when a succession of sorry sagas were revealed. I said things like "this is simply not good enough" and was generally a sanctimonious dickhead. Also, no one should have to multiply anything by 0,15 at 7am as we were required to this morning, thanks to forgotten maths homework.
- Due to all of the above I had to resort to gin, but the gin we have in the house must be made of anti-freeze and polonium, because it systematically gives me the headache from hell, so by shortly after half past fecking bedtime I was in my own bed, keening gently with a tisane and a Nurofen.
- I have singularly failed to do any work yet today and it is half past twelve. Oh! And now it's twenty to one because I can't think of a title.
- I managed my Mission Impossible style crawl/combination lock housebreak. So no emergency locksmith €€€€.
- Despite unwisely leaving the house for as many as two whole hours, I managed to be in for two deliveries, the bastards at DHL/Bpost must be devastated. I also drove past our front door looking for a parking space and saw a man with another parcel banging on our front door, so rolled down the window and said "that's my house". Somewhat worryingly, he happily handed over parcel in the middle of the street without even asking for my ID, which may go some way to explaining where most of my post from the past 5 years has gone.
- Both children went to the dentist yesterday and neither has any caries so I am €80 down, but at least do not have to sink into self-loathing at my poor, fruit juice and chocolate button based, parenting. I have also woman-ed up and booked my own overdue dental check for next week, which is very much a DOWN, but I am calling it an UP due to the unusual display of bravery it constitutes. Also I still have that stash of Valium from when my back gave out for when I go, which is very much an UP. NB: the dentist tutoies me. Is this pleasant informality or rude? Difficult to tell.
- In further dental news the orthodontist said that L's treatment (€€€€€€) "touche à sa fin" which I interpret as 'regretfully, I cannot rinse you for €100 a month for much longer'. He would not be more specific than that, but hopefully this dark era of the Roomba and the dog sharing whole packets of dental elastics between them will soon be over. L has been an absolute trooper about the endless ghastliness of it and I am delighted at the prospect that he will soon be free of both wires and the spectre of British Teeth, like my own.
- Netflix has finally arrived in Belgium six months after my secret squirrel UK Netflix account stopped working, so I can spend the weekend bingeing on the second series of Orange is the New Black.
- I am about to give up and go and sit in the garden and share some tremendously greasy noodles with the chickens and the dog, because I am 40 in two months and I need to stop worrying about every idiotic thing under the sun and the only way I know of doing this is by sitting outside for a while with some carbohydrates and some stupid livestock.
I haven't taken any pictures this week so here are some disdainful giraffes from last Saturday:
12% broken flies
10% eclair plans
10% bacon plans
10% dozing plans
You? Plans, ups and downs, anxiety strategies?