I tell you what goes really well with a huge, time-pressured research task. UNSUPERVISED PUMPKIN CARVING. As dusk falls.
"So, uh, you're fine out here? In the gathering darkness? With your giant collection of knives? Good"
These children were clearly never taught the golden BOTH HANDS BEHIND THE CUTTING EDGE rule by Geoff "Mad Baz" Easton, Quaker school's terrifying woodwork teacher (each lost finger = 500 lines*). Actually, they probably did a better job without me resentfully grappling with my uncooperative laptop as I try to download Pinterest pumpkin templates. Try attaching a fecking template of that fecking snowman from Frozen to a SWEDE, Pinterest, like we used in my childhood (every year, we, the children of the Northern England 1970s emerge from the woodwork to assert that there were no pumpkins north of Watford until 1990 and bemoan our childhood deprivation. This year will be no different).
Only one small wound.
I am Quite Stressed. I had to go and have a posh lunch all by myself for a review at lunchtime, which should be lovely, and is certainly not a thing I should complain about, poor me and my many exquisite courses, but I had no time and too much to do and unsupervised children and having a posh lunch by yourself is just weird. On a good day you can pretend to be an icy Marlene Dietrich sort of cove, but when you are klutzy and blotchy and poorly dressed and when you keep flailing stuff onto the floor, the Marlene Dietrich illusion evaporates and you are just an idiot dropping a tempura prawn into someone's handbag (that wasn't today, but it did happen once and it so could have been today). The tweedy man sitting near me kept telling me how rejouissant (pleasing, uplifting) it was to watch me eat, which wasn't at all unnerving or creepy. Then the chef asked me for my card and the only things in my handbag were some fragments of shredded tissue, dog shit bags and a tampon.
Low points: either the dog deciding its own bed was sexually irresistible, or coughing so much I had to retch in the sink and in doing so, banging my head really hard on the tap giving myself a massive forehead lump. The neighbour's free jazz stylings to "Small Town Boy" on the saxophone weren't great either.
High point: the buttery, buttery linguine with white truffle wasn't too shabby. OH POOR ME. POOR POOR ME.
I need to go back to my neglected research task now. I'm still missing one innovative office offering.
(*it was actually 'columns' in Quaker school because non-conformism)