First things first - my eye is fine. It - ew, sorry - sort of exploded painfully on Sunday and has been steadily improving since. The cold sore is not improving but mainly because I can't leave it alone. If I continue to recover at this rate, I may be able to appear in public without a paper bag over my head by Christmas. Wehey! Not that it is necessary to be presentable in York at Christmas, there are only 2 hours of daylight and during those hours everyone is trudging up and down Parliament Street wearing fleece and eating Yorkshire Fat Rascals and/or filled Yorkshire puddings, then standing outside superlative hardware store Barnitts and wondering at their display of plastic squirrels (oh god, I cannot WAIT to join them).
That may be the only thing that is improving. Other factors:
I am in the middle of an assignment that requires me to trudge around Brussels in pursuit of elusive, possibly imaginary food trucks in the rain (which is constant and unrelenting, the back yard looks like the Somme and the stupid hens are bedraggled). The number of food trucks required keeps increasing, whereas the number of food trucks capable of answering a telephone or email remains stable at 'vanishingly few'. Today has been a new low, wild goose chase after non-existent food truck in the rain (obv), still have about 5 more to try and track down, socks are wet, spirit wetter.
My elder son has been on the sofa without moving/dressing for ten days already, during which time he has sent me every LOLcat in existence. His last email to me contained 67 jpegs of cats dressed as foodstuffs and the eloquent text 'well what can i say'. I have confiscated his tablet to spare my inbox, so he is currently watching Bargain Hunt under the duvet and has just stirred and said "WHOA I actually fell asleep!" I am so jealous.
I had to make gingerbread people for the school fête (well, 'had to' = was guilted into it and could find no plausible excuse) but forgot to turn the oven to the right temperature and burnt them to fuck, requiring ingenious chocolate foot dipping. F, who was the guilting party, was spectacularly unhelpful in many ways, and only made one gingerbread person, this one:
Last night I had to also actually go to the school fête which cost me €20 (3 brochettes de bonbons (cost price 0,04 cents), one hot dog, one water, one apple juice, one brownie, one "bowl" made from PVC glue and confetti, already half-perished, and one large glass of wine (this last wholly essential). It was extremely crowded and there was an odd smell of mulled wine/choucroute/onion soup/spilled hot chocolate and thousands of tiny children dashing in every direction muffled in 27 layers of thermal clothing. I sat in a corridor with my wine like the ghost of Christmas Go Fuck Yourself until it was time to drag ourselves to the other school for parents evening (no wine, just a blow-by-blow rehash of the French exam in a chilly 1950s schoolroom under the sorrowful eye of drooping mahogany Jesus).
I have an odd, unsatisfactory assortment of Christmas tat. Some people have lots of stuff, others have none. I am in complex negotiations about a guitar and have been to lots of seedy guitar shops, also in the rain. Guitar shops are like garages in that they can sense your ignorance and are not about to make you feel good about it, so that is going as well as you might imagine. I have sent one card (too late to arrive in time, possibly to wrong address).
I have had a fight with a computer repair man and now I cannot go and get the computer back and must bribe a child to do so for me.
ANYWAY. I'll cheer up as soon as we're on the boat and I have my face in the first of several gins (23rd) even if I do have to bring all my end of year accounts with me in a carrier bag.
On a more festive note, could I encourage you all to join me in speculating on what on earth is going on here:
It was featured on the school Christmas leaflety thing and I am deeply puzzled. What is Mary carrying (angry baby panda? Owl? Ham?) Why has she been banished to a rock? Why is Joseph giving the baby Jesus to the donkey for approval/dinner? How huge is the angel Gabriel? WHAT WHAT WHAT? Your theories are welcome.
20% poor decisions
10% throbbing face
10% what to read at Christmas?
5% Nutella sandwich.