Monday, 24 July 2017

Things that happen every summer Pt 1






(It's bin day so O has followed me into the cupboard to ensure I know how miserable he is)

Work
I simultaneously hold the following 3 thoughts in my head all summer long:
- I will never work again and am worthless and unemployable what am I doing with my life
- This work I am doing is so boring I think I might die. Can a person die from copywriting? I am pretty sure that is about to happen here what am I doing with my life
- I have some amazing ideas and come September will set the world on fire (no, not now. There are still 4 episodes of Drag Race I haven’t seen).

Logistics
Some catastrophic scheduling/transport/logistical fuck up comes and sits in the middle of my otherwise well-laid plans. Many, many, many hours and brain cells are lost trying to find a workaround. THERE IS NO WORKAROUND. Accept the fuck up, eventually.

Foot
I start scratching the dry skin on my left foot on 30 June and do not stop until 1 September. By then, my left foot ressembles something my stepmother would have had to collect from the special sealed box at the medical photographic library she used to visit when she worked in medical publishing.

Food & Beverages
I become mutinously resistant to cooking and dine on salty snacks, takeaway or cheese for 2 months, then wonder why I am so fat come September. The good pizza places all shut up for the summer so I roam the streets ever more angrily looking for someone who can produce a thin, quite burnt, crust (in vain). Every night feels, on some level, like the weekend, therefore every night it is time for drinking. Weird drinks become desirable/acceptable. White port. Cider. Some kind of sketchy homemade mojito full of greenfly-ridden mint. Vermouth. Sticky bottles of whatthefuck from the back of the cupboard.

Family
My family no longer require me to entertain them. Their preferred option is that I should make absolutely no attempts whatsoever to entertain them, but rather leave them well alone (apart from providing the building blocks of sandwiches and ensuring the broadband works smoothly). Really, there is little to complain about, and yet, and yet. The energy of the house changes when it is full of other people. There they are, lying around, eating, breathing, talking to internet strangers about their joint killing strategies, abandoning banana peels in horrific places and leaving all the lights on. Within days I develop a violent desperation to be alone. I moan, both online and IRL that  “I can’t WORK with them in the house” and stare balefully at the tidelines of detritus that mark their movements around the house. Whenever anyone asks me where something is, I snap, viciously, then retreat to the basement to sit in companionable silence with my friend the washing machine.

As soon as they leave and the house is empty, for a couple of days, I find myself entirely unable to concentrate on anything other than watching back to back episodes of Drag Race. After approx 1.8 days, I begin to miss them and their waves of detritus, the musky Axe Carbon-hormone bouquet and surly one-word conversations and their appearance in the kitchen still wearing headphones and watching YouTube videos as they ask what's for lunch AS IF I AM THEIR HOLIDAY CONCIERGE DAMMIT.

Uccle
Every day is like Sunday, but old style Sunday, a 1970s Sunday, like back when I was little, when even the dust motes seemed to move more slowly. All the shops shut for a month. No one around but cats, the very elderly and career drunks.

Sanity
Dribbling out of one ear verrrry verrrrry slowly.


What happens to you every summer?

13 comments:

Rosie Redfield said...

Dry skin on feet: Rub in some pure lanolin (ask the chemist if it's not on the shelves). It's basically pure skin oil. Your feet will smell a bit like sheep for a little while, but then the dry skin will miraculously disappear and not come back for a month, at which time you do it again.

Anna Maria said...

Since we are not going on holiday this summer, husband decided to at least invest in a fancy outdoor pizza oven (Uuni), which I can recommend, as I also like very thin, burnt crust. Even with a pizza stone, you can't really get that kind of crust in a normal oven. I know what you mean about drinking when children are off school - I am trying to stick to our rule of no alcohol Mon-Thurs, but it is hard.

CJ said...

Oh yes, much of this is sadly familiar. The INTENSE IRRITATION as they constantly ask me for stuff and whether they can do things. But the real killer is the food. They need so much feeding. Always. One meal is finally cleared away and there they are again, their little mouths open, hungry, hungry, hungry. We bought a puppy for them to play with, but it turns out I have to do all of that as well. I am allowed to write in blocks of one and a half minutes, no more, before I am disturbed, either by a child wanting something or complaining about something or by the puppy chewing something vital like the laptop wires. It takes around one minute and twenty seconds to remember what I was about to write. Until I get really cross, then I need around an hour to refocus. But come September I will be amazingly productive and probably conquer the world, missing them all the while.

carolinefo said...

This is entirely irrelevant to the matter in hand, but we are on holiday in lovely, cold mosquito-free Northumberland at the moment, and I am trying to persuade Richard that we should be living in Berwick upon Tweed, not Richmond upon Thames. My ancestors were sheep-stealers on the Scottish Borders and my genes are calling me home. Not to mention that for the price of our little house in Richmond we could have a vast 18th century farmhouse with a barn that could be converted into a library. And paddocks in which I could keep alpacas. Not that I've been looking at Rightmove or anything.

Anyway, yesterday we were on Holy Island, and saw a man with a whippet, which made me think of you. This whippet looked quite happy, though, in as much as a whippet CAN look happy. So clearly not closely related to Oscar.

Apparently near Rothbury there is a cafe that has goats on the roof, and I'm very much hoping to see this Wonder of the North before we depart.

wholelottarosie said...

Mozzie bites; heat rash; a scorching hot day when I will be caught wearing tights and boots because it had been a bit grey that morning; a day when the temperature will drop dramatically and the rain will lash down when I'll be wearing a summer dress and sandals so old they break under the 'pressure' of the rain as I quickly walk the whippet home who will ignore me for the rest of the night for deigning to take him out when there was even the slightest chance of a downpour.

Patience_Crabstick said...

My nose becomes super sensitive to the constant whiff of dead animal in the Virginia summer air. I hate to be one of those "we do everything better in New York" people, but I lived in New York state for twenty-eight years and we never had to contend with dead animal whiff.

Your feet - I had a similar issue with my shin. Literally clawed the skin off and trying to give up scratching was like trying to quit smoking and I had to wear long trousers all the time because my shin looked like I had leprosy or something. What finally helped was a tea tree oil and vitamin E cream made by derme. My shin is totally healed now.

Waffle said...

Oh Caroline PLEASE go to the goat café and report back for me. (I am, incidentally, desperate to go back to Holy Island but the 1 lane road northwards drives my spouse to murder, so I must wait for a chance for a trip with someone slower/more patient, or alone).

Thank you for your foot advice, people which I will try and follow. The real mystery is why it is always the SAME FOOT. That leg has been dodgy since I did something to it in 2005 and I should probably have just been put down.

Rebecca Leamon said...

No foot advice, just laughter. . . I'm a teacher so even though I desperately neeeeeeeeed this time off, it feels too weighted to be wasted so I make myself crazy as well. Ditto with the drinking, though we also have a wonderful ice cream shop down the street which is far too easy to access and is now also open on Sundays. Ye Gods.

theowlunderground said...

As daytime temperatures have been hovering between 91 F (32+C) and 99 F (37+ C), I have become nocturnal. (My town in TX is at the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco, so no surprise about the heat.) Becoming nocturnal has solved many problems, mostly involving not having to deal with quite as many stupid people (especially that trainwreck in the Oval Office). So long as the cable is working (internet and TV), all is hunky dory chez nous. YouTube is my friend.

I chose not to spawn, so I have no offspring to contend with, only an 18 lb (8.16 kg) cat.

Shortly, I will have to go shower and wash my hair so as to go to the dentist to get my teeth (such as they are) cleaned. I will leave the house with wet hair, and it will likely be dry by the time I get to the dentist, despite our high humidity today (46%).

Carla P said...

Haha!! Excellent, funny comments;) LMBO !
Waffle, maybe the circulation (post injury) in the bum leg is not so great and therefore prone to skin irritations?
Owlunderground, I leave the house wet haired as well;) one of the few perks of living in blistering temperatures.....

blackbird said...

I discover I'm fat-looking in a swimsuit and feel embarrassed/ashamed until the second week in September when I look positively svelte but won't be visiting any beaches.

Julia Croyden said...

Ah summer. I spend about a billion pounds a day entertaining the children, then wonder why I'm skint. I enjoy not being at work (teacher) but then feel deeply guilty about sleeping when I could be doing SOMETHING. I hide in coffee shops and pretend to have an optician's appointment to get an hour to myself. Best time of the year.

roth phallyka said...

I should probably have just been put down.


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