Slight hiccups in the moving.
*the builders are still here doing the utility room and finishing off the arches. When I say "builders", I mean builders, decorators, plumbers and electricians.
(Irritation factor, 0. Surprisingly.)
Actually they are quite handy to have around. Company you know. Other people have damp, mice, a labrador or a cyberspace lover. I have builders. I do, however, worry that they might judge my housekeeping skills which are negligible or that they might report me to social services for child cruelty.
*most sentences now begin with the words: "Have you seen...".
(Irritation factor, 7)
We are still awash with boxes and black plastic sacks we cannot hide in the loft because the plumber has not finished working in it. My London diva girlfriend will visit next week with her family. She will look pointedly at the chaos; I have nowhere to hide it before she arrives. I am contemplating asking each of the builders to carry a black plastic sack up their teeshirts during her visit. She will think them fat but she will think me tidier than she would otherwise. Possibly they could each take a box out to the arches to sit upon while they drink their tea.
*the four-year-old is down with ongoing stomach migraine which leaves him with a permanent stomach ache and insanely grumpy. Grumpier even than his mother. Yesterday morning watching Scooby Doo in the living room, he threw up all over the new beige, textured three seater sofa we had just got out of its plastic wrapping. I had not even sat down on it unwrapped. Luckily, we had paid an extra £120 to get it fabric protected. Money well spent. I think they should use a vomiting child in their advertising. He also threw up over a new wickerwork chair. Yuk. And the new oaked floor. Fair enough. My best friend from school is a business tycoon in the West Midlands. She is everything I am not: optimistic, positive, dynamic, efficient, organised, good with numbers, sporty, child-free. She did her own multi-million pound management buyout and runs a company that makes car cleaning products. She visits. Presumabily when she thinks my house smells bad, she delves in her car boot and pulls out large plastic bottles of bright blue liquids. She says: "I think you should use this."
(Irritation factor, 0)
*I lost my internet connection.
(Irritation factor, 8)
*the children's behaviour. I know I am supposed to do lots of positive reinforcement but it is just not enough. My boys never, ever, ever do as they are told the first time of telling. Ever. I know we have just moved. I know that is disruptive to a small, sensitive child. But they didn't do it before either. Buying a new kitchen carpet for the rented house is costing me more than £400 because they dyed it pink. I had thought it was an accident. It emerged their father told them to stop doing it and they ignored him. He went upstairs and left them to it.I tell them to do something, or to stop doing something; the big one looks at the little one; they carry on. Sometimes, the little one will look at the big one and carry on. They are in league. I swear to God. They have drawn up some midnight demon pact signed in boy spit and toad piddle which involves never losing face infront of each other by doing as Mummy says the first time.
(Irritation factor, 10)
*my mother fell.
“I’ll just give the carpet a vaccuum.” Trip and tumble. Crash and bang. Onto the fake coaled fire and the spiked metal grate. At least, the fire was not on. “Ooops” and “Ow”. Tears and “Shouldn’t haves.” Old lady preoccupations and old lady consequences. Vaccuuming a carpet she cannot see. To pick up dust of no consequence to anyone but her, she tripped over the wire. Her arm grazed by the spikes and bruised by the tumbled out coals, she lay there a while. The white marble hearth like a gravestone beside her. That is what old ladies do. The etiquette of an aged person’s fall. Lie there and play dead. Lie there and wish you were young again. Lie there and wait for Christmas to come or someone to walk through the door to pick you up and dust you down. Not onto the carpet though. It is important to keep your carpet clean at all times. My father was out shopping. She remembered, flat against the burgundy and woolen twist. She had turned the key, click, in the back door lock. You can never be too careful. Always lock your door to keep wolves and bad men out. You do not want wolves in the kitchen, they make such a mess. Blood and crumbs everywhere.
Minutes passed, the shining gilt and glass carriage clock made tick tock turns around the garden. Slowly, she levered herself up to grasp the handy sofa arm, struggled upright and wobbled to the door to turn the key. A blessing the sofa was so close to her; pulled away as it was from the walls, for a better and more thorough clean right up, knock, against the glossed and skirting boards. It goes to show you should never cut corners when cleaning. Without the sofa there, she would never have got to her slippered feet.
She wobbled back to find the phone and speedy dialled a number for a neighbour. Shame she had put in the number wrong. Instead, she rang an aged brother, miles away, who said: “Put down the phone and try again.” She tried again. No joy. She really must be more careful with her speedy dial-ups. What use else? She rang my cousin and talked awhile, of the rain of which there is too much, and of me, of which there can never be enough. “Stay with me on the line till he comes back,” and so my cousin did. Kept my mother company while the old lady cried awhile, waiting for her shop gone husband.
(Irritation factor. "Irritation" does not cover it.)