See the thing is this: they don’t warn you. They don’t say, this is how it’s gonna be Cupcake, two steps forward and three steps back. Forewarned is forearmed you see. Had I only known that life was going to be a constant waltz of the kind that requires a motorcycle helmet to survive I wouldn’t be so constantly disappointed by the slings and arrows of my own outrageous (mis)fortune now would I?
Heck yes, today I’m playing the victim card. Because mis-fortune, according to my gorgeous friends Kath and Diane, follows me around like a bad smell. And no-one likes a smelly housekeeper now do they? Not when life is supposed to be a symphony of lavender and roses anyway.
So the weekend just gone got kind of ugly. Friday I dressed my half-term child in his finest rags, shoved him into Nana’s car and took off for a small jaunt around Southport that resulted in the purchase of a Bet Lynch style leopard skin top and a bar of soap I was irrationally pleased with. All that could be well with the world was as well as could be expected and even the dear old Marks and Spencers cafe that has for a long time been the bane of mine and Mum’s life had decided to bless my little boys day with a new range of gluten free sandwiches. I felt happy. Which (clever me) I have come to recognise as an emotion laden with foreboding…
We got home and the cat trotted past me soaking wet. Now this isn’t all that unusual in itself because Jimmy is off his little pussy head and will happily take a shower or dip his head into a washing up bowl full of bubbles and has recently learned to turn the kitchen tap on all by himself. Oh joy. So I wasn’t that concerned until I heard dripping and being not very brave at all sent my four foot high bodyguard in to the kitchen to investigate. He laughed. A lot. and came out with sopping wet socks. Bad sign number two.
For while we were away the boiler had leaked and a flood of yukky water had come through the kitchen ceiling dripping until the whole lot fell down. Oh yes. The kitchen ceiling was on the kitchen floor. The newly tiled floor. And the door between the kitchen and the outhouse had swelled and split and there was ugliness of the wet kind as far as the eye could see, and I was, I must confess, a tiny bit hysterical until my DIY knight arrived in his Renault Scenic and bashed a bit more of the ceiling down and evacuated Finley to Mums and me to Kaths so he could drown without interruption.
So I had a little cry and I bought a lot of mops and then I went home to a ceiling that had been covered by a piece of board and a man despairing of a house that seems to want to eat itself and we ate chips straight from the paper and guzzled black vodka cocktails and pretended the whole thing was some kind of wacky dream and the very next day we decided to shift focus from a kitchen that now required inspection by the insurers on to the little postage stamp at the front of the house, so Richard built a little wavy wall and erected posts in preparation for a pretty little picket fence and I bought a new mat because it is Spring and a good Brocanteer always buys a new doormat in Spring. And despite it all we were feeling pretty smug and planning a meal of baked eggs and blue cheese and just as we had decided to nip out for a bunch of sage (of all things), I stepped out, my left foot skidded on the new door mat and my right leg got squashed under my huuuuge bum as my whole body slammed down and back on to the metal edge of the front doorstep.
Readers I screamed the lane down. The neighbours must have thought I was being murdered (though none of them came out) as Richard tried to get me up and I refused to budge because I was too broken and sobbing too much to explain myself. And when he had finally dragged me inside, he peeled my sock off and I screamed a whole lot more because my foot looked like a turnip and the purple map of Britain spreading across my back was making sitting up or lying down impossible and I felt impossibly sorry for myself and a little bit exhausted and to top it all I couldn’t even hobble into my falling down kitchen to admire the gap where the ceiling used to be!
And so the following two days were lost to hot baths and long spells on the sofa with bags of frozen peas attached to my person. All my plans went out of the window. No work got done. Brocante stood at a pretty little standstill. The house collapsed into wrinkly dusty ruin. And I walked around with a cold-sore on my lip and troubles on my mind. Was this karma? Do I need a list of the kind Earl still seems to be addressing? Apologies to the universe and the woman in the library who I swore at under my breath when she provided customer service of the truly awful I can’t be bothered with you kind? Do I need to take her a potted plant and admit my misdemeanour? What about the crazy woman in the school car park who I screamed at when she wouldn’t let me park? Is she poking sharp pins into a little Alison voodoo?
Dear me. I am trying to tell myself to cheer up because it might never happen, but trouble is, it probably already has…
Enough already if you don’t mind. There is only so much this little lady can take.