..Another week went by and there wasn’t a child in the house washed, so busy was she, who should be doing the washing, swanning in and out of birthday celebrations and laughing at herself when a fake eyelash crawled down her face one memorable evening, like a none too bright furry caterpillar.
I wasn’t cut out to be glamorous. I was cut out, I think, to perch sunglasses on top of my head and burn my shoulders in the bright morning sun, as I crawl around car boot sales on my hands and knees looking for vintage magazines and Vale dotty saucers. I was cut out to bend myself into awkward positions trying to clean the back of the lavatory u-bend at midnight on a Tuesday. Designed I am sure for a life less exhausting than the one I am currently enjoying. And so in an effort to recognise myself as the uber housefrau I long to be and carry on living the high life, I nearly drive myself headlong into The Priory trying to be all things to all people, the life and soul of the party and the mommy with the mostest including of all things, lickable skirting boards and a freezer full of just in case stew.
Take the weekend just gone by. I defy anyone to survive it and not come out the other side a gibbering wreck. You see, one is I think obliged to bake a lemony something on a scrumptious Summers Saturday afternoon. And so there I was in a yellow gingham pinny that is the epitome of a sunny day and a fifties style high ponytail designed to keep my hair from contaminating the cake… (though clearly dipping a scrubby clean finger into the mixing bowl is not of the question, because I think you will agree that there is nothing in the world quite so appetising, so life-affirming, as a stolen spoonful of raw eggs and sugar…). Golly gumdrops I was a happy little chicken that morning.
Lets put this down to the fact that by the time I was doing a rather admirable impression of a brunette Doris Day, it was six minutes past one, and I had only fell out of bed an hour before. I want to tell you that I am outraged with myself, but darlings it was bliss. I have, you see, decided that far from life being too short to lounge in bed when one can, life is too short methinks not to revel in the snuggly fresh joy that is springing out of bed and flinging open the windows, then running downstairs with a cardigan chucked over your knickers and dancing up and down the kitchen while you warm milk on the hob for a sugary, frothy, milky coffee, slice strawberries over a bowl of chocolate muesli, scrape cream cheese inside a Food Doctor cranberrry bagel, find radio two on the radio, hang it over your arm like a handbag and carry the whole caboodle back to bed, before shaking the pillows back to their goose feathery best, re-making the bed and finding your page in the book that fell out your hand last night when you drifted off to sleep after a meal of blue cheese risotto and Cointreau chocolate mousse you could happily devour for the rest of your days…
In fact lets pretend there wasn’t a tinsy bit of a headache made of a Raspberry Colonel, a Cosmopolitan, and two Screaming Multiple Orgasms involved (Oh lordy, I’ve said that rudey word in two posts on the run: my Mum is going to kill me, she’s sooooo constantly disappointed in my loose tongue),and what we have here is the recipe for the kind of morning that if the house was a bit tidier could feature in the pages of Easy Living, so dementedly, aesthetically, lifestyley wonderfully perfect it was too.
Unfortunately finding myself in the vortex of something of a social whirlwind, the house wasn’t that tidy and if the truth be told, it was a teeny bit smelly, so it is quite a good job that scratch and sniff magazines never really took off, or the stench of garlic rosemary sausages in the fridge could really have spoiled the illusion. If only there was time to clean the refrigerator, but there wasn’t- so a teeny saucer of bicarb was thrown in to counteract the whiff while lemon meringue cake baked (burnt) and yours truly went off to try and pull something from the wreckage that was my face after the night before. Because it was Saturday night and one had a barbeque to attend to. And so one threw on a twinkly top, left the house to it’s own devices and attended it, and, one should confess, put on a rather ridiculous performance as resident party bimbo and ate far too much oh so very delicious potato salad, drank the odd Cheeky Vimto and insisted on lighting naughty peoples cigarettes, for goodness knows what reason.
The next day I woke up fresh as a Sunday button. But the fun wasn’t about to stop there. Hell no, because after an afternoon at Mum’s watching Finn and Gabriel spin themselves into a frenzy of half term excitement I returned home to my house cum dressing room, did myself up like Tina Turner all over again, and stepped out to collect the man I adored as a teenager for his inaugural soiree with the family Adams, aka us: mum, dad, Helen, Louis and resident kids. Bless his little heart.
Actually lets not bless his heart. The man was dozy all night. Far from being he of the sparkling wit I know him to be, he was sleepy, almost, I would say, asleep on his feet as my sister got down on her hands and knees in the bar and astonished everyone in the bar with her surprisingly bendy take on Ashtang Yoga. In the end I had no choice but to take him home. And ring my Mum and agree that yes, he’s lovely, but no, he’s not always that tired and yes he is suffering from a dramatically long list of ailments and his slug phobia is hardly becoming. Then get up the next day and positively drown in the cultural delight that is Liverpool in it’s Capital of Culture heyday. Giggle as peculiar little men in togas accost little old ladies and kiss them halfway to their coffin, watch an absolutely spectacular modern dance performance in Williamson Square and swoon in envy as Helen spends my entire food budget for the month on a a pair of red suede shoes with black patent leather heels…
Oh it was all such fun. But a girl can only take so much hoopla before she remembers that the quilt hanging on the line has been hanging there three days and has to hold the age old debate with herself about whether a soaking in rainwater warrants another boiling in the washing machine or whether the sun should just be left to deal with the matter for the third day on the run. There comes a point in every good time gal’s life it seems,when it’s back to the domestic grindstone: to dishes soaking in mint scented water and the stubborn horror that is dried on toothpaste on the bathroom sink. All too soon comes the day when the fridge practically gets up and walks out the kitchen in disgust and the matter has to be dealt with pronto. A day when beds must be changed, rugs beaten and towels folded. A day when giving your much neglected home a hug is the only option.
Then thoroughly wiped out with the sheer effort of hugging the homestead, I collapsed on to a chair and let the man I adored as a teenager, who shall, because I am at long last willing to promote him, be hereby known as Paul, bring me a bowl of his own homemade pea and ham soup and giggle
as he finally
got round to explaining his performance as tiredest man on planet earth, which was, I am sorry to say due to the fact that he had, in a frankly ridiculous strike at the insomnia that has dogged him for a while, accidentally overdosed on chemist counter sleeping tablets.
That’s not normal is it? So thank goodness for the soup.
A person could fall in love with a person who makes great soup. So bring on the chicken and sweetcorn Mister.
Or run for your life.