Happy New Year!
For me, 2013 has already been a week of ups and downs. Relatively small ups and fairly unremarkable downs, that is.
I began the year the same way I have for the last nine years - in the kitchen, making a big chocolatey birthday cake for the firstborn son. And on January the 2nd I had A TEN YEAR OLD!
Wow! That decade went fast!
We took the NOW-TEN-YEAR-OLD and some of his friends to see Life of Pi which had enough special effects and excitement to keep them all quiet - but thankfully (for self and husband) did not have Alvin and the sodding chipmunks in it.
The six year old alternated between fidgeting with boredom and squirming with terror. "I'm bored - I'm bored - is this film about God?...No, I don't like it! I don't like it! Are his family all drowning to death now?...I'm bored and I've dropped my glasses down the seat...Oh! I don't like it! The hyena's eating the monkey! Aaargh! No, don't let the tiger on the boat!...I'm bored again. I need a drink. Can I go to the toilet now?"
With hindsight, I really should've sat by someone else.
Of the ten year olds we took with us, the girls seemed to like the meerkats and the boys definitely liked the 'piscine' jokes.
After that, we had lunch at the Prezzo outside the cinema and all the ten year olds had a table to themselves, where they ordered their own meals, sang Happy Birthday to my oldest son (TEN!) and gave him presents which almost all included Angry Bird toys. Oh, and they whispered the word 'piscine' a lot, amid much giggling.
It was a nice day.
Unlike the 4th - which was miserable.
I started the day with a sort of New Year's spring cleaning fervour and decided to clean the grout in the shower. Not only had it been needing a good scrub for a while, it was beginning to take on a pinkish tinge which could (just possibly) have been caused by my flaming red hair. The official 'grout-cleaning' product I'd tried once before had been completely useless, so I wavered between 'Easy Bleach' which was extremely cheap and extremely strong - and a sort of multi-purpose cleaner in bright fluorescent yellow. Sod it, I thought, I'll use them both.
Much later, when I was feeling ultra-aware of the skin at the back of my nose and throat, I read the 'Easy Bleach' label to find that I should on no account mix it with other chemicals because it would become a dangerous gas (Chlorine). Well, I didn't like that at all.
Luckily I wasn't the type to lose my head and go searching the internet for the effects of chlorine poisoning, I reminded myself sternly.
Both of the boys had a friend round to play on Friday afternoon, so I was in charge of four children and had possibly destroyed my respiratory system with chlorine gas. Stupid pink shower grout! Stupid lack of scientific knowledge! Or common sense! Stupid, stupid, stupid!
When I explained to my four young charges what they ought to do if I were to suffer sudden cramps, wheezing or vomiting, they all exploded with laughter. And when I confided my fears that my entire throat might swell up and cause me to stop breathing, they all clutched their own throats - tongues lolling out - and pretended to die horribly. The self same children I had treated to a 3D film and lunch at Prezzo two days earlier!
Anyway, since they clearly couldn't be relied upon, I persuaded my husband to phone me from work every half hour to make sure I was still able to take in air. And after only an hour of this, his resistance broke and he drove all the way home to continue working from the bedroom. To be honest, chlorine gas poisoning (all right, suspected chlorine gas poisoning) is one of the less-bizarre reasons I've summoned him home from work in the past.
Saturday 5th turned out to be a much better day. For one thing I was filled with a new zest and enthusiasm for life - what with still being alive and all. And I couldn't help but notice that our shower looks amazing - exactly as it did when it was new!
One of my new year's resolutions ought to be to try to exist much less at the mercy of my imagination - for my husband's sake, if not my own.
Also I really want to stop biffing my forehead on the casserole dish that sticks out from one of the shelves in the kitchen. I hate that.
And - um - I really want to save up enough money to buy this lucky horseshoe dress from Hobbs, since this is what I imagine myself to be wearing when I go out for an imaginary lunch with my imaginary literary agent.
And if my resolutions are not yet shallow enough, there are still shoes to be decided upon. Perhaps it is a lucky thing that no agent has yet approached me with an offer of representation since I remain torn between all these different colours from the Irregular Choice Poetic Licence Backlash range...
I guess when the time comes, I'll be prepared. What's that you say? My wordcount? Why no, as it happens I haven't been writing of late. I've been far too busy looking at shoes. I'll write next week - it's my final resolution.