Lo, finally I woke up in a cracking good mood! Hurrah! And I pulled up the blind to see a golden sun, blue skies and a thick white frost like someone had iced the world. Except, prettier. Wow!
Damn, this really does confirm my suspicions that the weather controls how I feel. Maybe I should pack up and move somewhere more… wait, let’s find out where the climate change is heading before we spend every resource we have moving to somewhere where the weather could actually be worse. Or, somewhere underwater.
And on that note, I had a brainwave. Ooh, I know, I shall scrub down and stain the windows in the lounge today! For though they be south-facing, the weather really does come in from that direction, and the wood on the outside is getting all gnarled and in desperate need of TLC. I was gonna do this in the summer, but frankly, every sunny day was needed down at the Allittlement, (and besides, I made a start on one window and it made so much dust and I thought, crivens, if it gets anywhere near my flatmate’s cat, she’ll create. And for once, I feel she’ll actually have a point.)
No flatmate or cat now, however! Let the menial labour commence!
Perhaps, I thought, having never done this before, I will only do one of the three windows first, in case I bollix it up so badly they have to be replaced several years earlier than expected. I’m not sure how you can do that armed with only a piece of sandpaper and a tin of stain, but I’m sure I could manage.
Man, there was actually quite a bit more dust than I had imagined sanding a bit of wood a bit could create. And despite having my head stuck out of the window, in the great and frigid outdoors, as well! Still, much coughing and spluttering and astonishment later, as well as a session playing with the white spirit (good thing the windows were open – the place stank to high heaven regardless) and now, the tin sayeth, stir well and…
Do not use in direct sunlight.
Corks. I looked at wide, cornflower-blue bowl of the sky, promising direct sunlight all day, and felt like crying. Now what? Is there any possibility at all, now that I require grey yet rain-free skies, that my homeland can provide them? Probably not. So. Do I leave things as they are? Do I put on stain anyway? Do I scrub down the other two windows?
Oh well, onward. That’s the door, for instance. Hark, I think Cake has come to take me to Costco, hurrah! I cannot afford to go to Costco right now. On the other hand, I’m nearly out of everything and cannot afford not to go to Costco right now. Besides, it’s Getting Out Of The House. Technically.
There were two small children on my doorstep. Neither was Cake’s, and indeed, I never found out who the second one belonged to, but they came in and ran about in the maze of laundry and stink of white spirit anyway, and damn, I was really not expecting company of this sort. They came to Costco too. Mercifully, the trolley sat them both, for as soon as they were out of the trolley and I was left to guard them for two minutes while Cake got hotdogs, one of them legged it. Jesus. If I have to go get security and explain I have lost a child in this place, and no, it is not my child, and no, I don’t know whose child it is, and no, I don’t know the child’s surname, and no, I have never even set eyes on the child until an hour ago, then I will be arrested.
Mercifully, the child was returned. It promptly ran off again. So help me god, my nerves were shot, by the time we returned, especially since both small children were ferociously keen to carry the precious bottle of port up to my flat and I’m sure if one of them dropped it, or if it was even seen handling it, I’d get arrested over that as well.
Still. I have a mountain of cheese, my own bodyweight in washing powder, and a bank balance I dare not contemplate. Has my ex-flatmate been round for more of her stuff?
Nope: turns out, there was a miscommunication on that point. Oops. And indeed, ha, that’s two days’ frantic waiting-in for nothing.
My mood deflating faster than a de-corked gonflab, despite the ongoing brilliant sunshine, I set to on the rest of the windows. By five o’clock, I was fairly sure I should have used a dust-mask after all, despite my contention that they don’t work and are for wimps anyway.
Mercifully, Beer wanted me to come out to play, as she is having similar problems (splitting of household, while temporary in her case, resulting in massive cut in disposable; Nature, sensing this, decides it is the perfect time for your more expensive, less inessential* electrical items to break).
(*Yeah, I know, I know, in the old days we all managed without washing machines and hoovers and, well, probably not ovens, actually).
And a mood-heightening walk into town later, under gorgeous sunset skies too, I had a good evening. Well, what started as a good evening. I dunno if I was tired and stressed from two days of doing sod all but wait and scrub carpet edges (voluntarily! What the hell is wrong with me?) but it gradually dawned on me that it was wierd as hell sitting with a group of folk, reminiscing about all being on the student union board back fifteen years ago. Not in a good headspace for trips down memory lane at the moment!
Plus, I had a bit of a Revelation. Well, several, but the rest are not something to go into in public, so I will limit myself to the least controversial. Not a big Thing, in the scheme of things, only this: of all the people who have bought me hot dinners down the years (and there have been far fewer than have ever tried to ‘pitch woo’ by force, shall we say), almost all have become annoyed by not getting any afterward; even though they assured me up front that it wasn’t a quid pro quo deal and they would not get angry if, say, they didn’t get any.
(Then, they did get angry. Ruins the digestion, that. It’s why I always go dutch. In fact, these days, even going dutch seems to entitle the other person to something, as they see it. These days, I just don’t go. Life is short; and yes, I’d rather spend it Not sampling posh nosh than doing so and then being accused of… ah, screw it. I just want some blinking peace already).
Indeed, there was only one guy who ever took me to a fine restaurant, purely out of enjoying my company and being happy to take me to a posh joint I could not have afforded to go near with a bargepole, under my own steam (ooh, the mix of metaphors, I cringe) and let me sample Posh Nosh. And though I couldn’t go out with him (and I did demure and tell him that several times, up front, as always) I do still retain a fond memory of That One Time (at band camp), someone gave me something, as a gift, as they said, and didn’t bloody yell at me afterwards in an embarrassing and public fashion because they didn’t get in return something they claimed they weren’t going to demand in return. See. People can be Luverly.
Well and doesn’t it turn out that, apparently, he’s spent the last fifteen years bitching about it.
Ha. Seems ignorance is bliss. I am monstrously embarrassed now. And rather hurt, both because he obviously thinks less of me than I had previously imagined, and because I now think rather less of him. And also, goodbye, nice memory, you were a lie.
In conclusion: I dunno. I did have a brief burst of good mood in my precious three days of Not Being At Work. And there are Things in the pipeline. I have been invited to a reunion of my trusty underlings/ fellow serfs from the Church of Lightning, for instance.
Off the back of the mood-cruncher tonight’s trip down memory lane turned out to be, I am not looking forward to this one little bit.