I was having a pee this morning, perched, bleary eyed upon the throne, when in wandered Small Child, wearing a serious expression. ‘It’s the cat,’ she explained, ‘she’s been sick all over the sofa.’ Indeed she had. With all the gusto of a student after St Paddy’s Day, she had puked over two of the large sofa cushions and two of the little decorative ones. Another, more recent deposit, had been left in the hall. She wandered in miserably while I surveyed the mess looking very sorry for herself. ‘Miaow,’ she said feebly as I went to fetch gloves and cloths.
It wasn’t the ideal way to start the day, at half six of a Wednesday morning, but still, all is far from ideal right now, and in my extensive clean-a-thon I didn’t have time to scroll anxiously through my Whatsapp messages, e-mail, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I have been reaching, feverishly for my phone in a sort of demented frenzy for the last week. Questions flit through my head: ‘Are we going back into work? Are we keeping the kids off school? Why is Boris saying one thing and then in the same sentence something else which completely contradicts it? (Because he’s a useless dick). Why is our Assembly so spineless?’
On and on it goes, like some absurd and sinister merry-go-round.
I keep just going for a nap and waking up an hour (or sometimes even two) later to get away from it all. Thankfully, I have a very understanding husband.
‘Could you please just wake me up if I doze off for more than half an hour?’ I asked him this morning. ‘Not a fucking chance,’ he replied. ‘There’s a reason why we let bears hibernate.’
Still, when I’m awake, I’m reasonably productive. Down at my friend’s last week, I admired the number of little pegs they had stuck to the wall, for their children’s coats and accountrements. I try to stick up pegs, but they are always wonky, and fall down, so coats pile in an unsightly fashion upon the floor.
‘You need this,’ said Tony, who’s a handy sort of a fellow, giving me his ‘No More Nails’. Off I went with his tube, and I’ve been gluing things to walls ever since. It has brought me something close to joy, waking up and checking my pictures every morning and reporting to LSB, ‘Look! They’re still up!’
Everyone’s patience is starting to wane with my new found enthusiasm. ‘I’m going to put some of that in the bottom of a bag and start sniffing it if you don’t put it down soon,’ said LSB wearily.
‘Well, you can take the man out of West Belfast…’ I began, but he gave me a very sour look.
‘You really love that glue,’ sighed the Older Child, who doesn’t know what’s going to appear next in her wee room. ‘I don’t even really like that picture,’ she sighed miserably as a new one was popped up in a jaunty red frame.
But I can’t be stopped in my endeavour, as I’ve been enjoying myself very much.
LSB has though, drawn the line at my plan for Ikea shelves above the bed. You know those ones you see in brochures for a couple of books and some cascading ivy and spider plants, so you can breathe in freshly oxygenated air as you sleep?
‘That will be the very shelf that the ‘No More Nails’ WON’T hold,’ he said darkly. He has a point. No one wants to wake up with a klunk and wearing a spider plant on their head, or worse still, be killed outright, should it hit a tender spot upon the temple. I do hope Jan Carson is reading this. She’s rather taken with Agatha Christie novels, and I think that this could be a Christie inspired murder for the twenty-first century.
I finally got the school photos and I want to buy some new frames for them and get a-sticking, but somehow, I don’t think going out to buy frames counts as an essential journey. It’s all very perplexing. The Mothership has been scanned said photos, which prompted an irate phone call. Pure raging she was. ‘When I was a primary teacher,’ she fumed, ‘I had all their wee ties straightened and their hair combed for the photos. ‘What price did you have to pay for those pictures? A fortune I’m sure. And the CUT of their hair: sure it’s all over the place. I think it’s a disgrace. And there was me wanting to send them round them round all my friends.’
One would think that she may have had more pressing matters to irk her at present, but still, I was somewhat relieved to receive the call and see that her spirit has in no way been crushed with all this virus shite.
She and my Daddy landed up the other day. They didn’t come in, but passed in laundered sheets and duvets, freshly washed tea-towels, a tin of iced cakes and snowdrops for the garden. ‘It was ever so kind of them to call,’ said The Small Child as she stood, waving them off from the garden.
The kids are presently making some cards for the elderly neighbours. So far, they gave been remarkably good and have even stopped falling down so much, which has been a tremendous relief.
Keep in touch everyone- I’d love to know what you’re all up too and how you’re keeping sane. At leat the rain has ceased and the birds are a-tweeting, and while I’ve been writing this I haven’t looked at my phone once. Leo is quite right- get outside, breathe, switch off notifications for a while. This too will pass.