Tuesday, 17 May 2011


My life revolves around writing, my friends, my pets, and the running repairs occasioned by my pets' multiple eccentricities. My mother also likes to add her political commentary to the mess, she watches the hour long news at 6, switches channels at seven to watch another hour long news session. She is also inordinately fond of Newsnight and Question Time. On bad nights, I have died and am floating in some kind of political hell as my mother prods me with the pitchfork of "the country is going to hell in a handcart!" It is times like these that I really do wish I was a Medieval Court Poisoner in the pay of both Channel 4 and the BBC!

Last night I went to bed at three am. Okay, it wasn't last night, it was this morning. And yes… I know (for those of you who are about to pounce on my lack of mattress time!) it was late… I have an excuse… two late phone calls, both of which made me smile… and a sudden flash of inspiration on the fourth life.

Seven am and reality bites. Or squelches. Between my toes. Stepping on cold yoghurt on a carpet before you have even broached the first coffee of the day… words fail me (actually, they don't… but I am sure you really do not want to experience my command of the vernacular).

I ignored the squelchy feeling and pressed on, which is when I noticed the green arched streak on the white paint of the bannisters. From its curiously blotchy appearance, I deduced spinach. (It also helps that spinach was in last night's dinner). Amongst Dan's many charming little foibles he likes to take dinner bowls and cutlery, despite being somewhat long and low slung, he can jump to an astonishing height.

The slimy green trajectory suggested that the knife which I found at the foot of the stairs had fallen over the bannister as he snagged the leftovers off the tray on the table on the landing. And wiping dried spinach off painted woodwork is a nightmare…

Having scraped the spinach off the bannisters I headed downstairs. First stop is always the kittens. Quite why I am still calling them kittens, when they are two extremely substantial cats is beyond me. I know we have a problem the instant I open the study door and I can hear the relentless whine of the water fountain pump motor. They had wedged something in front of the filter, creating a dam, and causing the water to get pumped out of the bowl… Five minutes to unwedge the object (one of their toys), and refill the bowl.

My days always begin with running repairs. Irritatingly, my day has continued with them. Something of the hunter non-gatherer variety has been playing in the garden, as testified by the very nasty pile of feathers. I deduced that the culprit was fox, first by the mess, and secondly by the green substance of a nauseating viscosity which my darling Daniel chose to lie down and have a really good roll in. EEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! My cup truly runneth over.

My sitting room which also fulfills the role of office, yoga space, rowing machine space… my rowing machine is a vast rosewood thing of beauty, overflow wardrobe space, miscellaneous collection of junk space and I could go on, but that would be a little tedious… my sitting room is now so cluttered that I cannot find anything. I have been searching for the power cable for my netbook for almost three months.

Through the midst of this disorganised chaos I shamble. Complaining occasionally at my complete inability to find anything. Crowing with delight when something rises to the surface which I had believed had gone forever. My life may have all the outward appearance of offcuts of the script to the film Avanti, but if I am being honest, I like it like that.

Now I have to go and retrieve the catnip mouse, before Solitaire proves he is scarcely a gentleman and pins Tizzy to the ground and takes it off her.

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