Saturday, June 30, 2007


I'm now not so much faintly green as bloody miserable. It has rained all day, I have one of the most boring texts I've had for ages to translate - over fifteen thousand words of staff regulations, I don't seem to have done anything nice for ages, no one has paid us over the last week, and I haven't had a proper night's sleep for days because DanHerring has been wandering in and out of my bed all night. One of my suppliers had a whinge about the rate I offered him, a rate 20% higher than I'm being paid for the staff regulations (I'm quite conflict-adverse so this was distressing). This evening when we were reading Philip Pullman in bed the boys fought each other until I put myself in the middle, whereupon they promptly both fell asleep while I was reading. As Patrick had pulled a pillow over his head I didn't notice, so I probably read about eight pages aloud to the cat. I have a lovely little crab in the fridge and couldn't be bothered to eat it after that. Last night I tried to make myself a proper supper - by which I mean something the boys won't eat - and burnt the vegetables I was roasting because I was on the phone to someone in a wind tunnel. They're still sitting, crisp and alert, in the oven.

I haven't read anything interesting and stimulating for days either, because I'm either cleaning up the house, working, or reading to the boys, who have taken total possession of my evenings. We haven't even got a flood warning to make life interesting, despite living a couple of hundred yards from the flood plain.

I am trying hard to think of something to cheer me up that doesn't cost money. If I can drag myself through enough staff regulations tomorrow I might go to Belvoir Castle on Monday and spend a few hours exploring the grounds. I've got a season ticket, so that won't cost anything. I like walking in the rain, so of course it will be dry, but dull.

Once, when we had been living for about a year in a god-forsaken Belgian village, I was woken up at about two in the morning by the sound of crashing glass. Then the noise of people exclaiming in the street. The woman in one of the houses opposite had decided to break all her windows. "Elle a eu une crise de nerfs", the neighbours explained cheerfully, as though this was a reasonable response, as indeed seemed self-evident to me by the time I'd been there for four years. I am looking at my windows now and thinking how gloriously transgressive it would feel to heave a brick through them.

Today I worked out how to post photographs on the blog. So here are a couple of pictures of the cats, as promised several months ago. They're photos of Abou at four months and Theo at six weeks; more up to date photos may happen later.

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