Well, call me a sad bastard but I am having the best day ever. My hours are pretty flexible so it’s fairly easy for me to knock off work and – under the erroneous impression that H was off as well – I decided to claim this otherwise unremarkable Thursday.
I have things I could, and probably should, be doing but it’s now 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I think I have to face up to the fact this day has been a total write-off. The tone was pretty much set when I woke up at 9:30 and it took me two hours to psyche myself up to get out of bed.
But, y’know something, I honestly don’t care. Now that I’m a grown up (yeah right) with a job and my life has a degree of structure to it, I love the meaninglessness of days like this. By rights, they should probably make me angsty – since I had enough of them when I was a student and then when I was unemployed – but now that they’re a choice, not a lifestyle, they feel sort of dreamy and special. It’s like you temporarily become your own little world. And I enjoy touching my fingertips to the edges of loneliness sometimes – since I am blessed enough not to be.
So, basically I’ve been getting on with all the things that vaguely need doing but I never have the time/energy/investment to get round to during the course of ordinary life. Reader, I cleaned the damn house. I took the bins out. I bought milk. Oh, the excitement. Is it not palpable? I might be some sort of mutant because I do enjoy doing this daily life stuff; the problem is, it becomes a fucking low priority when you’ve just come home from work or you have a party you want to go to, a film you want to watch or a book you want to read. Having done both resource rich (well resource comfortable) and time poor, and time rich / resource limited, I’d rather this way round – but it does mean things that should be pretty straight forward human tasks get magnified into tremendous impositions.
But, yes, I sloped out in the bright part of the morning (or rather the bright part of early lunch time) to the big Tescos, where I bought all the things that we usually forget to buy, and also some actual real food. Also, I say the big Tescos, but don’t get the wrong idea, supermarkets are pretty small around these parts because the city is teeny tiny and land is at a ridiculous premium. Although currently we’re caught in the cross-fire of a brutal Tesco/Sainsburys war, and I’m pretty sure we’re approaching the supermarket event horizon, which means that in a year or two every single shop will either be a Tescos or a Sainsburys.
I had a pretty exciting time choosing cleaning products (I can’t believe I wrote that sentence) because I am ludicrously susceptible to advertising of all kinds, which I think is because I’m slightly less evolved than other people (or because we didn’t have a TV when I was growing up). There was another guy, though, who was just as transfixed by the wall of machismo as I was. It’s just everything looks so cyberpunk nowadays and it’s blissfully easy to forget the reason you’re buying FAIRY ULTRA PLATINUM is to, err, do the washing up.
And then I strolled home feeling accomplished, had a cup of tea in a largely deserted hipster café because I could and spotted a book in the window of the local hippy bookstore called ‘Paranormal [city]’ where [city] is the name of the place I currently live, written by a reputable ghostologist if that isn’t a contradiction in terms. This threw me into paroxysms of ecstasy. I don’t, for a winkle picking second, believe in the supernatural but, damn, do I love weird bits of history. Of course, being the hippy bookshop, this place is only open, like, with the phases of the moon or the alignment of spheres – but, I was in luck, it was open from 12:30-2 today.
It’s remarkably pleasurable, actually, to have both the time and inclination to wander and observe. I crossed the graveyard, as usual, on my way back and – I feel a bit bad about this – but as I came round the front of the Church I saw something that amused the heck out of me. I should probably highlight, at this juncture, that I’m not deriding or dismissing anyone’s faith. I don’t find Christianity inherently funny. I have a lot of respect for religious people and, as a general rule, I find believers rather more bearable than atheists, who are just as passionately committed to a single point of view but a hell of a lot more smug about it.
Anyway … this is what tickled me. I probably shouldn’t have taken a photo but, sneakily, I did anyway because I’m naughty. And you’ll have to forgive the quality, as I only had my phone.
Is it me … or does the way the cross is hanging from a string, and the angle of it, suggest Super Flying Jesus? Faster than a speeding, err, pilate.
Anyway, I came home and promptly realised I’d forgotten buy about half of the needed things. I then drank half a bottle of wine left over from Sunday’s D&D game, cranked up the volume and attack-cleaned the kitchen. And I felt wildly proud of myself because I did all the stuff that you never normally do, like the drip tray under the drying rack and the frankly suspicious depths behind the sink. I even put the tea towels in the washing machine and re-rationalised the cupboards.
Now. Okay. There’s a bit of tension at Chez AJH because, to me, a cupboard is a game of Tetris. To H, it’s a place you pile stuff until it all falls out again. Basically, as far as H is concerned, if the door shuts, it’s a win. This is fucking unendurable. Take, for example, the cutlery drawer. Most cutlery drawers contain three vertical sections and a horizontal one. The vertical sections are for knives, spoons and forks (I am willing to be flexible on the order, I am not a monster) and the horizontal section is for teaspoons. For untold months, H has been putting forks in the horizontal section. But, today, yes today, this glorious day, the 28th of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen, I TOOK BACK THE CUTLERY DRAWER.
God, does H not realise the layout of this kitchen was planned by a Leo on the cusp on the Virgo? Okay, I don’t put much credence in that stuff either – but it, as far as I understand it from friends who do, a Leo on the cusp of Virgo is an anal obsessive-compulsive control freak robot who is really aggressive about it. Cool.
Then I went back to Tescos to pick up all the stuff I’d forgotten to get the first time and grab my ghost book from the hippie book store. It was kind of hilarious in there. The only other customers were a student in a really ill-advised chequered trilby, an old man with a beard like Gandalf and a tie-dyed woman with gloriously long, gloriously red hair. I would have completely fancied her if she did not radiate an air of “I will expect you to eat tofu.”
I made it home, realised I’d still not bought everything I needed, gave up, discovered I’d put the tea-towels in the washing machine but hadn’t turned it on, fixed that and then I blasted the oven with corrosive chemicals which was awesome and exciting because the “oh my God, you’ve never cleaned your oven, have you?” cleaning kit came with gloves and goggles and this special heavy duty plastic sheeting.
I will confess I’m now slightly frightened to put, y’know, food in the oven. But details, details.
And then our brave hero sallied forth into the bathroom, where he proceeded to give everything a thorough going over with Cilit Bang Foaming Bathroom Cleanser which, err, is the most fun you can have on your own while listening to Call Me Maybe (that part is optional). You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? I tell you. This stuff is fucking fantastic. It’s like being armed with a bukkake gatling gun. Also it cleans your bathroom. What’s not to love?
Then I broke the laws of physics. No, really. Check this out:
That’s the spiral interior bit for a protein shaker … but how the shit did that even happen? I put in the dishwasher. It came out like that. I can’t even get the damn thing off again. If I was Phillip K Dick I would be insane right now because of that.
(Okay, H has just come home and liberated the spiral. Apparently I did not break the laws of physics. I think this is a lie).
Finally, to celebrate my incredible accomplishments, I made a frittata. It went horribly wrong but I ate it anyway because it was my frittata and I’d made it and earned it and I was going to eat it no matter what.
For a day of absolute banality in which I have done fuck all – it’s been surprisingly lovely.