Friday, 6 August 2010

Bad Housekeeping

Am supposed to be catching up with all the essentials tonight: tackling heaps of laundry, and sorting out the unsorted piles of paperwork. The dirty washing I can deal with, but the teetering towers of bills, etc, are driving me to distraction. Literally. Every time I look at them, I immediately find something else to do, eg investigating the new boden autumn catalogue, answering the telephone to random cold calls from credit card companies, eating another flapjack, wondering how I will learn to use the television remote control, when neither of my sons are available to change the widget from play-station thing-y to the correct setting (whatever that might be).
Edna O'Brien said August Is A Wicked Month (and what a sad book that was; too upsetting to re-read), but I think this time of year can be oddly silent. I like the quiet London streets -- although I was surprised to see three Chinese tourists walking along my suburban road this morning, carrying cameras (why Crouch End?).
The garden is dried out and wilting -- a sorry state after the glories of June and early July -- even though the skies have turned overcast. An invasion of mosquitoes has taken me by surprise; as did the discovery that I don't entirely like Nancy Mitford's 'Wigs on the Green' (very disconcerting to read a Mitford novel that doesn't delight).
I am fighting the urge to go to bed at quarter past nine -- surely too early for a grownup? But sleep seems far more appealing than the prospect of tidying my study.
Grey cloud and light rain forecast for tomorrow. At least the dull weather will provide no further temptation to abandon paperwork.
Oh dear, apologies for drab and dreary blog. By way of recompense, here are the things that have brightened up this week, aside from the flapjacks.
1. Tom Hollander in 'Rev'. (Hope this link works, for anyone who hasn't yet seen it).
2. The Shooting Party on Radio 4, from the novel by Isabel Colegate.
3. Pleasing new trousers from Gap.
4. Beatrix Potter's 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice'... I've just re-read my treasured childhood copy, complete with illustrations that form a mirror to the past, to the doll's house I shared with my sister; with such eerie symmetry that it seems almost as if they have fallen out of a dream.


Knitting Out Loud said...

Wonderful post! Beatrix Potter is always cheering. I find sunshine helpful in tackling bills. Also paying bills online.

kairu said...

I'm distracted, too, and your blog is a moment of quiet in the noise of my everyday life. My parents are in town, disrupting my schedule and the book-scattered chaos of my large-for-one-person apartment. My kitchen is littered with scraps of granite as we try to do a quick remodel. Sheafs of parchment-colored paper are stacked on the piano, lined with rows of the Chinese calligraphy my mother practices each afternoon (taking over half of the dining table with her black felt writing surface, inkstones, brushes, and water bowls). The sky is hazy, promising rain for the weekend.

But there are giant blueberries from the farmer's market, bigger than my thumbnail, and two spidery branches of purplish lilies, like chandeliers. And Sunday we will head out to the mountains, for a brief family escape, and I remind myself that I am happier when my parents are here.

Justine Picardie said...

Lovely messages, thank you. Still no sunshine for paying bills, but daylight far better than darkness for paperwork, and will remember that in future, thanks to Knitting Out Loud. And Kairu, your description of your parents' visit is as perfect as a good short story.

Anonymous said...

August means brambles and I prefer strawberries and raspberries.Bring back June and July.

Justine Picardie said...

I quite agree. My garden has been overtaken by prickly weeds.