Firstly, an update on SPIDERWATCH.
One week on and I report my findings as follows:
CONKERS, SCHMONKERS! Now I've got a basket full of conkers in the bathroom, AND a houseful of leg-wealthy friends.
Any other spider-scaring tips are now being considered.
In other news, it has been a weekend of extreme domesticity.
I know what you're thinking; ironing with a safety harness? Bungee hoovering? Parachute laundry? No, this was on a considerably more dare devil theme ... Home improvements.
My parents came to stay and arrived with a list of jobs and a power drill, and we've been flat out. Mirrors and pictures have been hung, shelves have been reinforced, electrical sockets have been installed, light fittings have been removed, and wall paper has been stripped. I'm thinking of having a secret tunnel installed from my house to Homebase. It's all good stuff. It all needs doing, and I'm not good at galvanising myself without some encouragement, so I'm grateful that they both throw themselves at tasks with what can only be described as "gay abandon".
However. I have walked out of rooms and walked back in ten minutes later to find them altered in some way. I have had opinions that I haven't asked for and haven't had opinions that I have asked for. I've been told I should get things I don't want and shouldn't get things, I do want. Things I like have been rubbished.
I held my tongue. It's the best way. The truth is that it doesn't really matter to me whether there is a blind at the back kitchen window or not and it doesn't matter whether the mirror is central over the radiator. What I mind is feeling like a visitor in my own home.
That sounds terribly churlish, doesn't it? It would be grossly ungrateful to shout "stop weeding my garden. It's my bloody garden and they're my bloody weeds". It would be counter-productive to stand at the top of the stairs screeching "I'm thirty fucking two! When will you consider me old enough to make my own decisions?". I know this, and that's why I don't say anything about these gripes and irritations. I smile and mutter my pleases and thank yous, and I say "I think that's straight" even when I know it's not, and "yes that looks better" even when it doesn't.
Mine is but to keep the peace.
Because, however much they drive me to the edge, I am enormously grateful for the help they have given me. I don't just mean now, but always. They taught me to walk, cycle and drive. They drove me to nursery, school, university, and to my first flat in the murky depths of north London. They came to school nativities, concerts, prize giving, graduation and my professional diploma ceremony. They are my most constant thing. Not everyone can say that, and I try very hard not to take the stability that they have given me for granted.
So it doesn't seem much pay off to hold my breath, count to ten, and wait until they've left to cry a few tears of frustration, does it?
house of eels: july 2017*
1 week ago