Last week was rather a shitty goddamn week.
Or rather, it wasn’t shit. It was just a full-on one. Very full on. Super full.
Alastair has been off in London for work during the weeks lately, so I am managing a 100 year old home, a job, two little people, and a dog and cat. It is ok when the scales don’t get tipped with further issues, but last week the scale wasn’t only off-balance it flipped off the damn table, exploded into the wall, and turned into a car-chase lawsuit by a hapless passerby who had also managed to see that ad that starts “Have you been injured in an accident?”
It started with the continuing drama of the allergies. I have turned into a giant snuffling, horrible monster absorbing levels of medication that are nearly toxic, all to keep me human. I keep hoping one more pill will result in my ability to rip my clothes off, turn green and bash tanks together (or at the very least to develop some kind of superhero power, like reading minds or climbing up walls wearing a red and blue leotard) but no. I just survive.
We had one mole in our garden. The mole catcher came round, caught him, killed him, and relieved me of £50. The very next morning I noticed a new mole had moved into our front garden overnight. I sighed out and dug out the mole catcher’s business card.
I had to spend two evenings battling with local councils (more on that later) while Melissa babysat the twins. I was exhausted and worn out but it was necessary. Some things were happening that I was not ok with, and although I dealt with them head-on it is, for some reasons, in those situations that I am painfully aware that this is my adopted home country, and I am not a native. The perk is the situation is hopefully headed in a good direction. Also, I learned the word “curtilage”. Turns out it has nothing to do with manicures.
My excess from insurance arrived. Surprise, they had raised it. I now faced a bill of £125, on top of the bill of £104 for an NHD prescription card, which I would need as my allergy medication was going to see me pay easily four times that amount a year. I hadn’t planned for those or the fucking moles this month, so I was delighted at the prospect of paying.
On Thursday the nursery called – Nora had taken ill during the day, throwing up in the front garden. I left work early (exiting one of those “must-do” meetings that had eyebrows raise because I was leaving it). When I drove up to the nursery there was a nursery teacher in the front garden next to Nora, who was passed out cold. We drove home with her puking her everlasting guts up in the car, into a plastic bag which I had the forethought to bring, leaking out of the bottom of the bag in a hole I hadn’t the forethought to check for.
She was fine within an hour, one of those mysterious child ailments that they have and bounce back from. But because she was poorly she had to be home with me on Friday, and a child who is energetic and recovered from illness is not easy to work from home with. I sat with her in the lounge, her watching TV and me working on my laptop. She bounced off to the toilet for a wee, and it was there I heard her shout.
“Mummy!” came the shout, and you can easily pick out the tone of voice your child has. You know when they are calling you because they can’t find their favorite headband versus the sound of you needing to rescue them from the pit of an erupting volcano. This sound was more volcanic.
I hung up on my conference call and raced into the downstairs bathroom, where I saw with horror about a dozen flies crawling out from one of the baseboards.
I buried my face in my hands.
Moving Nora to the sofa, I dialled back into my call while equipping myself with a crowbar from the garage. I got a flashlight, stuck the crowbar under the baseboard, and saw to my horror the delightful sight of two mummifying mouse bodies in there who had apparently had some mouse poison at some point and chose our house as the location to die from it.
The guys on the call asked what was going on.
I explained the flies. All of them immediately asked if I had found any dead bodies. I explained I had, of the vermin variety, and was treated to endless “That’s what happens when you live in the country” and “I can beat that, I had…” type comments. And I confess, my feminist kick-ass self simply thought: Fucking hell, I wish the man were here to deal with this. I really, really wish he was here.
I dealt with the mice. I dealt with the flies. I cleaned up and sorted the baseboards.
That afternoon Nora and I walked Gorby (which has to be done daily, and lately by me as no one else is home). The pollen was high, and my eyes were openly oozing as we walked, making me clearly the Sexiest MILF in a Semi-Rural Area. We ran into a neighbor whom, after salutations, started bemoaning his week. His biggest beef was that his missus hadn’t walked the dog all week.
His wife hadn’t walked the dog all week.
He looked at me, expecting sympathy. Seriously. Crimes against humanity because the dog walking balance was off in the tilt of the married universe.
I went through the catalog of my week. Finances? Allergies? Council meetings? A car that still reeks of puke?
There was only one clear candidate. I mean, really.
“I found two dead mice and an infestation of flies under a baseboard today, and it took me an hour to scrub it down and eradicate it,” I said evenly.
He looked at me. Pursed his lips. Nodded.
“Yup, you win.”
“Oh yes I do, my friend. I totally do.”