December 17, 2011

Peter’s birthday


Fortunately the food was good.  Also the company.  And Peter liked his presents.  He’s polite that way.

            I had a typical Lying Awake Worrying About Unscheduled Plot Developments* night/morning last night/this morning so when the alarm went off I took the pillow over my head away** long enough to shout YOU MUST BE JOKING! and turn it off again, and woke up again at nearly noon to the sound of the postperson banging on the front door.  EEEEEAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGH.  He might be bringing Christmas presents.*** I’m getting pretty good at making a single† fluid dive for both dressing gown and front door keys on my way downstairs. 

            Yes.  Christmas presents.  And strange look from postperson, but I’m used to that.

            Then followed long and bitter argument with my wardrobe.  I may have referred previously to the fact that I like clothes and that while the omnipresence of mud and hellhound hair does constrain me in certain directions I am not going to allow it to turn me into an indeterminate-colour-listless-baggy-sweatshirt woman.  At the same time, I am also lazy†† and one epic battle a day is sufficient.  Today was Peter’s birthday and I wanted a party frock equivalent that I could put on now and wear through till evening. 


            You know the ‘This is the TOTAL GARMENT!  It does anything!  It goes anywhere!  You can wear it as a dress or over jeans!  You can impress the stockholders or—er—hurtle hellhounds!’ advertising line.  Like hell you can.  In the first place, if you’re going to wear it over jeans you probably need it in a bigger size.  This was one of my catalogue sale specials and I did order a bigger size, since there is no way I am ever going to wear this, you know, seriously, but . . . well, it would fit great if it were a dress, I was twenty years younger, and knew how to sashay.  But it’s purple and it has great silly flowers blasting all over one shoulder.  So there began a long wrangle about how to make the wretched thing drape properly.  I was going to wear it.  I had decided I was going to wear it.  I was in a mood to wear it.†††

You're just going to have to guess about the dress part.

At about this point I remembered I hadn’t wrapped the presents yet.  And hellhounds were prostrating themselves all over the floor in attitudes of despair and manifest neglect.  ARRRRRRGH.

            So, anyway.  Moving right along.  Presents. 

There are several books involved. As well as ginger chocolate.

Great minds think alike. This is from one of his kids.

The big rectangular sunflower one is a new mobile phone.  It’s the same size as the standard non-iPhone-style credit-card or undernourished After-Eight mint mini mobile, which is what Peter has now because he doesn’t want anything that calls attention to itself‡ . . . except that this new one flips open and is twice the size of an undernourished After-Eight mint.  The point is that it was advertised as having big buttons!!!!, and while they aren’t anything like as big as they looked in the catalogue and/or on line‡‡, still, they’re better than twice as big as the ones Peter has been refusing to learn to use. ‡‡‡   Er . . . how do we set it up? said Peter.  We ask Georgiana and Saxon when they get here, I said firmly.

            Then the food . . .§

Four salmon and dill blini, triple roasted with heavenly sauce duck legs, and trimmings

You noticed the CHOCOLATE TART? I don't want you to have missed the CHOCOLATE TART.

That's a very nice bottle of claret. Peter likes claret. AND A HALF BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE TO BEGIN. Because he's married to me.

                  Unfortunately Georgiana and Saxon, techno wizards that they are, had left again§§ by the time I found out I couldn’t turn the TV on.  GAAAAAAH.  I mean, it turns on, but it doesn’t do anything else.  I’m trying to remember when I last asked it to do anything but hold up our matching set of Mythopoeic Society lions.  Months.  Generally speaking, evenings, I’m working.  Or singing.  Or even . . . reading.  I don’t think I’ve engaged the TV in an active manner since we had our cable pulled out because we never watch TV any more.  Which was months ago.  Peter, who used to watch cricket, snooker, and American football§§§ occasionally, seems to have forgotten it exists.  Siiiiiigh.  Birthday parties.  They’re bad for you.  If the food had been less great I wouldn’t have been lying on the sofa in a stupor, trying to watch TV.  The hellhounds were very happy however.   Although I’m pretty sure they will consider this a precedent, and tomorrow after dinner. . . .

* * *

* I haven’t got time for unexpected plot developments!  It’s due in six weeks!  It’s really simple!  Mongo saves the universe!  The End! 

** Although Mr Early Riser Man with the crunchy gravel and the three-foot-wide tyres one narrow cul-de-sac width^ from my bedroom window seems to have got himself reassigned to some office that starts later.

 ^ And I mean narrow.  We have a little memorial cairn at the top of the hill to all the drivers who drove up here by mistake and didn’t get out alive. 

*** Love the proliferation of web sites saying, order by 11:59 pm 24 December and we’ll get it to you by Christmas!  —Although we recommend you plan to open said presents rather late in the day, our enchanted reindeer do get tired. . . . 

† One might almost say parabolic.  

†† And always running late. 

†††  I was in a mood all right. 

‡ Like by ringing.  I understand this. 

‡‡ I think they have another line in women’s party frocks.           

‡‡‡ The cottage and Pooka are speed-dialed into his phone book.  What else does he need? 

§ Niall said to me yesterday, I owe you a thank-you.  You do? I said, trying frantically to remember if I might have agreed to any superfluous bell ringing that hadn’t got into my diary.^  Yes, he said.  You told Penelope about that caterer you liked, and we had our anniversary dinner at home the other evening.  It was really excellent.  Oh good, I said, trying to slow my heart rate and unplug the adrenaline booster. 

^ I don’t have TIIIIIIIIIIME.  

§§ An admirably working new mobile phone sparkling in their wake.  They also added their mobile numbers to Peter’s phone book. 

§§§ No, I have no idea why I married him



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