An assortment of not much

I have been running! With Kerry, faster and faster, and we are going to run in a race in January and it is all very exciting. Two weeks ago, running along Bayswater Road in the dark at 6:20am, I fell over and did this:

That’s a hairy knee:


That’s an elbow and forearm (Instagrammed and filtered for your viewing pleasure):


And no filter:


Have you ever seen a bruise more spectacular? Several friends suggested arnica, but I was like NO WAY, CRAZY LADY! I was all about letting this bruise come into full, painful flower, so I could dazzle everyone with my awesomeness and high pain threshold, and get some sympathy and attention while I was at it. You got to take it where you can get it, frankly. So I was at a Parent Council meeting last Thursday, and I was pushing up my sleeve, talking quite a bit about ways to get the community involved in the school, and kind of gesticulating with my damaged arm, wildly, pathetically, and no one was noticing, even though under the fluorescent lights my arm was fifty shades of grey and purple and yellow, and so at the end of the meeting, I pointed it out to the Council.

Have you seen my bruise, everybody?

And they were all like, yeah, you put it on Facebook and Instagram. And then I thought that maybe I could do with a job.


That’s an excellent drawing of an anxious skeleton that Ned did, and I post it here to show his skill with a pencil, but also to show the inner state of my mind when I remember that I turned 37 in October and I forgot to carve out a career for myself other than having babies. That was never the plan, and now I am getting a bit too old to be a coffee girl on a documentary set or an intern at a newspaper. So I went running this morning, and I was thinking about the day ahead, which is mostly about wiping things clean, and wondering why I was such a short-sighted fool, and where my ambition went, and actually, why I didn’t ever really have any in the first place. And then I thought about my failings as a parent, and then I had to run faster to exorcise the anxiety skeleton that was threatening to EAT ME.

I don’t know. It’s a very privileged, middle-class, boring non-problem to have. In any case, Kerry and I ran 5.41kms in 32 minutes, so something worked.

Other Things To Worry About

I have a sun-damaged bit of skin on my nose and I will have to have that bit biopsied and then cut off, and have stitches and a scar. Which is hard for a terribly vain person. And four of our friends are returning to New Zealand and Australia over the next two weeks, and you think OH NO! WE SHOULD LEAVE TOO! and the panic rises up and makes you a bit sweaty. And yesterday a lady told me off for not watching Otis as he unsuccessfully tried to squeeze his head through some railings.

There has been a lot of rugby on the weekends over the last month, and that has made for many cranky parental fights and small children getting in between the tv and the couch and much shouting and solo parent outings and much, much resentment. It all culminated in a game last weekend at one of the many farewells we have been attending, where the early part of the evening was spent in a pub, in a room, with all eyes on the screen. I cannot even fake it. I was all about the prosecco and the food, refilling glass and plate with alarming speed. I don’ t think I spoke to anyone, not that anyone would have been able to tear their eyes away from the match. Here is me, many glasses down, many yorkshire puddings down, playing with my phone and singing softly to myself, making shapes with the food with my teeth, crying a tiny bit and wondering if I should show my bruise at half time:


There’s a whole roomful of lonely, right there. So hours later I ended up outside, in the cold, in a tshirt, next to a teepee, doing a slight sway and telling the smokers that I REALLY REALLY admired them all. It was a bit embarrassing. There is probably some sort of lesson here, about sport, and prosecco, and wearing jackets outside in the autumn, but I am not quite sure what.

Here are shots of the children stuffing their faces on the streets of W2:




Hot chocolate, crepes, and spanish chocolate and churros (an alarming chocolate theme, I notice). Casper has been getting into lots of trouble at school for his distracting behaviour, mostly  tickling other kids and dancing at inappropriate moments, with an afternoon of Tourette’s style compulsive shouting out of the word “PIZZA!” thrown in. And so I take some comfort from that fact that, even though we have some “issues” to deal with, they do eat and sleep, although it may be a little heavy of the cocoa side of things. Still, take it where you can get it, as I said before.

And here is Otis, climbing through a tunnel, carrying off a scarf expertly and nonchalantly. I think we can all learn something from that guy.


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7 Responses to An assortment of not much

  1. Leanne says:

    You’re my hero. Is there room for me too on that pew of mislaid ambition? I imagine my face underneath all my jowelly bits to have the exact same expression as that picture that Ned drew. That bruise – ooooowwweeeee! The lesson for you there is to not run. At all. Ever again.

  2. That is one magnificent bruise. What a shame it’s winter and you can’t nonchalantly flaunt it all day long. Magnificent children too. My boy also had a tourettes afternoon in school recently, he arrived home and told me that he wasn’t allowed to say Penis any more. (See? it could be worse.) Oh, speaking of which (it being worse) I will be cough-splutter-blugggghover40bluuugh very soon. You’ve got years to catch up.

    • theharridan says:

      Oh, penis trumps pizza, I’ll give you that. And 40! Who would have thought we could be so old? I hope you are going to have a weekend in New York to properly celebrate. Anything to dull the pain of the dawning awareness that we are older than we ever thought possible. Argh

  3. Retz says:

    Don’t you dare think about going “home”, wherever that is. You have the perfect life exactly where you are kiddo. Take it from someone who has done it and hates it and regrets it almost every day! Stay right where you are and enjoy every moment – cold, rainy weather and all! Biggest love always! L

  4. alisoncross says:

    Those are fantastic bruises – you should be very proud of them! And that time too – well done. It’s never too late to have a career. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself. But my mother tells me that I’m a bit close to retirement age to start worrying about having one now. 🙂

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