My husband has bought a new car. He needed to, because his work truck is diesel and there’s this ULEX charge everywhere we go, and from October I think diesel cars will incur a 12 quid daily charge just for existing.
So he spent a lot of time trawling boring-looking car websites, and sometimes turning the laptop in my direction and flicking through really boring photographs of cars that just looked like different versions of the same kind of boring car and saying boring things about past owners and mileage and I would not even pretend to care and would just keep tap tap tapping away on my own laptop doing actual WORK while he talked to himself. But he did the deed, traded in the evil shameful work truck, and spent all of Friday in Warwick at a car yard doing car-related things that would no doubt have made me really bored and probably badly-behaved.
It came home and last night I sat in it and I said:
“This car looks a lot like an Uber car, but it doesn’t smell bad like your last car.” The last car smelt like milk, warm plastic, and wet wool. No one could ever work out why. Mark couldn’t actually ever smell it because of his complicated sinus issues but when anyone of us got in it, we would have to stick our t-shirts over our noses and Otis would invariably vomit. This car is a shiny white BMW station wagon with quite a few digital-looking screens and some interesting light-effects. It has cream leather seats which I think will be also an interesting thing, as he runs a building company and has six filthy children who tend to throw up in cars. Also a dog who throws up in cars. Not that any of us will be going anywhere in it, as it is a five seater and there are eight of us, plus the dog.
Anyway, our other car is a nine-seater Land Rover, considered ‘mine’, although I rarely drive it and find it a bit of a noisy behemoth, hard to park and too tall to get into the Westfield car park. It would be wonderful in the countryside, and has been useful for our big family, but it is also a diesel and so we need to get rid of it as soon as we can. I suggested we get a small run-around car to replace it so that we can all go somewhere at the same time. I know the teenagers don’t really fancy National Trust day-trips anymore and generally prefer sitting in our airless basement flat alone with their phones than do anything at all with the rest of us, but I like the idea that they could come along if they so fancied it. HOLLOW LAUGH. However, because I was not very encouraging or effusive about Mark’s new car, and after I made some noises about cars only ultimately really being things to get you from A to B as cheaply as possible, Mark says any other car we get will be exactly as I asked for – a cheap crap car. The cheapest, crappiest car he can find. I said fair enough.
He took the shiny new white car to rugby this morning – its second outing. And he called me an hour later to say that someone bashed into the back of the new car on the A40 at the lights. What to say? What to say, indeed. Tis a shame he hadn’t already bought the crappiest cheapest car destined for me and smashed that one. C’est la vie.
Otis turned 8. He asked for a brownie volcano cake with a whole lot of sweets all over it and I obliged. Chuck a few marshmallows on the top, add a bit of fire, and every child’s mind gets blown. Note the mysterious scab on his chin that school has already asked me about:
Here’s a little bit of post-holiday London weekending. I thought these were ducks, but apparently not:
Casper and I. Any excuse for a selfie:
The adorable baby who incidentally uses the word ‘disgusting’ and ‘exhausting’ and has nearly stopped using nappies in the day AND night:
The dog, hoping for some very spicy afghani chicken wrap:
What else? Work is pretty much good fun and I adore my co-workers. Next week we get to meet up again IRL and stay overnight in a hotel that has an actual pool. We will be attending a conference and will have to do a bit of networking which fills me mostly with pleased feelings as I love nothing more than wafting around with lots of makeup on, big considered earrings dangling to and fro, dressed in some sort of overdone statement outfit. The only worry is about shoes. I have man-sized feet at the best of times, and a whole lot of dusty pointy heeled shoes mildewing under the bed. I imagine my feet have only grown in girth and general unwillingness to remould themselves into something not paddle-shaped over our period of Covid-related resetting, so it might have to be a fancy frock and grey Seinfeld trainers. Who will even notice? We will all be breathlessly excited to be unmasked and face-to-face. It’s TOO MUCH FUN TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE.
I read Sorrow and Bliss and it is as good as everyone says. On holiday I read Neel Mukherjee’s A State of Freedom and I was utterly blown away by its beauty and its cruelty. Wonderful. I am now reading Dolly Considine’s Hotel by a friend of mine, Eamon Somers – it’s a jolly good read too. We have the launch party next week, and I will be sure to wear an inappropriately fancy dress. With trainers.
The Snoring Sitch
Still bad. I am setting up a semi-permanent home on the couch which isn’t as bad as it might seem. There’s a lot of air in the living room and I have the entire couch to myself – no baby talking nonsense in his sleep or husband making noises that combine a scrape, a hum, and an alarming gutteral choke. Just the dreaming dog and the possibility of the W2 Wanker – an actual person, so we discovered on Thursday night – spying me on the couch through the cracks in the curtains and flogging one off while I slumber in my perfect silence. Still better than the snoring, I’d say.
One has a lovely girlfriend, one started secondary school and likes it, one started at a new sixth form school and loves it, one got concussed at rugby and might have a head injury but seems ok so far. All generally seem to be happy, so something is working.
Apparently we spend more than 95% of the population does. This was a sad and alarming thing to find out, and we have to make some sort of a stab at a budget. This makes me feel horrified and morally bankrupt. I find talking about money very scary and if we didn’t spend all our money on…food, or cars…I reckon I would go find a therapist to help. But we cannot, because that would be spending money. Chicken and the egg, man.
Thank you so much for photos and laughter and … for being you.
Budgets are grim things. Necessary sometimes however. I suspect you have a larger family than the majority and certainly your crew is hitting an expensive food consumption age so that you are spending more than many others is reasonable. Not easy…. so budget.
Your children are beautiful and wonderful like you.