- Search auctions for ‘9ct albert chain’, ‘9ct gold chain’, ‘9ct puffy heart pendant’, and ‘vintage pearls’ on thesaleroom.com. Sometimes I accidentally ‘win’ these, and find I have two days to pay the invoice plus 34% hammer price and VAT, plus another £15 for postage and packing. I am literally dripping in vintage jewellery and I am finding it all a bit of a problem. The pearls are lovely, but I will wreck them and their lustre very soon because of my lavish application of handcreams and perfumes. Take them off, I hear you say. But I desire to be permanently dripping in jewels, especially as I get older and wrinklier and my finger joints get increasingly misshapen, because I think that’s a better look than restraint. I like the more-is-more approach of Iris Apfel, with a touch of Miss Havisham and maybe the ladies from Grey Gardens. So the jewellery must fit my lifestyle, rather than the other way around. The time for ’90s Carolyn Bessette Kennedy-esque minimalism is not now.
- I have also dipped my toes into the matchesfashion and net-a-porter sale for a Pat McGrath eyeshadow compact in pink (though disappointingly Mark says the rosey hues make me look extremely tired/pink eye-ish), two mini Tom Ford lipsticks, another pair of adidas trainers and a Batsheva pearl button ruffle neck puffed sleeve blouse which is part chef, part Lady Di, which is amazing and was only £51. Both sites entice me daily with more reductions and I scroll through like a good consumer but really, that wardrobe of mine is shamefully overstuffed with odd sale buys and so, I should really stop.
- I have been working, so can sort-of pay for these daily packages left under our stairs. I say ‘sort-of’, because freelancers never actually know when they will be paid, and they (if they are me), don’t know quite how much money to expect, and they may also forget that a persistent and by-now utterly mysterious tax bill comes out of their account every 28th which turns the account into a whimpering overdrawn empty online sack of shame. Which means that I can’t actually pay for my precious jewels and ’80s blouse revivals. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
- I have been babysitting Noah, who has been suspended from school for kicking through a wall at school on a dare. I am very happy to blog-shame him about this little incident because kicking a hole in the wall at your school is dumb and vandal-ly. So for the past two days I have been sitting across the kitchen table from him during school hours, sternly bringing him back in line when his attention wanders from his set schoolwork, which is constantly. He has been grounded indefinitely, his phone has gone, he had to have his long fringe cut off because it was enabling his retreat into the world of Floppy Hair I Don’t Care, and he cannot do anything nice ever again, such as sleep-in, which he likes to do moe than anything else in the entire universe. I got him up at 6am this morning to walk the dog while I went into the park for a run, but the bugger didn’t even make it into the park gates before he swanned off back home. He is as motivated as an old wax candle. Which isn’t much. Nice, though, but still.
- Eating out a lot, because when you aren’t working, mealtimes take on a special kind of quality. Lunch feels full of potential – I am in London! I could go anywhere now that I am not chained to my boffice desk and hurting my thigh against the sharp metal bits of the desk! There are restaurants of all kinds right outside my doorstep which is much more fun than a bit of old leftover felafel that has already been refried and represented seven diferent ways! Also, when you bring the baby with you, it is a sensory experience for him, right? so he learns about the world, gets to chat to people who aren’t me, and we get to gobble pizza from Franco Manca or an excellent shakshuka from Cafe Beam – ALL SOLID WINS. I tell myself I must not feel guilty about these frequent culinary adventures because who knows when someone will employ me to do a proper job again? And soon that baby will start nursery and I will lose him forever to the world of Out There.
- Birthday season is upon us, so I have been making cakes (coconut and almond, and butternut squash and chocolate), accepting a stream of Amazon packages, and blowing up balloons. The baby turned three last week, this weekend the eldest turns 17, and next weekend one of the Middles turns 12. We took the baby to an indoor softplay area where he disappeared for two hours, and brought him back to the flat to eat pizza again.
- Attending parent teacher interviews for three kids and only feeling sad about two of them. Which is 33% good news (one of the Middles turns out to be a genius in all subjects and we just never noticed before) while the other two Middles are barely managing to hold a pen. Needless to say, perhaps, that one of these disappointing Middles also finds kicking walls in to be amusing. So there’s a whole load of murky parental guilt and fury around these parts.
- Not applying for jobs because there are two potential ones on the hazy periphery if I play my cards right, etc etc. I did apply for some – features writer jobs, an editorship, a script writer job – but I think I am too old for the cool lifestyle writing positions and too inexperienced for the terrifying ones. Also, my CV is utterly questionable and I am not very strtegic when asked those playbook interview questions. I have a self-righteous and misguided idea that I should be able to just be ‘me’ and answer from my gut rather than learn the rules to this job stuff. Like, can’t you tell I am fun and smart from my chatty, informal approach? Apparently not, according to the one rejection email and the deafening silence from the other applications. Just as well I have a whole list of restaurants to try in my ‘in-between-roles’ time.
- Planning a party. This party will have lots of friends, a big roasted beef rib, goose fat potatoes, a cake or two, and cremant (we are too good for prosecco now but too tight to buy champagne). It shall be on a Saturday and I shall wear something very celebratory. There will be children running around, popcorn everywhere, a few tears and hopefully everyone will leave by 11pm.
- Reading Joan Didion’s ‘Play It As It Lays’, wearing The Perfumer’s Story ‘After Hours’ and ‘Old Books’ (Old Books smells like stale cigarettes, old leather and an unwashed man), pearls (obviously), watching Ozark, Ted Lasso (terrible but oh, so good!), eating felafel (still – they are like the triffids, clearly multiplying in the fridge), listening to the Roberts Radio and finally learning how to stream (mostly Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Dave Dobyn, Cat Stevens and the Moulin Rouge sountrack), drinking negronis and espresso martinis, and selling stuff on ebay to help out the paypal situation. Also booking Margaret Atwood at the Southbank Centre and a little trip to Carcassonne with the ladies.
Example of lunchtime restaurant outings featuring Remi and one enormously amused Amanda, because lunchtime adventures are the BEST:
Happy third birthday to my sweet baby:
An example of over-zealous Murano glass auction buying:
An attempt at corner-scaping (please ignore the phone and charger because they do not fit the colour scheme AT ALL):
The rest of the month I will be hoping beyond hope that I get paid, somehow, and that Noah becomes less vandal-ly and better at handing his homework in. I will be hoping for good job news, a smoother forehead, and less felafel to wade through in my rare lunchtimes spent at home. Wish me luck.