12 October 2003
Tell you what, though - one of the best things about being Me is the way I strain every sinew to make my own life so much more exciting than its natural humdrum tendency would suggest.
As, for example, yesterday, which I must clearly have nominated behind my back to be Domestic Disaster Day.
As I told you, I have harvested my chillies. I have also committed their bodies to the compost heap (a combination of drought in my absence and aphid attack having left them so unhealthy it really wasn't worth trying to bring them through the winter). This left me looking at the windows and the window-sills, all uncurtained by green luxuriance; which sent me running (well, all right, after a week or so it sent me grumbling) for hot water and cleaning fluids. Sticky dead aphids everywhere: ick.
So I clambered up and down the stepladder, I washed and wiped and scrubbed away, and felt happier when I was done. And carried the big glass bowl of filthy water through to the bathroom, and emptied it into the basin, and balanced it carefully on the edge of the bath (my constant moan in this house being that there is nowhere to put anything. Particularly in the kitchen, but it's true in the bathroom also; the two rooms are the same shape, which is long and narrow and triangular, and they're very short of horizontal surfaces). Then I washed my hands, and turned away from the basin, and knocked the bowl into the bath. Where it shattered into a thousand shards.
Some period of cursing later, I fetched dustpan, brush and bucket. I swept the glass shards out of the bath and deposited them in the bucket. Then I did it again, and was still seeing little glinty splinters in the bath. So I went at them with old J-cloths and moistened paper towels, and picked up plenty but still wasn't sure I'd got them all, and really didn't fancy finding one with a buttock when I had a bath that night.
So I came up with this lovely plan, to fill the bath and pull out the plug and let the weight and fall of water flush out any residual splinters. So I put the plug in, started the tap running and went downstairs to empty the bucket of broken glass into the wheelie-bin out in the alley.
And came back into the house and thought, best not forget about the bath, it's got no overflow; but it'll take ten minutes to fill, and Iíve got those books to sort out for the workshop, that'll take five...
So there I am deeply engrossed in these boxes of books, and the next thing I know there's a muted thunder from the kitchen, which is the sound of water plummeting through the ceiling from the entirely flooded bathroom above. And I knew it could happen, because I do things like this all the time; and I knew the devastation that would naturally result if it did happen; and yet I set it up to happen none the less, and I can only conclude that I do this stuff to myself entirely deliberately, in a desperate attempt to drag a little interest into the tedium of my existence.
Either that, or it's another displacement activity.
© Chaz Brenchley 2003
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.