Fluffy bunnies

“Fluffy bunnies” is a term we use in our household to denote a sudden and unexpected change of direction in the conversation. As an example, imagine you are driving along with your Significant Other, talking about interesting and important things to do with Life, the Universe and Everything. One of you suddenly exclaims “Ooh! Look! Fluffy bunnies!” and points excitedly to some smallish brown mammals in a field at the side of the road. If you are lucky the Pointer will not also be the Driver.

Thus a post will start out musing over fund-raising, Robbie Williams, Muppets and Saturday afternoons then end up discussing the relative merits of the gnarly-buttocked cyclist and feminine beauty routines. If that’s your cup of tea, make sure you are sitting comfortably and I’ll begin.

Last night was the monthly Village Quiz, which Sigoth and I write to help raise funds for the support of said institution. It’s usually pretty well-attended, although last night happened to be a bit thin on the ground. Nevertheless, Much Fun was Had by All. However, last night was also the night the BBC was showing Robbie Williams at the London Palladium singing swing and collaborating with the Muppets. Who could resist? And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, in particular BBC’s iPlayer, I didn’t have to.

So night wore into day and Saturday dawned. Naturally it started with a List. Saturday almost always does in my experience. I had correspondence to sort out, some technology to wrangle, an Anglo-Saxon document to download and a bit of on-line retail research to perform. Once these chores were done I could sit back and relax. Sigoth also got through his list in time for lunch, after which we sat and watched Robbie strut his stuff, and chortled at Fozzie Bear’s jokes, Miss Piggy’s singing, Gonzo’s chickens and Statler’s and Waldorf’s sniping. Saturday afternoon heaven! Did I mention the roaring fire? No? My bad.

So far, so good. The day was going to plan. My list for the afternoon (oh yes, I don’t just have A List, I have Time-Bounded Lists, with deadlines and even, occasionally, risk logs) contained some allegedly pleasant but necessary activities, one of which was to take time out to remove my nail varnish. I know, most people don’t have to put that kind of thing on a list. I do. I’m not very good at the feminine arts, and only recently discovered nail varnish, but I’m enjoying it as a novelty for the present. It’s shiny and pretty and makes a change. It’s just that it takes a bit more management oversight than I would like in an ideal world.

Of course, just when it seems safe to go into the water, the Great White bites you on the bum. I got distracted by catching up on other people’s blogs. I have fallen terribly behind lately, what with Work and Stuff, and I wanted to read what people had been writing while I was away. It was great to pick up the threads again, and I spent a goodly while at it. Some of you have been awfully prolific.  I am ashamed even more by my lack of contribution.

Time went gone by, in its timey-wimey way, and I needed to do other things. My nail varnish slot was past. Well now, what’s a girl to do? In my case it’s sit down and write a blog about it instead of doing the actual thing required.

Bikes in London and CopenhagenThat made me wonder, philosophically speaking, why I am so resistant to spending that time on myself. I like the nail varnish, I actually do, to my utter surprise. I like the fact it has lycra in it, to make it harder wearing and last longer. I amuse myself by thinking about the miracle of lycra and its many functions from adorning my nails to adorning the gnarly buttocks of road warriors on fantastically over-priced bicycles. I mean, how much do you have to pay out to cycle from A to B? How many gears, when you get right down to it, do you actually need for cycling up the High Street? I’m pretty sure three is more than enough. And the clothing! Compare London cyclists with Copenhageners as in this picture. It’s enough to make Gok Wan weep. The English just aren’t very good at style; it probably explains my nail varnish issues. Any excuse.

And so, my dears, I have fluffed my bunnies. I have navigated skilfully from a morning of productive activity to an afternoon and early evening of time-wasting and prevarication. Now I have to cook my mother’s tea and then it’s over to Strictly and Borgen. It’s a question of whether I can multi-task between the tangos and waltzes in order to de-polish.

Do you put off minor tasks for no good reason? Do tell!


In harness

Today I finally bit the bullet and went back to work.

I like my job. It’s unfashionable to say so, but EBL has never been knowingly fashionable. I may once have sported a trendy outfit in error, but I gave it straight to the charity shop so it doesn’t count.

I like my job because I have a Nice Boss who said “Take the week off!” when I mentioned to her about how tired I was from Christmas and mother and so on. The Nice Boss also has a mother, if you catch my drift, and knows very well how tiring it can be, having a mother. Mothers can be tiring, they surely can.

As a mother myself, I am obviously the Exception that Proves the Rule. Apart from flirting with purple in my twilight years (and thanks to a lovely Offspring I am now the proud owner of a new purple dressing gown to lounge about in, in a purple haze. It makes me very cuddly, on the outside at least.) As a mother, I am always delightful and fun and a pleasure to be with and I usually remember the names of the Offspring, although not always.

I genuinely forgot Youngest Offspring’s name one day and called him Stephen. His name is not now, and never has been, Stephen; it doesn’t even begin with S. So I had to ‘fess up that he had an Evil Twin whom we had hidden from him all his life, and who lived in the loft. That was what he could hear moving about at night, not mice as previously indicated, and it explained who stole the odd socks, pens, and chocolate cereal. He should stop blaming Sigoth for any and all of those things. At once.

The end result of that revelation was that he occasionally feels sorry for Stephen and lets him out to play. Every time he is too annoying he pulls a face and says, “But I’m Stephen, mwahahahaha!”.

You might not be surprised to learn that Youngest Offspring, if he survives that long, will be 20 in the spring. At that point all my beloved teens will be 20-somethings. Eldest Offspring will be 29 in the summer. The others fall in between (hence Eldest and Youngest. Do keep up!)

We have been a little economical with the actualité, on occasions, with regards to our Offspring. When Eldest Offspring, who bore the brunt of it but then grassed us up to the younger siblings, was pre-school, we told him the ice cream van was actually a nice music van which drove around playing tunes. Because he only saw ice cream vans parked up to serve ice creams, and so not playing Da Tunes, he fell for it and only found out when he started school. It’s true that we are Slut Parents From Hell™.

In an effort to save humanity the Offspringses have rejected our values, as Offspringses often do, and grown up to be decent, honest and honourable. Oh, the shame.

But today I ignored Nice Boss and logged in anyway because I have to travel on Monday and wanted to Get to Grips with Things before that happened and I couldn’t catch up at all. I think it was worth it. I have spoken to lots of people, mostly about the joys of the Eurostar and the fireworks from New Year, and sorted out training for the team, more or less, and printed off what I need for Monday. I’m shattered. I thought the week would never end. I can’t be expected to work at this pace all the time.

More importantly I arranged the annual service for the boiler, the Aga and the chimneys, which we have every year even though the last time for all of them was in January 2011 because that’s how good I am at prevaricating! In fact I have been so good at it that the Aga engineer has emigrated to Australia and I had to find a new one. Really, all he had to do was say he was too busy. It seems a bit extreme.

Obviously going back to work has meant I can sort those things out. Doing them in the holidays just wasn’t cricket.

I hope your Friday has been productive and you are ready for Real Life to resume.