I don’t know if anyone else gets these but I have been known to hum right into system overload when things get too much for me. Too many changes, too much information, too much worry, too much at stake. Quirky and spirited suitcase kids who need me to receive all their confusion and upset calmly every afternoon. A husband working all hours and my mum too far away.
Tilt! Tilt! Tilt!
Ps. Because of my day job and my life in general, I write these with a few days’ delay. My system is up and running beautifully again. Top speed was reached tonight, enjoying shocking live lols thanks to dear old (so old!) friends. They are a bit older, did I mention that, and fondly remember me as a child (22 years and 5 months of age as I was). I laid eyes on them so young I follow and imitate them in everything. And I love them so!
Contemplate the situation. Seems I kind of have a day off. Also seems I have no computer.
Why is life with technology such an uphill battle?
10.01-12.00 Non-photogenic activities. (So I here’s my favourite plant Rosalie instead.) Feel obliged to unpack the joyous remains of a fun weekend by the sea. Not fun. Kind of gross. As is the laundry. As is blog writing in ugly housewear (way too hot to write elegantly dressed – otherwise obviously would).
12.00 Toddle off to the bakery to buy some good veggie protein with a village salad. Get told off for taking a pic of the bread shelf. Feel stupid.
Feel stupid taking a photo of my lunch, take one anyway. And post it here. There it is.
13.30 Watch Sister Wives.
Don’t feel stupid. Haven’t got a computer and the seaside weekend was a bit consuming actually. And Mariah has recently come out as gay to her five fundamentalist Mormon parents. Five! Fundamentalist! Gay! Mormon!
15.00 Reunited with my tanned rascals on the school yard.
Gather all our courage and ask one boy’s mum if he could join us for pizza on Friday. He can! Oh their joyous little faces!
The new normal. I think we are now living it because days are starting to resemble each other. So maybe I can now show you what life is like on a regular Monday and maybe it will still ring true after a year or two? I wouldn’t mind if it did.
6.40 Out of bed, to the command centre located at the fruit bowl. That’s where all important papers seem to hang out, uninvited. (Different devices also like to charge their batteries there, on top of the avocados. So rude!)
Try to make out my kids’ ever-changing school schedules, can’t see anything. Remember now have reading glasses, put them on. Husband bought them for me after my protests that I couldn’t see his work tweets when he stuck his phone in my face and asked for opinions. Such an amazing present. Can now admire his work tweets so much. Also have little reading lights on both sides. Like the headlights of a car. Can read things in the dark!
6.45 Finally up to speed about who has P.E. today and can start ironing uniforms. Do it on the bed because of the rush, accidentally iron sheets underneath into tight creases. Dang. Meanwhile husband has carried comatose offspring to sofa and disappeared. Don’t know what to do with poor floppy children. Only brought them home at 9.20 last night forchristssake! Weekend by the sea – fun during, painful the morning after. Put on Cartoon Network. Disappear into the kitchen.
7.10 Cartoon Network revived children. Hurrah! But they don’t like the butter because it’s not the same brand they they were used to in Switzerland. Lecture/encouraging pep talk about aquired tastes and angry daddies who detest being late for work. Pack third grader’s backpack, like every morning. I know I said I wouldn’t do it anymore! But 7.10! Butter dispute! Swimming after school! Brother has tennis! Angry husband alert! Where is the racquet?
7.30 There they go. Phew! Follow their departure from the balcony to be absolutely sure.
Then coo at balcony plants. Give water to whoever is looking a bit rough. Coo some more.
Worry about lost youth. Reading glasses! Talking to plants! What next?
Panicky fit of ‘what happened to my youth?’: Put on sneakers and cap and rush out for sporty walk. Should probably run but use 2009 knee problem as excuse as always. Happily stroll around taking pictures with my phone instead.
Getting a bit hot around 8.20.
But what flowers!
And what a light.
9.05 Back home quite sweaty. Type a message to my client asking if they need any writing done. Remember computer refused to start on Friday. Stop typing.
Today there was an earthquake. Deep beneath the earth’s surface, in the tense and strained darkness, something moved.
The tremor was gentle but startling.
We are all playthings for invisible powers more destructive even that those that man has designed for his own use. Some of us trust in building rules and regulations to protect ourselves. Many have nothing except their gods to keep them safe from nature’s scariest whims.
The movers brought in 250 boxes and left. What a shock! Whose is all this stuff? We want to return it! But the truck has already rumbled off. Panic is rising.
Apparently, we’ve been in this exact situation no less than six times in the last 16 years. I can’t remember much about the previous times though. Maybe moving is like childbirth? You forget what it’s like because if you did remember, no-one would do it. And then there would definitely be no diplomats. Nor their spouses. And the latter would surely be very bad.
Saturday & Sunday
Sorting my books by colour.
(Yes, that is indeed Gone With the Wind. I heard it’s coming back to fashion this autumn. In the hipster circles of Berlin everybody is ordering crinolines.)
(Okay, they’re not! But it’s yellow, okay? That’s a very rare colour actually in the grown-up books section! So it’s staying!)
My husband is back at work at the ministry. I’m opening boxes and guffawing tearfully at what we brought. It’s great. I recommend it. Summer in Cardboard City!
My child is hooked onto his gaming system. He is very happy. The other one has been abolished to the mountains. (Not my himself. The grandparents were with him last time we checked in with him.) He’s happy too.
My husband isn’t very happy. He has called upon the Holy Mother of Christ so many times I’m becoming socially very anxious. What if she gets tired of it, appears right here among our boxes and says ‘What is it my children, I heard your cries’, or something kind like that.
Then what? We ask her if she could please flatten some empty boxes? Take them to the garage? Men just don’t think things through sometimes!
But there is progress!
The first night I went to bed with an enormous yellow vacuum cleaner staring at me right next to my bed. I couldn’t unplug the beast from the wall for love nor money. So I rolled around fretting ‘What does it want? What does it want?” until finally hubs showed up.
I was all damsel in distress. He was all valiant, vacuum cleaner taming youth (cough) whom I would now self-evidently marry if I hadn’t already. Romance in Cardboard City! Can’t beat it!
But I was writing about progress – we just found power socket adaptors! They were in nr. 130, Cardboard Row. Now I can plug in and out anything I want. Although then, the microwave won’t switch on. I love how all countries have their own plug and socket shapes. So exciting to discover! (Cries)
Today is a national holiday for the Holy Virgin. (She’s very popular in Cyprus.) So we had our first lunch guests over. Nothing fancy, just takeaway and bakery sweets for some close family members. During lunch, both kids had a fit of some kind. My food got very cold. All in all, it was an excellent idea. Excellent! I should have ideas more often. (Not! Must stop this instant.)
The kids are to start school in less than two weeks. Problem is, they don’t actually, officially have a school to start at. Optimistic, I ordered supplies anyway according to the school’s list. 100 items. That took hours. Meanwhile, hubby was slaving away behind the window, on the balcony. It’s very hot out there in the afternoon. I hope the boys will be really excited and grateful for their school supplies. They were really hard to order.
After the Holy Virgin Day lunch disaster, I took a break from the home-making for a couple of days. Just felt like I needed to. (Procrastinating, you could say. Pre-emptive mental health care, I’d say!) Despite of that (surely not because of that?!) it’s starting to look nice here and there.
After dark the kids and I climbed the stairs to the roof terrace. There was a night breeze and a wonderful view of city lights and the starry sky. To top it all off, they spotted a shooting star. Underneath, aquarium was no more. Neither was Cardboard City. Just a valiant and exhausted man saying Holy Mother of Christ it’s Friday, how will we ever make it through the weekend?
But at least he was saying it in something slowly starting to resemble our home again!
Last weekend marked our 12th wedding anniversary. I congratulated myself warmly. What a brilliant choice I made!
Before the wedding, all those who had been married long said it’s not about the wedding but about the marriage. You’re so right! I agreed. Then fainted over cake options or something similar.
They were right of course. As wonderful as it was, I barely remember our wedding day. Not to mention the cake! Perhaps it was white and made of something sweet?
This marriage on the other hand, it carries me every day. Like today when I’m ill.
There’s someone reading to the kids, who incidentally were born of this union, and he isn’t very mad. Although I’ve been dying on the sofa for three days and the poor man can’t get anywhere near it.
There is no cake anywhere in sight. If there was I would vomit on it.
And I’m telling you all the young August brides of this year, from right here from the corner of my sofa, this is what you want!
This is the true romance of marriage. This is the wedding waltz and the flowers and the blueberry-lavender champagne punch all in one. Someone who isn’t very mad when you are absolutely useless and they can’t get to the sofa.