With London summertime positively sizzling and whizzing by at breakneck speed, it seems as good a time as any for a summing up:
A creative summation requires little more than a glance at any one of my ever-expanding 'To Do Lists' scattered randomly about (iphone, laptop, notepads, family calendar, online Google shared calendar (which to my husbands chagrin may as well not exist), uber-cool Japanese diary (luxury gift from the husband), or my current favourite, - barely legible 'mental patient' scrawls on the back of an Apple instruction booklet which accompanied my latest prized acquisition - 'Beat' wireless headphones (the insertion of which not only facilitate the immediate tuning out of unwanted whining, whingeing and all manner of domestic ear pollution, BUT helpfully also double as fetching 24/7 neck candy).
Confession time: undoubtedly the most shaming item on my list is a reminder to collect on a travel insurance claim from seven years ago (yes, I know, but please don't judge, as I blame entirely the Virgin operator who back in 2010, glibly informed me that since the case was now logged I had 'no time limit' in which to claim...something i obviously took literally).
Almost as bad is the reminder to claim for Squit's lost pushchair, which Air Canada managed to lose en route to Canada three years ago (something i attempted to rectify in an almost autistic manner for numerous weeks with countless repetitively futile conversations with disinterested staff sweltering in Mumbai call centres). All efforts culminated in a potential Netflix pitch which saw me increasingly uneasy as I was given a personal tour through an abandoned airline warehouse by a creepy contender who definitely would have made the final cut in a 'Who most resembles a serial killer' pageant (should such a thing exist). The only thing which stopping me from permanently erasing this chore is the fact that were I to actually get the financial compensation we deserve, I could so justify the glorious new trainers I've been lusting after for a few months now...so you see.
Most current I suppose is the reminder to pay our local vet £288 for our cat's triple-whammy of an op this past week (micro-chipping, castration and surprise hernia). Bloody heck. The vet informed me that Ghengis is one of the naughtiest kittens she has ever come across given how the vast amount of administered anethesia appeared to have little effect as minutes after she had sewn up the last stitch he determinedly embarked upon the immediate removal of said stitches decorating his entire underside. For his sins, he has to wear one of those ridiculous cones around his little head for the next two weeks, but if anything it makes him slightly more endearing, and foolish looking enough to garner sky high ratings on comedic value alone.
Of course it didn't help that the day after his op I went to pieces when Ghengis went AWOL for several hours after we had sacrificially deprived ourselves of any relieving breezes throughout this most unusual killer London heatwave, only to discover that he'd somehow pulled a Houdini and escaped where no escape was possible???
All I kept replaying was the vet sternly admonishing me about the need to keep him indoors at all costs, given that any sort of athletic trailblazing over neighbours fences would likely mean certain death due to the likely rupturing of his unfortunate genetically thin-as-tissue-paper stomach muscles.
Squit was somewhat distraught and between bouts of playing with his beloved toy cars would look for him periodically. Dumpie was disgusted, labelling me a 'cat killer' claiming it was all my fault if he was dead (though strangely felt no inclination to leave his online gaming to actually ascertain that his pet had definitely passed into the next dimension). True to form, Egg teared up ever so briefly upon hearing the news later that evening after a gruelling cricket match, but after a single half-hearted garden shout-out, retired upstairs to his bedroom for the remainder of the night in order to brush up on his cubing skills in advance of his upcoming Cube Championship.
The husband, shattered from a hard day at work, returned to find his kids shouting 'Ghengis is gone and probably dead!', his wife manically folding shirts on the bedroom floor feeling like a total and utter loser, merely shook his head (probably adding up the pointless financial costs of such a short pet undertaking), simply muttered something demoralising under his breath about this being yet further proof of our family's inability to lead a 'normal life'.
It was much to everyones surprise later that evening when the doorbell suddenly rang and we found our neighbour clutching our pathetic looking cone-headed kitty, incredulous that he had managed to fit through such tiny trellis holes with his new head gear. As with most things in life, the thrill was relatively short-lived and as we breathed a sigh of collective relief we simultaneously went back to focusing on the biggest cat issue at hand: OUR HOME REEKS OF CAT SHIT.
It would appear that despite the cat eradicating the scurrying vermin problem (they are thankfully now out of sight but annoying appear to have set up shop inside the wall cavity of our master bedroom), the price we pay for the cessation of my phobia is the permanent disgusting stench of our home. No amount of posh aromatherapy candles, room sprays or creative placement of the litter box has managed to slightly dent the ever present smell of poo.
As for me, a life long cat despiser, though still trying to warm to said cat, I've inadvertently stumbled upon a most surprising delight. Every morning I'm blessed with a wake up ritual not unlike a poor man's head massage. The kitty leaps onto my pillow, tangles himself up in my not unsubstantial mane, and in the process of detangling himself, inadvertantly administers a most pleasing sort of head massage not unlike the ones I happily fork out for in Goa. So there you have it...a silver lining. The buzz saw purring is a small price to pay for pleasure, and it's only cut short when the cat is lobbed one handedly off the bed by an irate husband who has woken to rightly ascertain the too close proximity of someone else's butt-hole to his face. Fair enough.
To end on a positive note, I need merely to refer to the jubilantly scratched out 'MUST FIND NEW CLEANER!!!!' to recalibrate my current self-worth. After the best cleaner in the universe quit suddenly a month ago (upon which i immediately rang my sister who also uses her to ascertain that she had also been ditched), I had a regrettable two week trial with a woman my age who clearly felt cleaning beneath her (Don't we all lady?! Don't we all?! Me with my university degree, dreams, as of yet unrealised potential, reduced to spending a huge percentage of every day sniffing male underpants to ascertain whether they're dirty or about to be needlessly laundered again, on my knees at the toilets trying vainly to eradicate semi-permanent pee stains from boys too lazy to lift lids?) and was worryingly way more interested in rifling through my charity bag of fashion cast-offs than hoovering. Things culminated in a rather ridiculous late night texting war which neither of us won, and was only proof that we are clearly both not in a terribly good place at present.
So 'hello again' to whomever you are, whatever you're doing right now, and might I strongly suggest that if life is currently beating you down, try and avail yourself of some wireless headphones as a coping mechanism. I may appear to be just another world-weary female statistic in her middle years, but ear pods inserted, tunes blazing into my weary skull, I'm a force to be reckoned with...and these days, that's good enough for me.