First, the bad news. I am moulting like a sorry dog. I would have said ‘I am moulting like poor Kate Middleton’ but her Hair Of Supernaturalness seems to have recovered from her hormonal lank-and-falling-out blip and it is Back. Which sort of well and truly ends my virtual sistership with her – you know, for awhile there we were both pregnant, gave birth in the same hospital (only a narrow slip road separating her private ward from my NHS public) we both exited St Marys with a balloon tum (with less of the international press photographing mine, it must be said). I live practically next to her palace, and we both have dogs. So I thought I may well just walk past her in Kensington Gardens one day while we wheel our boy babies around, and our dogs would hang out and then we would talk about our thinning hair, shrinking bosoms and our jeans that only do up if you hoist the excess skin up and over the waistband and I would give her sage advice about getting your babies to sleep all night and stuff. (HA! Thats when you know this is a work of fantasy).
But she is all back-to-normal, and her hair is thick and full and un-grey, and it mocks me. Mine is everywhere other than on my head, and quite a few of the bastards are grey.
But! There is a flip side. My excess hair can be collected up after a wash, in darkened clumps, and be twisted together to form small zoo animals. Everything from a monkey to a warthog can be fashioned, with a little imagination, and be stuck to the wall of the shower to wait for Mark to come and play the Guess Which Zoo Hair Animal Am I? He has never liked this game though. He says it grosses him out. I say, let’s make lemonade from the lemons on my balding tree, or something to that effect. Besides, he has been making some dark mutterings about me going back to work, and so, taking my Hair Animal idea further, I can’t see why I couldn’t pour some perspex onto my various crafted menagerie and sell them as brooches on Etsy. I am sure the Victorians did something similar, or the Crusaders, or something.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We went to Devon again, and were the only people in the cottages and so had two heated pools and one jacuzzi to ourselves. We went to the beach and lost Noah, and to the Barnstaple Pannier Market and lost Cassper, we ate Nepalese curry, lots of pasties, duck, ham and lots of oak-smoked cheddar. There were no badgers this year, but I did find a dead toad:
Here is the pool which turned my Alex Monroe jewellery black and gave me a tiny bit of eczema but was warm and comforting like a bosomy womb:
Putsborough Sands before Noah got lost and had to be rescued by a bemused family:
We drove everything dawn in the Bad Air-Polluting Landrover (we discovered a little too late that driving it incurs a daily £100 fee in central London…ahem) and fitted everyone in, presents and Christmas food and clothes and towels and baby paraphernalia, and little extras like four gingerbread house packets to make up and glue together and decorate with sweets. I tried to get all four boys to do it but was a bit casual with the icing mix (and used bloody fair-trade golden icing sugar which turned the ‘snow’ into a very urine-y yellow) and it was nearing dinner and my jumper was making me itch and I was hot and rushed and they all fell apart spectacularly and this is how the gingerbread houses all looked:
Like a building site. I may as well have stomped on the packets in IKEA and be done with it.
Anyway, I want to write more, but the dog has eaten Otis’s last dummy and everyone seems about to start crying. I am not, because I spent the day in Selfridges returning some stupid boots I panic-bought on Christmas Eve and then wandered the floors buying stuff with the refund, and so I am officially Above It All, still adrift in the Sea of Consumer Euphoria and suchlike.
Happy New Year to everyone, and enjoy the break – especially you little summery New Zealanders, all smug in your tents and covered in fresh freckles. And I leave you with this tiny photo of our Christmas lunch. x