Doesn’t work like that

I meant to say some things. I meant to say lots of things. But I seem to have broken the special net on a long pole I use for trawling dead leaves out of my subconscious, so let’s go with some things.

Item: HFF Wifey (hello!) asked me about Vallombrosa. I’m sorry to puncture any Bhuna-fuelled bubbles, but growing up in vine country is not all it’s cracked up to be. That sunshine thing? A little effing much when it has been 37 degrees Centigrade every damn day for a month, the well has dried up, you haven’t been able to wash your hair for ten days, and you and your sister are walking to the spring twice a day with bottles just to fetch drinking water for five people. And then you still have to do all the boring tedious farming things involving stupid uncooperative live-stock and manure and being bent over double in the kitchen garden thinking your brains will be cooked to tablet but you have to pick the tomatoes right now as the grocer’s van will be here at six… Then it’s Autumn, and it rains and rains and rains and the mud is ungodly and the sheep escape. You’re picking potatoes and walnuts and apples and you fall out of a tree and your mother puts the garden fork through her foot. And then it snows, and you have to pick olives in the frost, 2000 trees, by hand, before it thaws and the rain comes back and rots the crop. And then it’s spring, and it rains again, and the sheep all go and give birth in it and the kitchen is full of half-drowned lambs. And then the heat comes back…. So no. I wouldn’t advise moving to Italian vineyards unless you are HORRIFICALLY wealthy and can afford staff and a pool and air-conditioning and mains water. I am very jaundiced and also very firm about this. Not idyllic. Britain nicer. Really. I swear. Even if there is no such thing as an edible tomato in the entire island.

Item: My Friend Who Knows Who She Is deserves an honourable mention, for calling me the day I posted the Post of Gloom (ooh, over a week ago now. I am evil-bad scatty these days) just to, you know, talk to me. Because I sounded in need of a talk. Which was perfectly correct, and is perfectly adorable of her. You know who you are – thank you.

Item: H’s toe is so much better now. It’s, get this, it’s the same size as the other one. Not all the bruising has faded yet, and it still aches at the end of a day, but he did actually break it so this is normal. And better than normal. Hurrah!

Item: I woke up on Sunday and realised I felt better. Part of this must have been finishing the bloody case study, admittedly. But I definitely felt… better. Less angry. Less miserable. Less hopeless. Before we go mad and start firing rainbows out of our arses here, I fully admit I am still pretty pissed off I had a miscarriage, I still look away from pregnant bellies because they fill me with wistful yearning – and that can thoroughly interfere with crossing the street in safety and comfort – and I still feel narked and painfully left out during out-breaks of baby-talk. But my horrid little damp cave of bat-droppings is not really me any more. I think I might go and park myself somewhere up an alp, and look superior, serene, and unreachable. Also – Aphra – Duchy Originals, obviously

Item: And therefore Satsuma and the Cute Ute (heart-shaped! The dinkiness!) are ganging up on me. I started spotting a couple of days ago, and feeling the dull herald of cramp. Ah, I said to myself, the mere mention of the word ‘provera’ has set things in motion, I see, and I will soon get my period, and probably have to take clomid at the InLaws, and accidentally become an avatar of Beelzebub at the tea-table. Whereapon, Cute Ute took it back, and has gone off to visit my diaghram again. Satsuma is either practicing cross-stitch, or sniggering herself silly, for what, oh what, was that all about then? Was the cramp ovulation pain? No? Why not? Why spot? Why not spot now? And my temperature dropped very very sharply. It normally only does that during Arctic winters or just before I ovulate. Or, occasionally, for fun. This of course will initiate a few days of frenzied temperature-taking, cervix-checking, and second-guessing. And at the end of that, no doubt, I will be popping the provera as, really, it has been seven weeks and while I know Satsuma has once or twice gone twelve or thirteen weeks before surprise! Eggs!, I can’t be arsed with this.

Item: Aha! But there is another hand to be on! Do I really want any kind of two week wait to coincide with finishing my dissertation? Do I? Because that’s what I seem to be asking for. And just because driving myself to the brink with deadline pile-ups worked last time, doesn’t mean I care to try that again. And I seem to have found yet another hand – I don’t really want to go too much longer without a period. I still think Cute Ute needs a good scrub-down, whatever contrariwise thoughts she may have on the matter.

Ummm, is that it? For the moment. Until I’ve brought a length of metaphorical bamboo (grows nicely in mixed plantings! Never needs watering!) and sorted the special net out.


3 responses to “Doesn’t work like that

  • Katie

    I think I know what you mean about being “better” – it’s when it’s not all downs – there may not be many very high ups but at least there are some, though the downs may come again.

  • Aphra Behn

    *delivers a selection of agonisingly expensive Dutch Original

    Chocolate covered lichen

    Chocolate covered biscuits

    Chocolate covered coffee beans


    Coffee covered coffee – the sort with good caffeine, obviously*

    Incidentally, talking of the madness of dukes, did you know that HRH has the National Collection of Hostas which – given his predilection for organic gardening – means he must also have the National Collection of Snails.



  • Hairy Farmer Family

    I Did Not Know about hostas and snails. That’s why they keep bloody disappearing! The hostas, that is. If they were eating the snails, I’d be profiting somehow.

    Rooting for Cute Ute and Satsuma. Beyond expression, I am rooting.

    Have cogitated on your words: re Italy. Have battered myself with them. Have really tried to pop the dream of the baking vineyard. The hillside sloping to the blue, blue, sparkling blue sea. The small rustic jug with a cool measure of home-produced medium sweet white wine. The bowl of olives – even though I detest olives, I feel they belong, as the olive groves just the other side of the wall climb away into the hills. The vines climbing over the pergola. The deep shade around the sunlit atrium pool. The little slave boy who is reading aloud from Columella…
    Ahhhhh. I see the problem! I’ve timeslipped a couple of thou.
    THAT’s why the bubble won’t burst! It’s my ancient happy-place! I knew there must be a reason for the blind-clingy-don’t-take-my-vineyard-from-me!

    How on earth did an English rose end up in an Italian field?! And when is the book appearing?

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