Housekeeper’s Diary

By Alison November 25, 2021 No Comments 5 Min Read

The oddest of nights. Ste so out of sorts, that only a trip to Marks and Spencer in search of their finest Macaroni Cheese and a chocolate pudding could cheer him up and Finley out for the evening, because he does that these days, he goes out for the evening, leaving me wondering if one day soon, I too, might find myself perpetually out of sorts without my lovely boy so permanently at my side.

Suddenly I find myself worrying about my cosy little nest emptying before I’m ready and wondering if it would be awfully illegal to lock my eighteen year old baby up in his room for always and fashion some sort of cantilever arrangement to hoist a tray of food up to him at his whim, and let him out only under the cover of dark to watch American Horror Story with me and pretend I’m not trying to induce a little healthy maternal Stockholm Syndrome.

So yes. An odd night. A headache I am wearing like a hair-band and the living room all to myself as there is football on and Ste has wandered off to watch it. The whole house is horribly warm: the man who is supposed to fixing the heating system is a continual no-show so we have currently got two available temperatures: off or so hot, it must be costing a bloody fortune! Heck, yes. This is who I am these days. I mutter about wearing jumpers and saving ten pence by putting off the hour when I finally indulge myself with a little warmth. I swear I will be washing foil and wearing cats as scarves before we know it.

Yes. An odd night. I have got my feet in a foot spa and The Good Life on the TV, though I am now so decrepit that I can’t actually hear The Good Life over the noise of the spa and I have left my glasses across the room and can’t hobble my wet feet over the rug to fetch them without risking skidding across the room and doing myself a damage, should I give up on Tom and Barbara and decide to read a book instead.

Heavens. What happened to me? I sometimes worry that you imagine that I’m all living room lipstick, bohemian kimono and immaculate house, when in reality, I am mad up-do, scrubbed face greasy with rose oil and feet in a buzzy bowl of magnesium parked in the middle of the living room, to see off these damn restless legs! I have quite forgotten, you see, how to be glamorous and it worries me. I used to think that glamour was a bit like riding a bicycle, you never quite forgot how and now I worry that if I tried to jazz up my face beyond my CC cream, and a swipe of mascara I would end up a bit of Hilda Ogden. With a hefty dose of Gene Simmonds should I get carried away with the black eyeliner.

It’s a sorry state of affairs, this getting old business. My friends are currently in two very separate camps. The deniers. And the embracers. Those who still think they are Madonna in her Like A Virgin Years and the others, who if it wasn’t the antithesis of youth, would happily pull a tartan shopping trolley behind them as they head out to fetch their “messages” and gossip with the man behind the counter at the post office – both sets manging their personal summers with portable fans and furrowed, HRT questioning brows.

It’s bewildering and I find myself straddling both camps (it ain’t pretty) and deciding to be myself instead. The me that is me now. Not the one I wish I still was or the frankly fabulous one I might be next week, but the now me. The one with a hair sprouting from her chin she looks forward to plucking more than almost anything else in her life. The one who knows there is only now. That the backwards and the forwards of life matter not a jot when any minute now her Ste might wander in, in possession of a mid-week glass of Merlot and wild ideas about staying up late to catch the latest episode of Dexter.

The now me. The one abundant with worry because anxiety becomes me now that I have convinced myself that pre-emptive worry shores against my ruin. The one who still adores all that she once adored and fills her day with little joys that otherwise might pass un-noticed. (Chin-Plucking Ladies. Chin plucking!). She who looks forward to her giant son returning home so she can press little kisses on to his ice-cold ears and hear about the slings and arrows of young love, and later cannot wait to crawl under the most divine of velvet duvets in a bed made the BrocanteHome way with a new thriller of the most pulpy-fiction kind.

The now me. Not the yesterday me. OR the tomorrow me. The now me. Making the most of days that tear at my heart and doing my level best to thrive regardless. The now me. She heading into the kitchen to help herself to a gin and tonic confection of the jaffa cake kind (no really jaffa cake type biscuity cakey things that really do taste vaguely like gin and tonic, oh my!) because she managed to say no to a macaroni ready meal and had a salmon salad instead and obviously feels all manner of virtuous and deserving of a slither of indulgence.

So much to be grateful for. The now me. Legs that aren’t doing a marathon by themselves thanks to the power of magnesium. Old favorites like The Good Life. Little birds flying the nest and all.

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