Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Playing House

Schedule for the day:

8.15 Breakfast
9 am Check arse for poo
10am Nap
11am Check arse for poo. Change into day clothes. Have snack.
12pm Play time
12.30pm Lunch
1pm Check arse for poo.
2pm Nap


This is not my timetable you understand. I do not have Amoebic dysentery. Or narcolepsy.

It is my nine month old niece's timetable. Or to be more precise, her mother's.

Christ alive.

SbH has toddled off down to Antibes to look for work on a boat where he will no doubt develop a revolting tan and possibly fall in love with someone else, although he assures me not.

Meanwhile, once again, it is that limbo time between seasons. The dead-end job search to fill the empty weeks has begun. To save me from the certain insanity of returning, sans SbH, to the sticks, my Dad and wrinkly lady friend, I have moved in and am lodging with BB2.1, The Sister in Law and Baby. They have a lovely new house and are the very picture of modern contentment and family bliss.

I watched them going about their lives yesterday evening. Cooking. Doing DIY. Checking the baby's arse for poo. They were always a harmonious couple and now they have developed a family rhythm. It's very soothing to be around. Sort of comforting and reassuring.

After the tumult of last year; the grief, the injury, the lost in spaceness of it all, living here, I get the overwhelming sense that everything is going to be alright.

But, as delightful as it all is (particularly looking after my niece after not seeing her for most of her young life) the thought of creating such a set up for myself just doesn't seem plausible.

When you choose a seasonal lifestyle, you choose uncertainty. Upheaval every six months. Or, as I like to call it, a fresh start. You eschew the safe option and as a result you spend quite a lot of your time telling people what you intend to be doing soon, rather than what you actually are doing. Which makes you sound like a dreamer, or sometimes even a no-hoper. At the very least, to your friends, who all have steady jobs and homes, you seem like you can't stick at anything.

I have caught up with various old school chums since I got home, and I must conclude it gets harder as you get older. Because your friends, who have chosen the steady, non-black-sheep option are now starting to get established and be able to afford stuff. Like nice clothes and dinners out and theatre tickets. And they want you to come along. But you're always the skint one who's either between jobs or out of the country.

One friend of mine is training to be a surveyor and dating an army Captain. She's really quite formidable. Doesn't take any shit, wears a lot of pencil skirts and makes acid remarks when she encounters an idiot. When I asked her to explain her job to me I didn't understand a single word she said.

Another friend has transformed from willowy-limbed, school-girl space cadet into shrewd, fashionista business-woman with her own jewellery company.

Then there's the stock broker one, and the training-to-be-a-lawyer one and the got-married-now-pregnant one.

A few of them are getting married actually.

What am I doing? Dating a toy boy and doing a dead-end temping job. Clearly making the most of my hard-earned degree. Well, for now... ;oP Coming back from a ski season, it’s amazing how long you can exist between the pages of society. Cobbling together cash from here there and everywhere. Having no fixed abode. Flat sitting. Cat sitting.

It's easy to feel inadequate. Or in some way inferior. But then I remember, it's not as if I couldn't have had that life if I'd wanted it. I was already there, in fact. No one understood a single word I said when I explained my job either. Their eyes would glaze over.

But I had an itch and I had to scratch it. A wanderlust that still burns strong and hasn't been close to satisfied yet. I want to see the world.

I can't help it. Variety is my little vice. Along with chocolate. And a cigarette after dinner....and coke....and sex... and (as BB2.1 puts it) being a slag.