Wednesday 14 March 2007


A sad day. Last year, on a beautifully glorious sunny spring day like today, I would have been in some green space with my little one. With some friends, with picnics and flasks, with bikes, trikes, buggies and gossip. Lots of gossip. Now my little one is institutionalised. She spends her days inside. As do I. Not even venturing out for a smoke. Twenty-one days is an awful long time. Three weeks and not one single little puff has passed my lips. Roll me a fag and call me a liar. But I still wouldn’t smoke it. Not now.

Have given up the patches as well and am missing the stimulating nature of nicotine. I liked the fact I used to be able to stay awake past 9pm. Have made deliberate effort tonight to not live the life of a slug – double dose of coffee helped.

So pleased one of my new year’s resolutions is finally holding. Even though I didn’t quite get into the swing of it til February.

Another reso was to finish the hallway. We’re on the home straight having made it down to the ground floor. It’s a kinda slow old business, what with life, the kids, He-who-must-be-adored saving London so much, etc etc. When I’m not sleeping I could pick up a brush. But have learnt after numerous demonstrations and lectures that my brushstrokes do not meet the high standards of He who normally wields the brush. Is three years to decorate a hallway excessive?

When it is all done and dusted (hardly likely) I’ve decided the long narrow space needs some reflection. Not the sort that questions life – just mirrors. And not just to widen the hallway and get rid of that Alice in Wonderland feeling. I have another motive: the strictly strategic reason of me saving face.

One morning, a while ago, in my former, smoking life, I was carefully beautifying myself with precision application of expensive cosmetics (ie 2 minute slap attack) when I was called away on a peace-keeping mission. Some time later (much later) that very same day I happened to briefly catch my reflection. All was not well in the face department. It took a few moments to work out. My averagely freakish appearance is usually enhanced with the magic of a mascara wand. This was a tad more tragic. I’d only got as far as applying mascara to one eye. Freaky one eye was disappearing into the back of my head whilst the other was swollen wide with long lashes. Worse was mentally counting all the bastards I’d bumped into during day who’d not mentioned it. What’s worse – them thinking that’s normal for me or just not noticing?

So far I have one small mirror hung quite near the front door. The recent sunshine – much as it is welcome and lovely – is not kind on the reflection of faces like mine, past the first flush of youth. Despite the position of new mirror, am still failing to remember to check my appearance before leaving. Plan to line the entire length of hallway with mirrors of all shapes and sizes in the hope that one will catch my unmascara-ed beady little eye.

I now wonder – those references to my being pale last week - could I have got disturbed when I’d only got as far as the base coat? Too grim to contemplate.

My bed beckons.

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