February Day Eight


“It’s not all beer and skittles”. That is the pearl of wisdom from my ‘proverbs’ calendar for today. A little 365 calendar that I picked up, in January from the dollar shop. The calendar makes me laugh, because, quite often, the proverbs don’t make any sense at all, or are poorly written. But I feel a sense of camaraderie with the poor little person in China, cobbling together all these quotes and phrases, in  a language foreign to them, hoping that they’re getting them right. Sometimes they are written so oddly, or translated so badly it is almost like it’s a joke, but it is obviously not. Its the small things in life that amuse me, quite clearly. Anyway “It’s not all beer and skittles,” is actually quite appropriate for me, cos today I awoke with what can only be described as a mofo of a hangover. Yuck. Hangovers are not what they used to be. Back in my youth, my salad days, hangovers were so much more pleasant. Why? Because no matter how hungover I was, that wretched feeling was something that got to be indulged all day. You were free to mope the day away, lounging on the sofa, eating nothing but crap food, watching vapid TV, vowing never to do it again. But fast forward to the present. I’m a mother of three young and gorgeous children. And kids and hangovers do not mix. You are not allowed to indulge that hangover. You have to ignore the beast. You must remain perky and upbeat and make sure your kids have fun. It is on days like this that you are reminded of the tick-tock of time and how acting with giddy abandon on a Friday night, just because you can, while fun, is not fun the next day. Ahh well.
So instead of couch surfing the day away, shovelling a family sized bag of dorritos into my dehydrated self, I was on party duty. Chaperoning my youngest to a birthday party. To one of those noisy, boisterous places, overflowing with kids hyped up on fizzy drinks and cupcakes. All of whom scream with ear-piercing delight as they hurtle through ball pits and super whizzy slides. Birthday party duty is something that is hard work to do with a clear head, never mind a fuzzy one. But now the chaperoning is done and all three gorgeous, but rambunctious kids are tucked up safely in bed. So now, I’m sat, ignoring the winter Olympics, which ‘himself’ is watching intently.

So how should I wrap up this beer and skittles day? Fortunately in the place of creeping mindlessly on Facebook, I’ve rekindled my passion for devouring books. Today I started reading ‘The Quarry’ by Iain Banks. He was a Scottish writer, of much acclaim, although sadly, he passed away from gallbladder cancer last June, 11 days before the book’s publication. So it’s his last book. I’ve had the book since July and I’ve been saving it. Because I know it’s his last book and because Banks is one of my own literary heroes (I met him in 1995 and what a lovely chap he was). So I didn’t want to just hurtle through it. Books are wonderful things though, aren’t they? It is amazing to me, how some books, from the first page can grab you, pull you into their current, until  just a few pages in, you’re swimming alongside the characters, in their world, with them. Banks had that remarkable gift, to write in such a way that his characters popped off the page and became real.


Above is a link to the book, including many reviews. If you’ve never read any of his books, may I suggest you dive into one of his books too? However, I strongly advise not doing it with a behemoth of a hangover. It’s not all beer and skittles, after all.

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