take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


"Are you going to keep this up for the next four weeks, then?" he asks from the bath, eyebrow raised, as I brush my teeth.

"Hmmm.... probably not. I should be okay for our week in Cornwall," I reply. After spitting out the toothpaste, of course, to aid diction.

When you live in a household where one person has the equivalent of 95 days of paid holiday per year and the other has 25 days of paid holiday per year, simple arithmetic can tell you that you will end up with 70 days of bubbling, overflowing resentment. Even if you consider the Saturday mornings worked during term time and the handful of days of holiday devoted to preparing for the next term.

You see, it's the annual torture that is the Easter Holidays. Big will spend the next four weeks pottering about, relaxing and generally recovering from taking responsibility for other people's teenaged children. Sheesh, when you put it like that, he probably deserves all those days off!

Whilst there is of course an element of sheer childish jealousy in the glum demeanour I adopt when I consider the volume of lazing about which would be possible if I had 95 days at my disposal, there is an underlying philosophical side to it.

My frequent moments of world-weariness often involve the lament: "There's just not enough time". In common with most corporate wage slaves, I spend most of my waking hours doing something to which I am, at best, indifferent. When I'm not either at work or driving to work, I'm doing the things which need to be done at home: cooking, washing, cleaning, shopping, running, eating, sleeping, defecating, wittering on etc. So the things I *really* want to be doing (drawing, painting, making things, laughing, walking, seeing friends, cooking new and exciting things, watching films, reading, playing the guitar, learning the piano, having sex) are crammed into that teensie weensie bit of weekend or weekday evening left over when everything else has been done. Work to live, they say, but what if you don't seem to have time to live the life you crave when you've finished the work?

What still surprises me today is that I (or, for that matter, anyone) put up with this for so long without questioning it. It was only really 3 years ago that I started to realise that this just wasn't good enough. Maybe there's a "disillusionment switch" which is triggered as you pass through the 30 year-old threshold. What exacerbates the situation for me is the somewhat morbid consideration that, if I were to follow in the footsteps of my (late) parents, I'd be gone in somewhere between 10 and 26 years' time, and that's if I don't get run over by a bus in the mean time. I do have to wonder how best to use that time and my current lifestyle just isn't cutting it.

But until I've travelled back down that snake just to the right of the corporate ladder, I must make do with my 25 days and let Big get on with watching the cricket and playing Civ without gritting my teeth too violently.

I'll get there.

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