It's been three long months of hiding out in my spare room hunched over the laptop like a Victorian-era factory slave frantically bashing out 150,000 words for a 'self help' style of book due out in Jan-Feb next year.
The irony of it all hasn't been lost on me. Writing up successful case studies, the secrets behind happy people, life-changing decisions and statistics that backed up my claims were all typed up whilst I was clad in ever-expanding elasticated tracksuit pants and ugg boots. Sections on healthy living, eating well and exercising properly emerged from yours truly, who was inhaling chocolate like Ventolin at a Star Trek party.
Despite this, my tight three month deadline was achieved and I have the arse of a SUV and the complexion of a decidedly chunky Goth to prove it. What I don't have is anything 'real' to hold or show for my gorilla-at-the-keyboard efforts. Every time a chapter was completed, I'd print out a single - and only - copy of it via my bubble jet, using up black ink that seemed to be expensive than a fistful of saffron threads. My blood, sweat and words were then emailed to the editor and all communication done via phone or cyberspace. It is hard to believe that what I've written in my coffee and choccy stained third bedroom with Dogadoo at my feet is going to equate to a published book in a few months....
Anyhow, Love Chunks could obviously sense this feeling of relief/anti-climax/impending exhaustion/disappointment/exhilaration swirling around me more maniacally than a fart in karate class. He hugged me and said, "I've put some champagne in the fridge - the good stuff. Until we get to take a holiday later in September, let's have a drink to celebrate your achievement."
I was all for it. He made us a hearty dinner of rosemary baked potato wedges (with generous dollops of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt), pan fried scotch filled steak with a peppercorn crust, steamed fresh sweetcorn and greens. Heaven on a plate; especially when eaten wearing pyjamas in the kitchen and not dolled up in a noisy glass/chrome/cement/wooden ponce cafe where the waiters are too cool to serve and it is always too loud to speak.
The champagne slid down like fresh mountain air, my body greedily clamouring for more. It was only 7pm but I was singing, floating, laughing..... Sapphire cocked her head at me sideways in puzzlement, noting, "Hey Mum, you're really red in the face."
More more more, my taste buds and fizzed-out brain chanted. Soon, after indulging myself further, I found that packing the dishwasher was a hilarious experience: as was burping out entire phrases from 'Black Adder' and dancing around the bench with Dogadoo up on her hind legs. Sapphire decided to retreat to her room for further Harry Potter reading and respite from an increasingly erratic mother.
Suddenly I remembed my promise to Sapphire to invite her friend Ellie over the following night for a sleepover. I was humming along the alchohol highway quite nicely, wondering just why I no longer hit the sauce as hard any more these days. I felt younger, funnier, stronger, cleverer and up for a B-I-G night. It seemed the perfect time to phone Ellie's father before my brain cells called it a night.
Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring: "Yooge! Yooge, baby! YOOGE! How the hell are you? .........No, it'shh me, Sapphire'sh mum. Sapph wantsh to know if Ellie wantsh to come and shtay at our plashe tomorrow night....... What? Oh yeah, Love Chunkshs and I are reshponshible parentsh..... - whoopshy, hang on, the dogsh's jusht barfed up a bonio in the pantry - where wassh I? Oh yeah, we'll be able to handle anything ashoshiated with her shpeshial needsh...."
Eugene seemed surprisingly cautious, but then his need for a child-free night obviously got the better of him so he agreed to let Ellie join us.
Clang! Clash!! For some reason, I couldn't hold two dinner plates together without them bashing together like ceramic cymbals. The sound appealed to me, so I did it several more times on purpose and decided that the effort of bending down to load the dishwasher was more than I was prepared to make. Why not fling them in from several feet away instead? The drawer was eventually kicked shut with a clatter and my champagne-soaked synapses turned to other housework duties...... I found out later that the dirty paper napkins were shoved unceremoniously into the spice rack and the pot holder was put in the rubbish bin. It was all very funny. I bent down to pat Dogadoo and scratch her ears and found myself poking the holes of my turquoise Crocs instead.
Love Chunks was watching a football game in the bedroom, and as I put Sapphire to bed (or should I say 'as I found her cowering in her bedroom and her head wedged under the doona'), I kissed her good night to hear, "Geez Mum, your breath smells like Fin MacCool's pub when the door's open."
It was at that moment that the euphoria of the previous couple of hours began to sour. Sapphire's blue and purple-coloured room started to spin and the clanging of the dishes was now transferred to the inside of my head. Staggering to Love Chunks - whilst wearing loose-fitting Crocs - only served to remind me that my body was not functioning as gracefully as I'd like. Peter Garrett had more coordination than I did. The clothes racks in our hallway were at least a metre away from me and yet I fell into them all (they're out there because of our renovations which I'll post about later). I managed to make it to the bedroom before falling onto the bed. Luckily my nose is roughly the size of a U-storage facility and it reached the edge of the quilt long enough to keep me suspended like a sozzled hammock until my knees cracked the floor.
In the far distance, Love Chunks was saying something like, "One sniff of the barmaid's apron..... need to go slower ....... stop snoring ......... didn't you see the doctor about your farting problem....." before patting my face and leaving me to it. Out like a light by 9pm. My last thought was, "Getting pissshed washn't like it usshed to be...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"