Sunday, July 25
The weather was fitting. I sat in the Gardens, with thousands of fat droplets swirling round. I let them hit me; an umbrella's not much use when the rain's falling sideways anyway. I t seeped into me as I plucked pieces of chicken from their cheap plastic container.
Twenty minutes make all the difference. Have a good nite. Can you enjoy an experience when you suspect it's all going to go dreadfully, horribly wrong? It was only twenty minutes. But what twenty minutes.
When you don't have it, it seems like you never will. When you do, it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Or so I distantly remembered through mouthfuls of cold, slippery chicken, watching the rain fall.
Friday, July 16
I was informed yesterday by a reliable source that if one went to the museum of Scotland cafe and complained, one would get 'free stuff'. I was most excited at the prospect.
Having nothing better to do, I skipped in around lunchtime and delicately placed myself on a table in the corner. While waiting for the waitress, I amused myself by flashing demented glances at passing children. I am getting better; several of them broke out in tears.
The said waitress eventually arrived and politely asked me to get down off the table. I ordered a bowl of hairs and complained when there was a soup in it. It was at that point that they called the police. The service in this country is terrible.
Sunday, July 11
Gertrude is a small girl with a squinty mouth, and eyelashes full of rage. She invited me to a car boot sale this Sunday. I have grown quite fond of my boot, and certainly feel no need to replace it.
However, she was so desparate for me to come that she started lying, saying that people didn't sell car boots at car boot sales. She is an idiot.
Friday, July 9
I have taken a liking to Joan of Arc. I find her quite attractive, although her legs are slightly spindly and her skin has the complexion of rotting lettuce. It must be the power thing, or maybe because my grandmother was called Joan. Anyway, she invited me round for tea yesterday. I thought I was well in.
Walking up the crumbling steps to her semi-detached in east Croydon, I couldn’t help feeling a small amount of trepidation; after all, we are talking about a French national heroine here. As I reached the door, I saw there was chewing gum on the doorbell. I allowed a small chuckle to escape my rather buxom lips. Always a tricky one, that Joan.
I knocked timidly with my scabby knuckles. Keep meaning to do something about them actually, but unprovoked attacks from passing walls make it difficult. I used to think this was a nice, civilised country with perfectly polite walls. But I digress…
The door swung open, and there she was, resplendent in her 15th century designer garb. It strongly resembled a potato sack. I could faintly discern the words ‘Ye Olde Potatoes’ running over her shoulder.
One might say she was surprised to see me. With a look on her face reminiscent of a car crash, one might say that was an understatement.
“Um, hi miss Arc. It’s me” I quipped in a light-yet-nervous tone.
“Who are you? Ah, I see! Ze English scum! FREEEEDOM!!!”
“Ha ha. Er, we were supposed to have tea?”
“Oh no, tonight I am reading my phone manual.”
And so I fled, fearing a bout of French kung fu retribution. Some historical figures are so inconsiderate.
Wednesday, July 7
Today our car was run over by a small child.
He came tearing out of nowhere and straight into us. I can still see it clearly, the sound of rending metal, the way his tricycle tore through the fabric of the car like it was rotting muslin. Glass imploding in slow motion, crushed beneath those huge plastic wheels. And he just pedalled off with a look of glee on his pudgy little face, leaving Edward slumped and haemorraging in the passenger seat.
The ambulance came quite quickly I think. I can't really remember. The look on the paramedics' faces when they laid eyes on Edward was the worst thing. Until then I think we'd somehow been holding out a flicker of hope. Eventually, Lauren sank down to the pavement and burst out into deep, racking sobs. I just stood there shaking. They put Edward into the ambulance and drove away, silent and slow as a funeral procession. Which I suppose it was.
Today our car was run over by a small child.
He came tearing out of nowhere. Suddenly there were two chubby hands clutching the bonnet, and the next thing we knew the ruddy face of a 4-year-old was staring back at us through the windscreen. He flashed a sparsely-toothed grin before sliding back the way he had come. It was all over in an instant; the only sign he'd ever been there a slightly smudged minature handprint on the glass.
Tuesday, July 6
E stares at me with wide wild eyes, and tells me in his unique style that didn’t I know everyone thinks I’m arrogant. I don’t know what to say, so gradually I flee upstairs to be with my inhalers and flickering lightbulbs and daddy long legses. That night, I wake up to the realisation that the duvet and the carpet are chemically reacting with each other, oozing out toxic wispy strands. I don’t know why, but I go to the window, and the dawn is a yellowy green.
Wake up, properly this time, and head off to Dad’s bunker, with its strangely comforting mothball musk and broken remnants of the ancien riche. So much history, even the present becomes dusty. That's what you get for being arrogant.