I wanted to go anyway as I love the idea that one day we will have a Brady Bunch style holiday where the most exciting thing that happens is my mother burning the toast. Because of this tragic dream I assured the boy things would be different and I actually believed it, there would only ever be four family members together at any one time and there was going to be partners and friends to force us all to be on our best behaviour.
For the first four days everything went well; there were no sulks, no snarls and even sarcasm was kept to a minimum. I started to feel smug at how dull we had become and even considered making cookies for us all. I should have known it would not last. The giant enjoys his space as do we all and in the absence of yoga, Facebook and Sky television the tensions began to mount and all it would take for things to explode was a happy hour combined with an empty tummy too many.
As I am not really meant to be drinking I usually try to back away from situations where I feel obliged to drink. Après ski however is a traditional part of mountain culture and is one of the nicest parts of the skiing day. After the lifts have stopped the skis come off and people gather together with their friends, family and travelling companions upon the terraces which look up to the slopes and swap anecdotes of a day spent with their heads above the clouds. When everyone suggested an après ski drink I could not resist and over a cold beer we had a great time dissecting our day and congratulating ourselves for surviving a blizzard to come unharmed through the other side of the mountains mist.
The problem with drinking after a hard day on the slopes is how quickly the alcohol goes to your head. I have fallen foul of the beer fairy before and in doing so have ruined myself for the slopes the next day; with this thought in mind and an overwhelming desire to finally get up to date with my blog I headed home leaving the others at The Rhododendron; the cheapest and most cheerful pub in the whole of Le Praz. I was feeling quite proud of myself for recognising the limits of my liver and treated myself to a strong coffee and hot shower to ease the aches of the slope.
I do not know why everything went wrong but I do know when it started to slide downhill. I had curled myself upon the couch after returning to the apartment alone and was looking forward to spending some time alone. I had just finished coming up with a concept for the day’s blog when my thought structure was interrupted by my sister’s partner crashing through the door upon the arm of my father’s godson. Admittedly he had been moaning while we were in the pub and had asked for a cold pack but we had all assumed he wasn’t too injured as he had skied down the mountain on it just fine only an hour before. One look at his face convinced me he was not faking, he was pale and acting as though he was in total agony. Though I do not have the most maternal of bones I felt I should at least attempt to care for him. His knee was the size of a tennis ball after all and with my sister absent and my mother back in the UK I applied the medicine of every good Irish woman, a cup of tea and a sandwich.
After adding to my cure a couple of painkillers and some snow packs, (my father’s godson’s innovative invention) ,it was clear he might need more medical attention than I could provide. Although I did a first aid course when I was twelve all I could remember was something about a triangular bandage and I didn’t really see how that could help us now. It was about this point that I started to panic.
My sister and the giant were over at the bar with no idea about the deteriorating knee situation. Though my sister had said she would return home after one more drink I had little faith in her keeping this promise. I have echoed the same spiel myself when the boy has rang to see when he could expect me home. Though one likes to believe one will be home in a jiffy the craic of the bar will always outweigh any call to come home, especially as the caller will usually be a cross patch by the time you get back and be none too amused when you tell them you wuv them very smuch indeed.
As I feared she may not be in the mood for problem solving when she returned I had sent a messenger to find out whether there was any hope of getting help on a Sunday and found out that the nearest hospital was forty minutes away. When I heard this I had another unpleasant realisation; I was the only one capable of driving and I haven’t been in a car since December. I was beginning to feel rather overwhelmed by responsibility and upon hearing another groan from my sister’s partner I realised I had no choice but to get the doctor involved. When she arrived she seemed quite concerned and advised a hospital visit for X-rays and painkillers. After deciding it would be best to wait till the morning to take him I began to feel relieved that something had been done.
My sister had returned just before the Doctor got there which left me free to return to my writing whilst she played at being nurse. Just as I had settled into the couch however and opened up a monthly magazine, the giant returned. If it wasn’t for his rosy cheeks I probably would have jumped out the ground floor window upon seeing the look on his face. The giant had been unaware of the developments in the knee situation and as far as he was aware I had called out a seventy-five euro doctor for no reason and was a bit of a fool for doing so.
There is little point in going into detail about who slung the mud and how deep was the colour but what got said tonight has destroyed the delicate peace of the last few days. I feel foolish for coming away and annoyed because come the morning I will be the only one who will remember the harsh words spoken. The boy is perhaps right, maybe the time has come to call a day on the annual family hell-a-day.
- Today’s dress is another loan from my sister who also took the photos from today. It is from Hennes and though it looked great with a beret all of us were feeling a bit too bitter about the rugby to promote French culture any more than we had to. The mountains in the background by the way are Swiss.
- FYI – The reason I am smiling in the pictures is they were taken before everything kicked off when we were still on speaking terms. I do hope our family will be at peace again., I just find it hard right now to imagine how.
Today was a pretty dreadful day. It has been months since I have felt this low and although I managed to get dressed in the end the project came close to coming under a new name; 364 dresses and the boy’s best t-shirt. Part of the reason for the low was loneliness; the boy was at work today which left me alone with my thoughts which are particularly unpleasant at the moment. It has now been months since I finished my course and longer still since I have been in the work place and I am starting to feel frustrated at the sheer amount of rejection and red-tape involved in the job market at this timde. I do not think I am a particularly unemployable person; in spite of my head troubles whenever I am in the work place I am generally in good health, am hard-working and committed and throw myself into every task and have been told I am great fun to have around the office as I get on well with most people, even tolerating questionable clothing choices for the sake of harmony in the office. My illness has never effected me in the work place as far as I am aware other than perhaps taking things to heart more than most.
When I woke up this morning and found myself drifting into melancholy I tried my best to regroup and remind myself of all the wonderful plans I had made for the day. The night before I had made a lovely list of things I wanted to do today; I am a freak about to do lists and can think of few things more pleasurable in life than ticking off an entire to do list in one day. Upon my list there was a couple of CD reviews I wanted to get finished before the weekend as well as a note about a trip out to see John Ryland’s library on Deansgate; it has been restored for some time now and I am desperate to explore the literary treasures within and see the splendour of a building filled to the brim with beautiful wonderful life affirming books. I had also planned to spend the day hunting out a new purse, finding some thermals for skiing in Chamonix and tracking down some reasonably priced vintage tea sets for an event I’m planning.
I like to think that had the boy been about I would have tried harder to prise myself from my mood. As it was however he was not and seeing as there was nobody about to make me feel embarrassed for mooching around like an angst ridden teenager I put my plans to the back of my mind, pulled the quilt up to my chin and queued up an indecent number of episodes of Glee to keep me calm.
I am not usually a big fan of television. There are few things I find worthy of dedicating my time to on the schedule other than the football. I did become hooked on Celebrity Big Brother at the start of the year but generally I find trash TV rather disturbing as the producers of reality TV seem genuinely hell-bent on going out of their way to find the most mentally disturbed people in the country and placing them all in a confined space. If they are not unbalanced when they enter the house they are certainly lacking in reality when they leave and most develop delusions of grandeur which are really rather worrying.
There are however a few series which I am happy to dedicate hours of my life to at a time. These are, in no particular order The Wire; The West Wing; Dexter; Glee and Scrubs. Scrubs, West Wing and The Wire hold a special place in my heart because when I was suffering from severe episodes of depression they kept me company and eventually aided me to abandon my bed in the hope of brighter days which laid up ahead.
When I was at University in my second year I was hit by a virus which knocked me for six right in the middle of a string of deadlines. I was ill for about three weeks in total and although the virus was severe I probably would have got better sooner had I not allowed myself to sink into sadness. My boyfriend at the time was not the most understanding of fellows and it was easier to tell him I was sick than psychologically flawed and in this way I was able to keep the truth of my crazy from him for a little longer. In fairness to him whilst he thought I was sick and not sad he did try to help me out, he downloaded me three seasons of scrubs to keep me company whilst he went to lectures and even cooked for me on a fair few occasions. Although Scrubs is terribly twee I found myself comforted by its softly softly delivery of lessons on morality and motivational speeches from the infamous Doctor Cox and in the end I forced myself to get showered and dressed all at the same time and dragged myself out of bed. I managed to keep my poorly at bay for a while longer but less than two months after my Scrubathon I fell into a much deeper depression. The same Scrub sourcing sweetheart had become bored of my blues and without too much trouble had found himself a distraction. He dumped me the day after I stumbled upon a conversation he’d had with a friend via MSN about a stunning girl who was apparently model hot. He had pulled her in front of his friends whilst I had been back home with my family and had apparently been speaking with her every other day since. Unfortunately when he left me I couldn’t even find solace in Scrubs as it had become too closely linked too him so instead I turned to the bitter sweetness of 80p Apple Sours from the hall bar along with any other alcohol available to numb the pain. I did try yoga for a while and even went to the doctor in search of a magic pill but oblivion was a much more attractive albeit destructive way to heal my wounds.
The West Wing helped me out in much the same way as Scrubs did. After struggling for months to find work after graduating I sort of gave up and started sleeping more than was strictly healthy. Admittedly it didn’t help that I had given up my medication upon some manic hippy notion that love could cure-all but depression did indeed beckon it’s familiar claw and without the help of medicines I gave up the fight to it all too easily. As I sleepily struggled to force myself from the safety and comfort of the quilt I found myself happily distracted by the popular sharp tongued protagonists. Escapism enveloped me as I became entirely focused on deciphering the endless dialogue spoken at a speed which even I struggled to keep up with. It took me twenty-four episodes but in the end I got myself back to reality and even managed to make tough choices to move home and take a job at my father’s company as a purchase ledger clerk. It wasn’t my dream career but at least it gave me a routine and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Finally the other series which has been a band aid in disguise over the years is The Wire. Unlike the other programmes I have mentioned, this was a series which was watched from a decidedly upright position. Knowing as I did that exercise is one of the best ways to combat a low mood I decided to combine my usual remedy of box-set with bench work. Every morning before I got a shower, I would watch an episode of The Wire whilst working out with weights on the stepper. In this way, with a lot of help from family, friends and pharmaceutical companies I finally managed to get my mojo back and even got a fairly flat tummy for my troubles.
This morning when I chose to watch Glee rather than get out of bed I was annoyed at myself because I knew it was a bad decision. I knew that if I could just drag myself from under the covers and into the shower I could still stand a chance of going for a walk, getting out the house and maybe letting the sunshine and the sound of others getting on with their lives do the rest. Unfortunately it wasn’t until gone four in the afternoon that I managed to get myself in the shower and dressed and by the time the boy came home he was too tired to do anything other than drift off to sleep on my lap. I moaned like a child about wanting him to fix me and make me feel better but in my heart I know that when I am in a mood like this there is little he or Glee can do to make things better. All I can ever hope for when I am struck down by a low like this is that come the next morning the clouds will have cleared enough to tempt me into taking the tiny steps needed to bring me out of doors to see the daylight. Only tomorrow will tell.
- Today’s dress was donated by Sinead Kenny, sister of Monica who loaned yesterday’s gorgeous grey dress. This maxi dress is a size 14 but is one of those wonderful one size fits all dresses which is elasticated round the waist and bust. With pink Marks and Spencer tights and extremely high heels I avoid the fatal mistake of letting it trail on the pavement and prevent it being soiled with Manchester muck – leaves and rain mashed together to create a grey and brown paste. It was totally freezing today and though I did spend the majority of the day hiding out indoors I did make it out in time for the last of the light even if I did jump straight back in to bed afterwards.
Four years ago I went on a Valentines date with a boy named Chris, he was sweet, good-looking, tall and had a great body. I had met him just a couple of weeks before when a friend of mine who worked at student direct, Laura Wales had called me up short of someone to take part in the paper’s blind date. At the time I had a little argument with the giant and as a result had been cut off and so the idea of food and more importantly wine was appealing whoever else might be there. I remember thinking it might be nice if my date didn’t show up so I could have more food, but he did and we had a good night. My housemates took the mick as less than a month later the pizzeria where we had eaten had burnt down, according to them it was due to our firey passion for one another. As the original date had gone well and as I was under strict instructions from my wiser slightly older housemate to play it cool I found myself on february 14 at a noodle bar with said Chris. It was a nice date and there was even a kiss but no coffee and I remember wondering if there was enough of a spark.
Today I went on a Valentines date with the boy, or Chris. He has a great body; he still works out after all these years and being a drummer for Onions means in spite of his sweet tooth he keeps on the trimmer side of cuddly. He has the kind of shoulders and arms you want your man to have and is tall enough so I can get away with wearing up to six-inch heels and still have to stand on my tippy-toes to kiss him. He is kind and sweet and this morning, once he stirs he brings me a cup of tea and a dozen red roses.
I have to swallow down my annoyance because I notice they are from Marks and Spencer and I know they cost him far too much. I am annoyed because I would have been happy without roses, happy for us to use the money for a meal or a cinema date but secretly I feel the wonderful smug feeling you only get when a man you love gives you a great big over-the-top gesture that he loves you back. Still sweet after all these years he has also got me a Valentines card with a ticket to see Midlake this Wednesday within. I am surprised even though I knew he was planning to take me to a gig for weeks (his friends have no tact and kept letting slip at which point I had to sing loudly and walk out the room as though nothing had happened) I have managed to convince myself that we were off to see The Wild Beasts, I prefer Midlake.
Unfortunately although I had planned to treat him to a wet shave and massage at the boy beauty parlour; something he would never book himself but which I know he would love; I finally got round to summoning up the courage to check on my overdraft the other day and the results were not good. In spite of me being unemployed HSBC are charging me an unseemly amount for being overdrawn and unless I get paid work soon I have no way of paying it off; because of this although I get him a card and make him cups of tea I offer to sort through his wardrobe as a gift and iron him ten shirts as a way of showing my love, and though it is not terribly romantic I pair his socks up for him because I know he hates doing it.
Our good friends are about and the boys join me to watch the football in the afternoon after the boy has had a practice; he needs to tap or the tension builds in his shoulders and he gets crotchety ; one of them is sulking as although I know his girl got him a very nice present for his birthday the day before she has not had time to get him a valentines present. As I have a dozen roses and need none, I call her quietly from the room and give her a rose to give to him. It’s nice to share the love but in the photos the boy takes later on I have to be careful to conceal the missing bloom. Thankfully the dress is remarkably busty and so his eyes are happily distracted. The dress today is on loan from the very lady, the musical theatre legend that is Anna Clayton. I believe it is from Primark and I must admit that I struggle to button myself into it as she has a much slimmer figure than me, one of the benefits of being a dancer.
After we have taken the photos I don my faux fur hat and we head out to Abode, Micheal Cain’s Michelin star dining experience. I have eaten here twice before, once with a friend on my birthday when me and the boy were having troubles and once with the boy for my birthday when we had patched things up. Both times I have loved the place. We always eat in the upstairs area as the downstairs just feels a little too formal and the tables are too big and so I feel we lose a little bit of the intimacy when we struggle to reach each other over the condiments. We are booked in for six and happily they are out of the chicken so instead they have quail, which is delicious. After Marks and Spencer irritated me the other day I rang around trying to find a reasonable deal and happily came upon Abode who had only added £5 to their usual offer of four courses for two people with one bottle of wine. It is usually £25, the same price as the M & S deal but as we didn’t have to wash up or cook it we did not mind the extra charge.
As we sit snuggled up together in the bar area after finishing our meal, sipping the last of the wine, I am so glad I met the boy before falling into something that wasn’t quite it with the Valentine’s day Chris. A week after the Valentine’s date which lacked the sparkle I bumped into The boy, The Chris, and from then on there was only him, my boy, my Chris, my Valentine.
Today I am wearing a dress from Marks and Spencer which I wore to my graduation. I was a tad tubbier back then so it feels lovely and loose over my skin and I wish it was the summer so tights could be a thing of the past. I am also wearing a hat and some velvet gloves from accessorize which make me feel both french and a bit of an idiot at the same time.
I decided today; or maybe it was when I crawled into bed feeling rather tipsy la-la; that the time has come to challenge myself over my drinking. I am not as the kind young gentleman previously suggested an alcoholic, but of late I seem to be having a glass of wine too often and seeing as these tablets are ripping into my liver as it is it may not be a good idea to combine the two. I drink too much usually when I am low, to give me a lick of confidence its silly because it inevitably has a negative effect on my mood the next day and yet I love alcohol; particularly wine and Belgian beers. I love having it with dinner, I revel in locating a good wine on offer, and I especially love the warmth I get from Krupnik and blackberry vodka distilled by the boy’s mother at Christmas and the taste of rum on hot chocolate when I have had a life threatening fall on the slopes in the alps.
I love these things but I am trying to love myself and my family and friends more and I need to keep a check on my drinking. My personality has always been of extremes and so I find it easy to become hooked on things. This is why I stay away from gambling all together and why when I took up smoking at 21 I went straight to 20 Marlborough mediums a day with little trouble. I don’t do things by halves.
Partly because of how I got carried away and had a glass too much this evening, partly because of health and poor finance and also just because I need to prove to myself I can, I am thinking of giving up alcohol over lent. I may make an exception for our anniversary and the boy’s birthday but other than that I think it will do me good to give something up and with cigarettes a thing of the past alcohol, coffee and loving are the only vices I have left, and no one is taking away my coffee.