July 7th, 2007
Ibizan sunshine; pretty, flowing, ruinously expensive dress encasing lithe gym-toned body; surrounded by friends and family (all hungover, mind you); champagne on tap; vows, laughter and good wishes for a very happy future.
July 7th, 2012
London rain; stained velour trackies and maternity t-shirt encasing body destroyed by ruinously expensive children; surrounded by packing boxes and acres of shite (which makes me wish I could takes steps towards a hangover), water and peanut butter on tap (everything else thrown away); swears, snarls and conversations as follows:
“Don’t bother looking in there, it’s for the bin.”
“But but but...”
“I said it’s for the bin. PLEASE JUST TURN AROUND AND GO AND PACK SOMETHING SOMEWHERE ELSE”
“Awwwwwwwww.... you can’t throw this away – it’s the t-shirt I was wearing when I’m pretty sure I saw Michael Douglas that time... And this? Why are you throwing away this? That’s my train receipt from the third day of my second inter-railing trip... And this stone? You gave me this stone when I brought you away to Portugal for the weekend!”
“You never brought me to Portugal.”
“Oh. Em... Still, it’s a nice stone. MY OLD TRAINERS??????”
It is day three of a bumper four-day packing weekend. Every time I throw something out – about twice every five seconds – the Man slips out of the shadows and un-bins it. So far we have done three car trips to the recycling bins, four to the charity shop, filled (and partially emptied) 22 bin liners full of crap, and packed up... the kids’ bathroom. Which only leaves us with eight more rooms to plough through. By Monday morning.
On the plus side, the children are in Ireland, I haven’t had to cook a meal, catch some vomit in my bare hands or screech about the dangers of putting spoons in bottoms since Wednesday, and apparently I’m being brought to a fancy restaurant for dinner later. (Unfortunately I think I may have inadvertently thrown out all the clothes which fit me, but not to worry – nothing says discreet wealth like saggy-arsed jogging pants). The day is looking up.
I can’t help wishing it was this time 5 years ago, however.