My world and welcome to it, as the saying goes

Oh my dears, what a week. A whirlwind of work, teaching, iron and mineral supplements, family crises of relatively vast proportions, trouble at t’mill in Poetry World with emails intensifying and proliferating, and the kind of sheer, sheer, utter exhaustion that leaves you feeling like a broken toy.

There was a day or two when the eldest Baroque offspring was in a complete panic, trying to find the rent money with his girlfriend and their housemate, her wastrel brother (picture him now, as the landlords found him the other day: in his filthy bedroom at the top of the house, sat at his computer in his pants) (and no, they shouldn’t have been in there: the agents are to blame; but my view is that the brother really should have had some clothes on and been looking for a job) – they were completely desperate, nobody has any money and they’ve been trying to find work – at least, the ex-Urban Warrior, now fledgling web designer genius, has – and he’s also the only one with the organisational skills and sheer drive to make even paying the rent happen at all, really, and anyway look at muggins here. I didn’t pay the rent but I did buy the groceries, and then there was some business with some Eon arrears, from those ridiculous monster computers they will keep running. You know: they’re emitting double the national average of CO2 so I don’t have to.

Well, the poor kid. I had my own personal evening from hell – the elderly aunt,  a friend whose personal situation (divorce, unemployment, out-of-date skills, MS, lack of world view, lack of a plan) is so much more huge than his inner personal resources that he has become a giant deranged ball of NEED, which rolls ever and ever onward – in which the calls from my kid did figure prominently, and he was so stressed out that it was hard not to feel actually worried.

We made a plan. Your correspondent here talked and soothed and unruffled and reassured and made promises, and offered money, and consolidated and wished good night, and went to bed paralysed with anxiety and the really very serious needs of others and the impossibility of actually doing anything about anything at all – full in the knowledge that not a job spec had been searched for that evening, not an application or email had been sent, once again.

The next day I wake up – jangled, exhausted, after not enough hours – is everyone all right, have I brutally offended my old friend with my requested “feedback” which was much more honest than what he thought he requested, will I be unemployed in a month and if so for how long, how bad is it going to be, I wonder what my 1826 set of Johnson is worth, has my kid had a premature heart attack in the night, is the decrepit aunt still – but let’s not even go into that place – and there was an argument based on a misunderstanding with someone else, too, and what time did Mlle B need to be up – drag myself up, take my pill for my stomach and my iron & mineral tonic, sort out the money for my eldest, some cash which was stashed in a secret place waiting to be given to Mlle B for her summer hols – drag myself through the tube, into Pret and with my coffee into work, and somehow through the morning, via a secret phone call to my aunt’s GP. (Everything has to be secret. She’s very paranoid that the few people left in her life are talking about her.)

At lunchtime I speak to my kid. How’s it going. Well don’t even ask. He spent the whole evening sorting out the mess – reading the riot act to the wastrel brother who has now promised on his life to put his trousers on and spend six hours a day looking for a job – and they are all going to do this once they get the present difficulties ironed out, the running about collecting all the money they have borrowed and cleaning the house – and at the end of the whole thing, just as he was daring to think he might have solved his present problems and cleared the deck enough at least to get some sleep, he went and started getting ready for bed. And one of their kittens walked in – the lovely fluffy kittens they are looking for homes for, which I wanted one of but now think I can’t really manage – and threw up bile on the carpet.

One of those moments.  He called the vet, the vet said don’t feed him overnight but let him eat in the morning and see how he goes.

The kitten is now fine. Phew.

The landlords are coming to make an inspection on Monday afternoon.

After he takes the cat to the vet to get spayed. They spay them for free, at least. Student rates.

And it’s the same day as my blood test. But having written all this down I’m thinking maybe I don’t need to have anaemia to feel dizzy…

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