Aimée is at a wedding, all heels and sequin-sparkle. I’m at home with the dogs. Jeans and ketchup stains. I play to my strengths.
Once again, the lottery is fixed, so I’ll have to get cracking on that international best-seller one of these days. I might not know what happens in the third act yet, but I’ve already cast the film. There will be Oscars. I have decided.
The dogs have had their dinner, Doobie is full of pills and chicken feet, and there’s nothing on the box, so I rewatch Monday’s film.
Pumpkin gets this look sometimes. She truly is the Fenella Fielding of the dog world. A luxury dog, with a raspy little bark, and a heaping helping of wiggle. Poppy just stares at me. She pulls her ears back, and makes her head resemble a smooth, ginger light bulb.
She’s going to bark because I haven’t rubbed her belly.
She’s on the floor. I am not. It’s her own fault, she took herself off the sofa because the dog next door barked. Tara looks up sluggishly. Her disinterest is palpable. A little Poppy bark, and she’s set Doobie off. He will continue grumbling for a good twenty minutes.
This, dear reader, has been my day.
This wedding is the longest Aimée has been out of the house in a couple of weeks. That was when she went to Staffordshire.
In that weekend, I did a lot of washing up, as you may remember. This wedding, a family thing and therefore long lasting, contains heaped servings of cousins, uncles and aunties, and has seen me at my productive best.
The sink is full and close to crawling away, and I’ve written over six thousand words. Some of them good. In all honesty, I could do a little jig.
I have got a little ahead of myself for this blog, in order to free up time for the inevitable novel, screenplay and Oscar success. Obviously. Distraction comes in the form of coffee. All good distractions start with coffee.
I have named my characters. I’m not entirely happy with the spelling of one of them, but she’s a busybody in the book – I would be a great friend for her to gossip about, so I’m not sure I want to spell her traditionally.
I have scribbled an outline, using flowcharts and colour coding. I’ve sketched out the first twelve chapters and resisted the temptation to go back and fix them, even though, right now, they’re an embarrassment.
In theory, I won’t run out of steam if I get the story down first. I’m a two-finger typer, so I look like a woman possessed when I’m only sending out an email. Full of caffeine and not going back, I imagine I look like a 1980s prison escapee.
The strangest thing happened when Aimée returned. We had seen her off in the morning, nothing unusual there, titian curls, bedecked in a thousand plum-toned beads, four inches taller than normal in her open-toed heels, but when she came back through the door, Pumpkin didn’t recognise her.
Poppy, Doob and Tara rugby tackled Aimée to the ground, and sniffed her wildly (she had been out of the house and therefore smelt of the world) but Pumpkin wouldn’t even look at her until she was back in joggers.
It doesn’t take much to confuse Pumpkin.
It was a good wedding, she tells me. They had something from the millennial songbook for their first dance as husband and wife.
Aimée’s dislike for anything in the charts is just as inexplicable as my total disgust at the sight of certain actors.
There’s nothing the actor has done, per se. I’m thinking of one in particular and I won’t name him, because he looks like the sort who would sue, but I don’t like him. He’s not wooden, but I don’t suppose he’s anything like as talented as he thinks he is, or indeed the rest of the world thinks he is.
Something about him leaves me cold. Every time I see him, and he is in lots of stuff, he brings on a hunger in me for a ploughman’s lunch. I like a bit of pickle when there’s that much ham.
He’s just terrible.
Aimée’s feeling for the charts isn’t quite so sharp. She just doesn’t respond to anything that’s popular. Maybe that’s why she likes me.
We don’t have fancy television, no cables, dishes or fibres. Neither of us can take the waiting, one week to the next, for the newest episode. We binge watch box sets. We watch the whole damn thing in a day.
We are probably lucky we found each other. I know very few people who will go without sleep for a series.
Ian McShane, a personal favourite, cropped up in American Horror Story and it was like seeing an old friend after what might have only been a brief absence, but any absence feels too long. Suddenly, there he was again in Game of Thrones. And again in Deadwood. We slightly sought him out by that point. American Gods, decidedly weird, was a purchase made only because of Ian McShane, and of course, Gillian Anderson.
We have been out a lot, gigs and comedy events mostly, whatever makes its way as far west as we find ourselves. Lots of gigs seem to get as far as Southampton and give up the ghost.
However, we’ve seen plenty of funny peeps, and Derek Acorah which I won’t begin to explain, in Exeter, Torquay, Truro, Bristol.
Perhaps it was my influence with Movie Night, and a monster pile of DVDs: some shown, some too heavy for my people, which brought about the boxset madness. Perhaps we need new hobbies.
Pumpkin remembered who Aimée was by sitting on her for the duration of Orange is the New Black.