Tuesday, February 03, 2015

poisoning, tubing, snowing & sundry

Oh my goodness.

Allow me to paragraphify. Paragraphisize. Paragraph. Paraphrase. My last three days.

I'll start with the bad. I poisoned my family.

It wasn't even with the (frankly, devaan) generations-old rougaille I made from my great grandmother's Seychelles recipe, which I created from scratch for the first time. And was fucking delicious.

No. It was a pair of crumbed fishcakes - salmon and broccoli - from Sainsbury's that tormented the inner bowels of mine, my husband, and seemingly my child as well.
It was like a relay in the On Toast household. Sebastian decorated his room flamboyantly at 2am; and was found sitting in his cot with vomit smeared all over his boyish little face, shocked expression, but also, wierdly enough, a beaming smile.

Then, after changing sheets, spraying him down with the shower hose, the house looking like a refugee camp with bed linen everywhere, we went back to bed.

For one hour. For suddenly, like the force of Putain - Pootain - in the Crimean state, at pretty much exactly the same time, mine and the Brit's bowels decided to fall out of themselves.

As an aside, we have one bathroom. It is approximately 2.5mx2m. Oscar Pistorius' toilet might've been bigger. So let me just put it out there. You haven't truly truly been married, until you are sharing a bathroom, in the dead of night, simultaneously puking out of your bum and your mouth, together.

The last shred of dignity that we might've ever had, was finally laid to rest two nights ago. Hanging over buckets, baths and the throne, every half hour on the hour. For 24 hours.

I've had stomach bugs before, but this was a new level of scatological intensity that I've yet to experience until now.
Peeing out of the bum pretty much sums it up - yes, sorry, should've mentioned that there would be candid descriptions here -  and I'm not sure how, after 24 hours of this, there is anything left of me to be honest.

My poor Brit had an early flight to Istanbul, which he had to postpone, and while we lay there shivering and hallucinating, I wondered if, in fact, we were actually dying.

Now, I am back at work after 24 hours of hell. Which brings me to the next point.

Commuting is a special place in hell reserved for people who inadvertently poison their family.

Before I had Sebastian, it would take me 45 minutes, door-to-door, home to work, everyday. This is an average London commute, comprised of walking for 15 minutes, then a tube for half an hour, then walking for another 5.
In order for it to be 45 minutes, I'd need to leave home earlier than most, because the tube station that I use (Clapham Common) is the entrance - the springboard -  directly into hell.
It's a single platform, and it looks like this:
 But actually, it's more like this:
Now that I drop Sebby at nursery on the way, I'm getting on the tube half an hour later than I used to. And in order to actually get into a train, one has to throw themselves into the carriage, and rugby tackle their way into the inch of space between the doors and the gap.
 This is what the train looks like. But there is still room for four more people on here, trust me.
Today I had to wait for ten- TEN - stuffed tubes to go past before I could squeeze myself on, within an inch of my life.
Even then, the doors never close properly and there are delays, and today some kind lady had to tuck the belt of my my coat into the carriage for me.

It's mental.

And infuriating. Because now it takes me all in all over an hour to get into central London. There are just way too many people in this town.

Today was particularly bad, because it snowed last night.

Snow is always magical, soft and beautiful for a southern hemisphere troglodyte like myself.  Everything is hushed, even tyres going past on the road are quieter, as the snow forms a woolly blanket around everything.
Sweet, white snow also means we get some kind of pay-off from the blisteringly Baltic temperatures we've been facing. For the first few hours, it's lovely.

Then everything breaks.

See, no matter what, London just isn't prepared for snow. Whole airports will close, and the train system seems to come to an abrupt halt. Which is why my commute was even more than a disaster this morning than usual. London has yet to learn that a) it snows most winters, so they should be used to this by now and b) learn from it's more efficient Scandinavian/French/German relatives that stuff should keep working when the white stuff comes down.

Also, snow in a city never lasts too long. They put grit on the pavements to melt it, and the pollution, mud and tracks turn it all slushy and black.

But. It's still magical. Even for a little bit.
 Walking through the common was slippery, as they don't grit the foot paths.
 Clapham Common at the end of our road.
 Wrapping up warmly ahead of our nursery run.
Sebastian has a commutable sleeping bag. It's a thing here.

Then finally. Work.

Now that I've been back a few weeks, I can pretty much say that I'm actually enjoying being back. Commutes and missing Sebastian aside. The work itself, and office and all of that, is actually great.  I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would, anyway.

It's also had an effect on my hormones. Strange byproduct of going to work, I suppose, due to the fact that for one I actually take a pride in what my appearance looks like again (ie actually doing my hair, putting makeup on, wearing heels, shirts, skirts and tights) while also being surrounded by humans that are in no ways connected to my being a mother.

There are men everywhere. Not to say I'm lusting after a bunch of he-people (I'm a married woman, lest you forget), but suddenly I find myself more appreciative to the...male form. And therefore, my husband. Yes really.

Also doing something satisfying, and achieving something other than keeping my baby alive, does wonders for the confidence. (Ah, there she is. I've missed you.)

So. That was an interesting find.


Flarkit said...

Peas is back, yo!

Kate said...

I am so happy to hear you happy about being back at work. I still have 4 months left and already dreading it. Will be nice to accomplish something other than poo clean up and breastfeeding in a day ;)

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