Saturday 13 July 2019
I arrive home from my final concert of the season, pour myself a brandy, sink onto the sofa and realise that I am… done!
In the last month, my amazing eldest has: traversed the UK to attend Uni Open Days, coped with Y12 mocks, trekked the Lake District peaks with pack on her pack, camped with fellow DOE expeditioners, surviving on cuppa-soup and pasta, volunteered at a local care home and performed in several concerts. Nonetheless, this week, as others break up for Summer, she completes a week of work experience in a local hospital … and I have chauffered her there daily.
On top of this extra driving, I have survived another week at work, and that’s no mean feat because my job is currently a demoralising ordeal. I have found the evening-energy to rehearse and practise, I have partied, and drunk too much, at the ‘Leaving Do’ of two lovely colleagues. There’s been no time to run. I am low on sleep and nutrition and, I am ashamed to admit, getting through most days with anadin and alcohol.
Tonight was the concert. Usually this would bring my mood soaring right back up, but all the logistics and demands of recent weeks have taken their toll, and I am now just finished. I think it goes quite well, although it’s a very fast and jazzy piece and in places I am just hanging on for dear life. But there is no buzz and I feel a little flat. I admit that the engine has stalled on my ‘Smashing Single Parenthood’ machine this week and I am squarely in survival gear right now!
I have, in all the chaos, missed important hospital appointments for myself and Prom-dress Daughter. I feel frustrated and frazzled by endless driving and traffic lights and traffic jams and hear myself screaming unspeakable abuse at unsuspecting drivers. I feel dragged down by routines and cooking and washing and ironing and just all the dreary decisions and jobs that come about when you are the only adult in the household. I feel trapped and low and on the verge of tears.
But, life teaches us, there is always salvation. It’s often not far away and indeed this evening it comes pretty speedily and in the form of …. Simon Pegg! (I’ll confess, he is a bit of a hero of mine, Run Fat Boy Run, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead– comedy classics that I’ve watched many times) As I switch on the TV, I chance upon a Pegster film I’ve never heard of before, ‘Man-Up‘. It is a totally ridiculous romcom but, as ever with ‘The Pegster’, the scenes (particularly his dance routine to Duran Duran’s ‘Reflex’) just make me laugh out loud … and laughter always works for me. My gloom lifts like a glorious magical mist and I head to bed knowing that tomorrow is another day and a new opportunity to do things a bit better. I also wonder if Simon Pegg is single …