I have spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself. My throat is impersonating a fiery volcano with real lava flows of snot. This morning I have woken without a voice, which my husband and children seem to be enjoying but it makes barking orders impossible.
'Look out for the cup of tea!' turns into ' 'look out for the cup of tea!'. It's impossible to sound authoritative without a voice. And my big treat for the day is going to be grocery shopping. Stand back before the excitement kills you.
The only thing of interest to report from the weekend has been my husband embarking upon a scorched earth policy in our garden, hacking down almost every tree we have. I think he thinks that gardens need a good hack in the winter so that they grow better in summer. But I do believe that you need to leave something to grow and I'm not sure he has. He was a man with electric saws and other power tools and nothing was going to stop him once he started. Now that the decimation is complete, he is faced with a mountainous pile of trees, shrubs and bushes to get rid of. I feel that the wood chipper will be making an appearance today. This actually means that my husband will get to stand in the garden on his own feeding branch after branch into the machine under the guise of 'gardening' while secretly enjoy a sanctuary away from the children (who will tire of it within minutes).
So while our weekend has been a shrine to domestic mundanity, on Friday I did get to go into London in proper clothes rather than jeans, talked to grown ups and pretended I was a regular, sophisticated townie. Except I wasn't. When you live in deepest, darkest West Berkshire with Newbury as your nearest town, your ability to dress fashionably is somewhat hampered. Newbury's only remotely fashionable shops are White Stuff, Fat Face and Phase Eight. It has a department store with teeny, tiny sections for Oasis, Hobbs and Fenn Wight Mason, where those stores send the clothes they can't sell anywhere else. It is a desert wasteland in fashion terms.
Walking around Carnaby Street, I realised that I wasn't in Newbury anymore. I was wearing my newest, trendiest clothes and I still looked several years out of date - in fact its questionnable whether I was ever in date. This was depressing but resolvable, I felt. One day when I don't have to pay the tax man, I could take a trip into London with someone who knows about how to wear boots on the outside of your jeans and I could restock my wardrobe. (And to be honest, a daily walk to the school and back to my home office doesn't require much in the way of fashionable clothes).
What is going to be more difficult to resolve is my face. I caught glimpses of my reflection in several shop windows and kept wondering who the old lady was. I had applied make up for my big trip into the city yet somehow it sat on my face, enhancing my wrinkles making me tired and dull. In contrast, shiny, dewy, bouncy creatures sashayed past looking as though they'd fallen into a vat of beauty flash balm. They managed to achieve a natural look even though none of it was natural.
It made me realise that the time has come for serious action. Not a scalpel. But an overhaul of my beauty regime. Given that I'm using free samples from purchases made several years ago as my beauty products right now (cost cutting and all that), I do have quite a long way to go. I spent my evening googling 'how to get a dewy look' (apparently you need to put cutical remover on your face and then make your own face misting spray with rose oil and witch hazel) and investigating Avon's website thinking that perhaps I need an Avon lady to call and tell me exactly what I need to do for a sagging neck and wrinkly dull skin.
I feel that the tax man is just going to have to suck it up and wait for some of his money because my face is more of an emergency right now. If anybody has any top beauty suggestions, please share them. A brown paper bag over my head isn't a lasting solution.