At my desk, I look through a pane of glass at the green of the garden.
It’s a still, dank day.
The damp squib let down of the euphoria following Christmas and New Year sits in the ether. In the distance a mocha brown blackbird stabs at the frozen ground. Slim pickings, the worms too are in recession. A pink tiled roof leers over the holly hedge. Two intricate chimneys astride the pinnacle like funnels on a deck. A hint of woodsmoke slinks off into the copse beyond.
I am totally pissed off. I have my tax return to complete. Dread and horror. It’s the fear of form filling. I’d rather do anything (except defrost the freezer..). I am not a keeper of papers. Disarray. The system is so convoluted. Nobody picks up the phone in the Self Assessment Department. Panic.
Yesterday I met with three men. Three wise men bringing gifts from the East. Or not.
First, a new plumber. Col, talks the same talk and walks the same bow-legged walk as his predecessors. He bought his wife a labrador pup for Christmas and is going to Las Vegas in February for his fortieth. I wait to hear his price.
Second, Rich, a salesman, talks a similar talk, but walks with a stagger. He proposed to his girlfriend under water in Egypt. By blackboard.
Third, Dave, an old aquaintance. I saw him walking down the cobbles in the village and there was nowhere to hide. Pants. It was a no mascara/lipgloss day, and I looked as if I had been dug up. He blah blah blahed about himself for twenty minutes. He wants to swap his Rolls Royce for a Horsebox.
Really? I mustered my wow – how interesting face – not very convincingly I don’t think. I suggested he might contact Jordan/Katie about her shocking pink horse transporter… oh, I already have, says Dave, she’s opening the the polo season for us.
After this last meeting, I put my hood up and my head down and made it to the chemist without being spotted. Always dress for the day Kathleen. What’s the point?
I have decided to strike WHAT’S THE POINT from my vocabulary.
SO WHAT is the future. So what. Who cares? Nothing matters. So what. If I win the Euromillions next week, and the rollover of 53,000,000 euros, I shall buy a racehorse, a kosher one, not like the donkeys we saw at Musselburgh on Monday.
And I shall call it ‘SO WHAT’. And not, just to make it clear ‘SO WHAT?’.
Musselburgh was champion. A charming wee Scottish racecourse where champagne cocktails were £5 each. From the champagne tent to the parade ring to the finishing post was 70 yards. Contained and cosy. I chose female bookies on the course to hand my notes to. A Scottish tenner carries the portrait of Mary Slessor, Presbyterian missionary and feminist. I think Mary might have enjoyed seeing the mostly male gate handing over their spends to a lady bookmaker. There are no poor bookmakers, and according to folklore, the female ones are far more canny than the males.
I also bought a £2 tote accumulator. We won nothing. Not a solitary bean, except the accumulator came in. Four races, four horses were placed!! Can you imagine? I had already reserved flights for St Barts. The tote takes a while to come through, lots to calculate. I handed over the golden ticket to a lady in a red uniform who should have gone to Specsavers. I thought she might have to phone through, there can’t be that much money in her till?