It’s one of those moments in life where everything, and I mean everything, goes wrong. Yesterday the dole office told me my file had been rejected. “But I’ve worked MORE than the amount of hours necessary” I argued, “Has my file been processed under the performing artist’s regime or as a ‘normal’ file?” (here in France, performing artists and technicians have a special system where you have to have a minimum of 507 hours of declared work over a period of 10 months… but the dole office personnel seem to either hate us or else they have special orders to get rid of such scum, thus binning our files at the mere sight of the word “technician” or “actress”.) The woman looked down her long, thin nose at me and went “pppppwwwwfff” as the French do so well. “Je ne sais pas” she spat. Her colleague who deals with “performing artists” (she said the words as if she was saying “lice-infested whores”) is on holiday and won’t be back until August. I was feeling unusually calm and so I only broke one of the three swing doors as I left the building. I picked Tommy up from his nanny’s house and was presented with the bill for the month. With holiday pay included. I blinked at the sum dumbly; this was the only reaction possible with under-fives in the room. We drove home, the evening slipped by smoothly enough, and then I started receiving phone calls from various friends and family. People had been receiving emails from me – from my email address – saying I was in the Ivory Coast for a “juicy deal”, that bandits had attacked me and taken all my money/credit cards/passport and that I needed 1150€ sent to pay my hotel fees and get me back to France, with details of a dodgy Western Union account. My friends had figured it was a farce, but only after a second reading – most of them were in shock when they first received the email. So I’ve had to delete all my mails, close down that account, change all passwords and adresses and knickers, just in case… and it’s all been a big, fat pain in the ass. So to make myself feel better, this morning I went upstairs to help L’Homme work on the bedrooms, and while white-washing a wall, got a big glob of burning white-wash in my left eye. And when I say burning, I really mean burning. I dropped everything, stumbled down the stairs and into the shower, and ran cold water into my eye and all over eveything for 20 minutes. The burning stopped but I can’t see properly. All is hazy. Soft focus with the impression that a small, sharp stone is stuck in my retina. Our next-door neighbour, who’s a doctor says I need to see an ophtalmologist as soon as possible, but everyone I phone puts me in a queue which lasts ten minutes and ends with them hanging up on me. L’Homme brought me some sweet melon to eat but didn’t dare give me a toothpick to spike the pieces in case I swallowed it. I daren’t even take the car to get my eye checked out in case I roll down a ravine. Even this little article might well explode in my face any minute. So I shall publish it and close the computer before the house burns down.