I am still here. Just. I spent the 1st and 2nd of January wondering if I was going to make it much further into the new year. I had so many symptoms I considered phoning the screenwriters for House so that they could base an episode on my mysterious condition. At least then my death would not be in vain. My calf muscles had seized up (peripheral vascular disease!), I couldn’t walk (sarcoidosis!), I couldn’t turn my neck nor lift and lower my chin (meningitis! encephalitis!), my head was spinning non-stop (acoustic neuroma!), I kept crashing out on the sofa, unable to get up again, weak, chronically fatigued, exhausted (Myasthenia gravis! Guillain-Barré syndrome!), I felt so bad I couldn’t imagine ever again feeling anything but so bad. What was I dying of?? Who could help me?
And then my brain slightly unfuzzed for a few seconds and I had one single, clear thought : this was all related to my overly enthusiastic, hyper-energetic, borderline mental participation in the New Year’s Eve party we went to. It was a wickedly indulgent, over-the-top party which had me drinking the most delicious champagne in copious quantities and dancing from midnight until 5 a.m. on a concrete, tiled floor. The champagne explains the head symptoms, the tiled floor is responsible for my torn calf muscles. Aaaaahhhhh! All of a sudden my symptoms started to feel quite cool. They were Party Wounds! The result of having had a damn good night out. And seeing as it has been over 2 years since I danced or drank like that, my body was clearly in shock. It still is a bit. My head is okay now, but I’m still walking stiffly. The last time I danced on concrete for hours, it took a week before I stopped hobbling along like someone’s great grandma. Which would be okay, except stairs are especially painful and L’Homme has just vanished from our lives which means I’m doing double stair duty. “What?!” you scream, “He left you! What did you do? Snog someone at the party? Worse? Interrupt his ‘reading time’ on the loo? Ask him to help you with the housework?! You idiot! You crazy fool!!” Calm down. He has just gone back to work. Touring two immensely successful shows for THE French contemporary theatre company of the moment. So that’s that. From now until the end of May I will be seeing him not a lot. He pops back every week-end or so, for a day, or two if we’re lucky, and then he’s off again, to another bit of France, stage-managing, racing about backstage changing the set and carrying the actors to their spot and for the first time in his life, playing a character – with lines! – a dodgy dealer. He has been practising his lines and breaking out into a cold sweat each time I correct him, which is most of the time because a) he’s having a hard time remembering in what order he says what, and b) having gone through the text four or five times I had hoovered the lines up into my brain and knew them by heart. I kept batting them back at him while he struggled to work out what was said when. God, I am annoying. I know that must drive him crazy. But it’s as close as I’m going to get at the moment to actually saying any lines so I thought I’d make the most of it. Poor little starved actress that I am.
Anyway, L’Homme is gone and I’m back to looking after a 4 year old and a one year old in a tiny weeny village where some (most) people think that the Theory of Evolution is about as real as The Mister Men. Right on cue, an hour after L’Homme had left, Léonie came down with a fever – 38,5°C and rising – and didn’t want to be ANYWHERE but in my arms with her head rammed under my chin. This didn’t help with the aching neck thing, and hobbling around the house with killer-painful calf muscles and a baby in your arms is not the best way to spend the evening. But one of my New Year Resolutions (are you meant to put capitals in there?) is TO NOT COMPLAIN. So, I am not complaining. I am just stating facts. And on the bright side, Léonie is so feverish she slept for 3 hours in a row this afternoon and I got more done than I had in the entire year of 2011. And it’s still warm and sunny here. So there. Two roses even came out on New Year’s Day. And I picked my last chilli peppers from the garden. It’s downright wierd, but I AM NOT COMPLAINING.