Alas, this is not a reference to Whitesnake’s epic hit: ‘Here I go again on my o-o-own, goin’ down the only road I’ve ever kno-own, like a gypsy I was born to roam alo-o-one, but I’ve made up my mi-i-ind, I ain’t wastin’ no more ti-i-ime…’ or something like that. I can’t remember the exact words, despite having listened to it 500 times, over half of them on a coach crossing Brazil when I was a 15 year old glam metal fan. Oh yes, I am not ashamed of my youthful folly, of my crush on men with long backcombed hair and carefully-applied eye make-up and spandex, indeed, it made me what I am today: a 39 year old woman with accidentally backcombed hair (what I believe Fifty Shades of Grey would describe as ‘just fucked hair’ although in my case it generally signifies ‘just slept with the pillow on my head so as not to hear anyone snoring/crying hair’), no time for carefully applied eye make-up, and a loathing of anything vaguely spandex including rubber gloves. Def Leppard, Kiss, Van Halen, Guns’n’Roses, you name it (in the glittery, pouty, rock category), I listened to it. I probably even went to see them and stood too close to the speakers which might explain my early-deafness nowadays. I’m not actually deaf, I just don’t hear certain things, or so L’Homme says, although he’s the only one who says that and now I come to think of it I often DO hear him but just pretend I haven’t. So in fact, I’m not at all deaf. In the space of two sentences I have regained my full aural faculties.
But back to the point of this post, which is to say that L’Homme has gone back on tour which effectively means that once I put the kids to bed the evenings are mine ALL MINE (cue evil crazy professor laugh), so I can get back to writing this thing. Hoorah! – for time to myself in the evenings. Boooooooo! – to doing all the daily drudgery on my own and not having company once the kids are in bed. Mind you, L’Homme hasn’t vanished from our lives for the next 9 months in one single whammy, he will be back nearly every weekend and sometimes even for a few days in a row. So I can look forward to spending evenings arguing about whether or not to trade in our car and where the potato peelers should or shouldn’t be hanged/hung. In moments like those, I can think of only one place where I would like to hang those potato peelers.
But bless him, he means well.
And the other times it’s not his fault, honest guv, it’s just his male pride forcing him to behave like an egotistical macho Stormtrooper with a Mission To Get His Own Way.
I can say this because at the moment that is not the case; the last three days have seen a Nouveau Homme around the place. No, I haven’t got a new man in my life. Or maybe I have, but he has borrowed the outer envelope of my old L’Homme. They look exactly the same, but Nouveau Homme is calmer, more patient and when I say, “I’m going to a different market to do the shopping”, he doesn’t construe it as “fuck you, I REFUSE to buy you any saucisson.” He actually hears what I say. And even more mind-blowing, he doesn’t mind if I have an opinion that differs to his own. Yesterday I started to sand down an old garden table using a couple of bits of sandpaper and he came along with a proper sanding machine and took over the job. I went for a bike ride with Léonie and when we came back an hour later he was still sanding like a maniac and the entire terrace was covered in 3 inches of dust. “I’m going to sand it down so it’s all metal and then varnish it” he declared. “Oh”, I replied, “I was planning on painting it a bright colour. That was the whole point of sanding down the rusty bits. I fancy a brightly coloured table for the winter. Not a grey metal one.” I winced and prepared myself for the backlash but none came. “Oh” he said. AND THAT WAS IT. I went into cardiogenic shock and had to lie down on the floor. I thought maybe the blow-up would come later but it never did. At lunchtime he just said he was silly and had gotten carried away with the sanding machine. I choked on my cheese.
This radical change of behaviour from L’Homme came after I had spent 2 days in Lyon dancing my socks off, seeing a load of shows, hanging out with friends and meeting new people. He said I returned home “changed” and maybe he’s right; I was definitely bouncier. But I was also bouncier because he was being so NICE. Nice is not something L’Homme does really. Funny, yes. Generous, yes. Impulsive, yes. But nice? Very wierd. And very… erm… nice. I hope it lasts. The odds are it won’t, as once he’s back on tour and effectively living most of his week as a single man out on the town it’s difficult for him to adjust to 2 small, demanding children, a selectively-deaf girlfriend and a totally deaf labrador, along with all our needs, wants, desires and loud voices. The result tends to be lots of short-tempered hurtful comments sprinkled with some angry shouting and a couple of slammed doors, but often we don’t notice as there are some baby kittens living out behind the house and we’re busy discussing whether they’ve eaten the food we put out and what we’ll call them once they decide to adopt us. But maybe, just maybe, L’Homme will manage to keep his Nouveau side to him when he comes home. He still thinks I’m the one who has changed and is now sending me on more dance courses in the hope I’ll remain buoyant. I’m not arguing with that one.
And talking of buoyant, or the opposite of buoyant (which is probably ‘sunk’), a friend came for lunch the other day, a reader-of-my-blog friend, and he made the remark that my writing had become ‘not so fun’ over the past couple of months. He is indeed right, which is why I have written so little, as I just felt like screaming and complaining and whining and whinging and no-one wants to read that. In fact, I apologise for my last post, which came across as a total downer whereas I thought I had tweaked it enough to make it sort of funny. Alas, it wasn’t, and I’m sorry about that, it won’t happen again. However, I did get a ton of comments on Facebook which did encourage me in my flipper research and made me feel a lot better, so thank you for that, dear readers. The same friend suggested that when I’m feeling that down I shouldn’t write but instead should go round to his place for a cup of tea. So he’d better get a hefty stock of good tea in as I shall be taking him up on the offer.
NB: I just checked the Whitesnake lyrics. I wasn’t far off. I changed hobo for gypsy, being English and not actually knowing what a hobo was at the age of fifteen. It truly is a beautiful world when you can find the lyrics to an old Whitesnake song in a matter of seconds, rather than digging out the old dusty cassette tape, borrowing a cassette player from the 90 year old neighbours, changing the plug, rewinding and fastforwarding the cassette until you find the chorus and transcribing the words onto paper with a feathered plume.
“An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone
An’ I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time…”
Pure poetry. Good old Whitesnake. I shall be returning to the subject of their lyrics soon, as I have just read a number of their songs I used to sing along to as a very young teenager and only now realise what they were banging on about. Basically, screwing women to shut them up. I prefer the sanding tables option.