Well I don’t know about you but I looked like total shit this morning. I couldn’t nod off last night, I can’t think why. It was definitely nothing to do with the fact that I got home from the movies at 10.30pm and then ate some cheese on toast and drank 1.5 glasses of white wine.
I lay there in bed next to my husband, feeling sad that I was still awake. Giles fell asleep in 3 seconds, despite also having eaten the cheese toastie and drunk the wine and also having quite a bad attack of gout in his left foot. Yes it’s a little weird being married to someone from 1746, but we somehow make it work.
I coughed and snorted and failed to get comfortable, I tossed and turned and worried about things.
Then, at 1am, I heard it. The Beep. You know what I mean by The Beep. The Beep is the electronic beep that starts up in the middle of the night, from somewhere deep in your house, which lets you know that you are about to be awake for the next hour, locating the beep, diagnosing the beep, shutting the beep up.
Please let it not be a smoke alarm battery failure, I prayed as I crept down the creaky stairs, in the dark. The torrential rain was battering the rooflights. When the smoke alarm’s battery fails you have to find a ladder then remember how to open the case of the smoke alarm without electrocuting yourself or slipping and stabbing an arterial vein with the screwdriver you used to get the case off, then locate a spare weirdly-shaped battery and attach it to the fiddly cables without electrocuting yourself, or falling off the ladder. This is almost impossible at 3am, which is always always when the smoke alarm battery fails, so you have to instead go back to bed and try to ignore the MEEP of the smoke alarm’s battery failure alert noise, which sounds once every 3 minutes until the battery is changed.
Please let it not be a smoke alarm battery failure.
I carried on downstairs to locate the noise. And then I knew. The Beep this time was not the smoke alarm battery failure, but the deafening BEEP BOOP that comes from our stupid fucking burglar alarm whenever there is a power failure or the electricity trips. This happens more often than I would like, as our house is so rickety and old, filled with mouse holes and wonky with subsidence. Every electrician who has been through this house says, laughing, that some of the electrics make the place “a death trap”. I bashed in the correct code to the burglar alarm panel to shut The Beep the fuck up and then noted with a swoop-plop of my stomach that all the electrics in the kitchen had failed, including the fridge. I went down to the basement DO NOT THINK ABOUT MURDERERS EVEN A HOT ONE E.G. JAMIE DORNAN and noted that all the fuse switches were up.
I had now reached the outer limits of my electricity knowledge and I was going to have to go back upstairs, heart hammering from massive The Beep neurosis and wake up my slumbering, gout-riddled husband. About as appealing as waking up a huge, snarling, half-trained attack dog with a sharp poke up the bum.
“Oh my god, my foot,” was, in the end, all he said. Then he hobbled downstairs and grumpily flipped a load of switches in the basement while I stood in the kitchen still wondering if this was a pre-cursor to a mass-murder by an angry chef currently standing in the garden, who would any moment be lit up by a flash of lightning. Giles and I went around the kitchen unplugging things and as I unplugged my laptop charger from one kitchen wall I noticed water dripping out of it. Told you! Death trap.
“There is water dripping out of this socket,” I said to Giles.
“Woah,” he said.
I turned off the socket. Then Giles hobbled back down to the basement, flipped more switches and the fridge came back on, which is obviously the only thing that I care about. We went back to bed and I then lay awake until 4am. Then I think I fell asleep because I had a dream about Janice Turner.
At 7am I got up and looked at my face in the mirror and said “Who is the old lady wearing my pyjamas?” Then I remembered! Yesterday a box of products from Cult Beauty had arrived, (purchased by me, not a gift alas), including a pot of a wonder-product called Blunder Cover by Monika Blunder Beauty. This product was recommended by Alexia Inge, who is the founder of Cult Beauty and just sold it – the company – for about a billion quid. (Not recommended to me personally, she said it in a magazine.)
What an amazing opportunity, I thought, to really road test this motherfucker. And it’s very good. I don’t know what’s in it but I think it has some of the magical blurring properties of the Trinny Woodall Miracle Blur (which is witchcraft, by the way). I bought the Blunder Cover, plus a whole load of other stuff from CB, in a pre-menstrual state of extreme don’t-give-a-shitness and so just hazarded a guess at the right colour, which is always 2 shades darker than the one I think I ought to get. (In my mind, I am Galadriel, in reality I’m more Bette Midler after a week in Santorini.) It’s a perfect match. If only it also had City & Guilds training in domestic electrical installation.
Taliyana Lusted says
Definitely going to get some of that Trinny Woodhall miracle blur 👍
Dianne Beck says
That was sooo funny. Laughing my head off. Thanks for that
Rebecca G says
Esther, you lifesaver, I’m buying them both! Double coverage is needed…Two out of three kids at home (one with Covid and my five year old with maybe Covid is following me round the house playing a ukulele) and I’ve just started back at work after a five year break. Cried on a mum at the school drop as I’m so foookin stressed, two coffees bought just for me on the way home and a Millionaire Shortbread for breakfast. And breathe…
sheila birch says
you make laugh so much.. and I’ve seen you and your beautiful..
I raise you a flooded dining room in our ‘dream’ newly renovated 16th c thatched inn in Devon. The latest in a long list of issues. I see much claiming against architects’ insurance in my future. My resilience has gone. Give me all the cosmetics. Now.
Oh NO omg
Mary-Anne Borrowdale says
Could this be your best line EVER?? I think so: “In my mind, I am Galadriel, in reality I’m more Bette Midler after a week in Santorini.”
Emily Keaney says
Great post (although sorry about your electrics). I didn’t get an email alert for this one though.