It started well. Monkey Dave texted me when I slovenly switched on my phone at 7am this morning, to say his missus had given birth to a vast 9lb primate called Annabel. I called him immediately to offer excited congratulations.
I then casually walked into the bathroom to shave my pubes - as you do - and didn't realise my beard trimmer was set to '1'. I now look like a pre-pubescent boy.
My sister called three times while I was in the shower. I had a soirée to attend tonight and chose not to cycle in, hence the pre-work shower at home as opposed to the post-cycle shower in the gym. When I called Sis back she told me my Mum, my lovely bottle-blonde progenitor with MS, had last night managed to break her ankle in two places trying to get into her wheelchair, on her birthday no less.
Suddenly I had a pissed off and anxious commute to work while Mum was in Hospital. When I got to my office I tried calling her. I phoned Watford General and asked if Mrs R____ B____ was there.
"What about her?"
"What the hell do you mean 'What about her?' This is a hospital, she's my Mother and one of your patients, and there's an outside chance that I might like to be put through to her."
She gave me a number that for the next eight hours was perpetually engaged. During that time, my sister called to see if I'd spoken to Mum.
There's this weird thing between me and my Sis. For one thing, I don't call her 'Sis'. She's just this stranger that I'm very related to. I have more of a relationship with the commentators on this blog than I do with my own sister. Sam and I are poles apart; We don't really get each other at all. We had a falling out and didn't speak from March until December and since I saw her on Boxing Day and patched whatever had to be patched up, nothing has really changed.
She called back to ask if I'd spoken to Mum and I got very animated ~ No! Can't reach her at all!
"FOR GOD'S SAKE," she screamed, "CALM DOWN!!!"
Family members are strange creatures. I am, by nature, fairly calm. I can be surrounded by phenomenal emergencies and will act calmly and think about the situation once it's all over. I have my moments but will generally, even during the most heated eventualities, keep my head.
But for some reason, all it takes is for my one and only sibling, my Skin and Blister, to screech for my obeyance when my voice raises by a sodding semi-quaver, and I lose my cool.
"I AM FUCKING CALM! STOP TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN!!!"
Only she can bring that out in me. And then I realise the worst thing in any Man's life: I have become my Dad.
On top of this, my Boss's computer imploded the day before so today, he not only had to share my computer, but our office drive with ALL the shit on it was on that machine. The engineer was to visit this afternoon, but it was going to be between 4 and 5pm.
We close shop at 5pm and spend an hour finishing up. And my Boss had to leave uncommonly early to get his daughter.
Suddenly I had a computer engineer who would never turn up in the last hour of work, and a hospitalised Mother I couldn't contact.
But it all came together in the end. The guy turned up at 4pm. He fixed the machine in twenty minutes. Mum called and was now back home - We joked that she'd never run again. Well, I did, then felt guilty that she didn't laugh. Tom left, then I sped off to the Bountiful Cow in Hoburn and caught up with old friends. We went on to a pub in Covent Garden where I fell in slight love with a gorgeous red-headed Albanian barmaid who largely ignored me, then I returned home to drink my own body weight in vodka and rum.
I'm visiting Mum tomorrow. She's a hardy woman and can take more than I ever could, but I have to see her. It's been a tough week. My cousin was diagnosed with lung cancer two days ago and has a year left to live. She will be leaving behind four children aged 18 and younger. The odd thing is they're the religious side of the family. Her father, a wonderful, brilliant, cheerful man, was taking the trash out one rainy day a few years ago, when he slipped and landed on his head in a freak accident that killed him.
Once again, I have no idea what all this means. I moan a lot, a hell of a lot, but I have no real right to. If you're a regular reader or just passing through, the real shit is happening to other people. And futhermore, if you are reading this, we're the fortunate 12% with electricity and computers to read this nonsense.
I think we're the lucky ones.