Civilisation part 2

Trip to Grandma’s house.

Boy with backwards hat, a vest top and skirt underlaid with balloons masquerading as trousers swaggers past car. What is this place?

Arrival at Grandma’s. Orange people on TV are violently smashing around in cars knocking over foam things and oil drums on a massive plastic set; while “cheeky chappie ” Dermott O’Leary chortles as he watches the last smidge of his own assumed credibility get run over by a yellow car with antlers and evaporate into nothingness. I consider what the budget for this show might be. How and why anyone could plausibly consider that this pantomime of clunk might be worth a punt. It wasn’t. Juxtaposition between last night’s talk on refugee situation in Lesvos and the wild extravagance, the sheer audacity that this sort of thing actually exists while people are starving in the world.

Another performance surrounding “being a vegetarian”. They had a pie but it had been in the freezer “too long”. Why do I always forget how difficult other people find it to comprehend what a meal without meat could possibly entail? “Can she have peas?” I hear my Grandma say. Supermarket trip ensues. In such a hurry to leave I end up buying mushroom sauce with chicken fat in it.  Another wild panic from family. I settle for pasta with soup on it. Dad asks what it’s like. I say “it’s like pasta with soup on it”. Everyone else eats the meaty thing.

“Are you growing your hair?” Grandma says pointedly, which I imagine is code for: “Your hair looks an absolute state, Sarah. Go and see someone for goodness sake”.

I blow my nose on toilet paper. Fragranced? My nostrils feel like they’ve been invaded by a small army of offensive chemical flowers. I imagine this is what snorting pot pouri might be like. Oh how things have changed.

I play my Grandma a song. She got visibly annoyed at me for “wasting my time doing all that music and then just giving up ” when I saw her last. I assume she might like to hear me play again. She says “well, yes I suppose it’s quite good” (except she emphasises the “quite good” part so much that it can only be interpreted as absolute sarcasm). I can’t even please my one fan anymore.

I attempt bed. Can’t sleep. Central heating. The radiator is on 5. 5! There are 2 duvets and 2 sheets on the bed. People have a real misunderstanding of the cold in houses. The smell of washing detergent on the sheets is violently harassing my nostrils. Endless thoughts of the past week’s events are ringing in my ears, so loud, unavoidable and obnoxious it’s like a pneumatic drill in my brain.

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