April fish out of water (13.22)

The French say poisson d’Avril, April fish, not April Fool. Because we are now in April, and I am an April fish out of water.

Or am I a fool?

I have spoken before about my scepticism over gratitude practice, but since starting my new job and using my new diary that has three boxes at the side of each day, in addition to noting meetings and things I’ve completed that day, I write in those three boxes things that went well. It doesn’t have to be major, but in amongst the panic over all the things I am struggling with, there are those three little things that were good, and that helps me feel that it’s not all bad, that it will eventually be OK, that there will eventually be more than three good moments in a day.

At least, that is the hope that is keeping me going.

The warm spring feeling has evaporated and a chill has crept back to remind us that winter has not released us from its sticky fingers just yet. Not time yet to pull my summer clothes out of storage.

Although it is. In a week’s time, I will be in Cambodia, on holiday. It doesn’t quite feel real yet, I suppose two years of Covid cancellations has led me to temper my sense of excitement and expectation. I’m trying to picture heat and sunshine and exotic smells (not all of which will be pleasant). I’m trying to imagine being hot, really sweaty hot. Instead I am only conscious of how cold my feet are.

I had a second and more successful attempt at the dried fava (broad) beans. (Also known as fouls, pronounced like the April kind.) 24 hours soaking and then 5hrs on high in the slow cooker, and they came out cooked. Kind of. Some with a nut type texture; some properly squishy. Now the challenge – what to do with them!

This week’s TV: Having exhausted the backlog of Midsomer Murders, Husband is now on the lookout for similar programmes: a bit of murdering against a bucolic backdrop. Cue Murder in Provence, a charming English language production set in the honeyed light of the South of France. There are very small coffees, lots of glasses of rose, baguettes aplenty and probably more oyster suppers than is typical. Isn’t life in Provence lovely, they seem to say. Why yes, I’m sure it is, apart from all the murdering. So far only three episodes are available, so it’s not a major time investment.

From French murder to community hilarity. My local community facebook group is occasionally very funny, often without intending to be. (The woman who asked what the loud noises and lights in the sky were during a thunderstorm was a classic.) Let me recount this recent post:

My local community facebook group is occasionally very funny, often without intending to be. (The woman who asked what the loud noises and lights in the sky were during a thunderstorm was a classic.) Let me recount this recent post:

HELP! My son was happily having a poo in the cafe and now he’s locked in. Can anyone help please?

Someone then tagged the local councillor, who said she would call the cafe owner, but before she could, the original poster updated us:

Sorted now, they went back, he set off the alarms. Honestly, only [son’s name]!

There is so much to unpack here… firstly, too much information about exactly what you son was doing in the toilet (let alone that he was happy?!). Secondly, she mentions her son’s name. Admittedly she didn’t share how old her son is – he could be 9 or 29 – but if he is at school, what’s the chance he would get some kind of teasing about this incident? It doesn’t matter that (to paraphrase REM) everybody poos, what matters is that not everyone’s mother posts about their poos on social media.

Wherever you go this week, don’t get locked in. And don’t tell your mother if you do.

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