End of the year

It’s the last day of the Year of the Monkey today, and music is wafting from Chinatown towards our eyrie on the 40th floor. Today I walked through a shopping centre in the middle of town, and there were a series of recommendations from an astrologer, put up on placards. Staunch stuff like: don’t expect financial windfalls this year, or don’t drive carelessly, or be careful in relationships. Does nobody ever get a horoscope that says “well, things will be fine for you this year whatever, so you can drive like a tit and stick all your money in a slot machine, you’ll come out on top”?

Tomorrow is the first day of the Chicken, or the Rooster, or the Enormous Cock. I would celebrate by wearing a chicken costume all day, but for reasons I can’t possibly think of, I didn’t get round to hiring one from any of my local chicken-costume-hire-shops. Shame on me, shame on me. Instead I’ll have prosaic activities like renewing library books, running for two hours and eating scrambled eggs to get through. That is, assuming there’s anywhere to buy scrambled eggs, as the city goes on lockdown for Chinese New Year / everyone is exhausted from staying up late to the incredibly loud sounds of Chinese New Year Eve music / everyone is hiding in terror from the rampaging mecha-chicken that’s been stationed in Chinatown this past month.

But we’ll be ok. After all, as I said we’re on the 40th floor.

This afternoon, as I had the day off work, I took La Serpiente to her swimming class. This was a success, in that she will swim underwater quite happily and quite proficiently. It was not a success, in that for half the class she refused to do so and instead clung to me, pouring water on my head from a red plastic elephant watering can, and gibbering. This despite repeated admonishment and instruction and coaxing to do what we were there for. Her only explanation afterwards for this was ‘I wanted to be with you Daddy’ which is a suspiciously post-hoc justification for any behaviour whatsoever, and didn’t jibe well with the rest of her bongo-mania for the day. We went to a shopping mall, she was manic for a few hours, we took her home, she erupted in rage and sorrow a few times, and we put her to bed. And I wished I’d had a nap this afternoon.

This morning, because there was a Chinese New Year celebration at her school, we’d put her and her sister in matching cheongsams, which (if I do say so myself) were very cute, and marched them down there. Then we took Destroyer to a playground and to her swimming class this morning, and while my wife supervised that, I was out looking at horoscopes. And so back this winds to where we started. And so to bed.

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