Quiet night in

My wife is out enjoying herself with human beings that don’t merely treat her as a milk receptacle, my child is sound asleep in her room, and I’m on the sofa, furiously hammering away on my laptop, trying to catch up with work. It’s strange that I can get more stuff done at home when it’s quiet than in the office, especially when it’s not really quiet at home: for no apparent reason, there’s an incredibly loud concert going on downstairs somewhere, wobbly, off-key vocals floating up through our windows, accompanied by just-a-little-bit-too-inept musicianship. It must be a bad sign that after two years of this, it feels normal and hardly distracting at all.
I went to bed last night exhausted, unable to think, and smelly (I had neglected to shower after I got home because I was so stupidly tired) but at one a.m. some switch tripped in my brain and I woke up, bright and alert. At one a.m. Somehow, after reading a few pages of news about the 1970s, I went back to sleep, and then woke up with my alarm at 6:15, feeling groggy and awful, a state I didn’t recover from until this evening, about 9:30. Obviously, that made me a joy to work with all day.

El Capitan, organiser of the pub quiz that I didn’t go to tonight, has been buying things from the internet. Idle hands and all that. Today, he received, after a three-week wait, a Chinese Leatherman knock-off from Groupon. At least he’s getting things he wants, rather than inappropriate offers of cosmetic surgery from thousands of miles away.

However, a Leatherman is something you use to effect minor repairs in the great outdoors, in situations where you don’t have a proper tool kit full of pliers, saws, hex keys, and so on. When you’re in an air conditioned office and there is nothing in particular that requires sawing, tweezing or pliering, your thoughts turn to what you can do with your new toy. El Capitan kept asking me if he could pull one of my teeth out, or one of my fingernails, and when I told him he couldn’t do either of those, he tried to amuse himself by attaching the pliers to my bag.

It’s not my bag, of course, because I’m borrowing my wife’s bag to lug my computer to and from work. I told El Capitan not to attack the bag either, but I shouldn’t have worried, because the faux-Leatherman is made of such cheap metal that no matter how hard he squeezed, the pliers made no mark upon the plastic clasp of my wife’s bag.

In fact, I think the metal of the not-a-Swiss-Army-Penknife (remember when those were in fashion, anyone?) may have bent a bit, confounded by the superior strength of German plastic.

After savouring this pointless victory of bag over tool, I went home, where my child yelled at me for some time. She’s teething (well, the first tooth is visible now) which makes her fractious and short-termpered with her staff from time to time. Still, I bathed her without her getting upset, which was a treat after recent high volume bathtime escapades, and then she was adoringly cute while we tried to feed her down to sleep, crawling and standing up on the bed and then flopping down again, as delightfully as she could manage.

Then I dispatched my wife to have fun, and began to batter my keyboard, and here I am now, and with any luck I can stop typing now … and concentrate on the plot for my novel. Somewhere along the line, my priorities have got muddled up.

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