Confessions of a Worrywart by Pauline Chandler
Some days, I’m completely exhausted well before nine o’clock in the morning, what with breakfast tv and the terrible news, and replying to messages on email, Facebook and Twitter.
Then there’s the daily paper to read.
It’s all frightful. There’s no sense of calm any more. Have you noticed? Everyone’s worried to death and it can’t be good for us.
And I've discovered something terrifying about bread.
After two weeks, the white sliced bread, bought as an economy move, has not gone mouldy, which must mean it’s completely sterile.
It's dead. When you eat white sliced bread, you’re putting dead bread in your mouth. I’m never going to buy white sliced bread again. Ever.
Then there's the ladybirds. They're gathering in the corners of the window frames in the sitting room and kitchen, small crowds, cuddling into hibernation. They bother me and then again, they don’t bother me. They’re not noisy and I get a really good feeling from the thought that I’m helping wild life, but does it mean I’m a slattern who never cleans her windows and should I put my host of sleeping ladybirds outside, in the frosty garden?
My friend urges me to support a woman writer who ‘lives her dream’, by devoting every minute of every day to her work in progress. Out come thoughts from Mrs Grumpy.
'She doesn’t even wash her hair. Ee-ew. Writers, artists, anyone, do not have the right to support, especially if they abandon personal hygiene. It’s lovely if you can wangle it, but don’t expect it. You’re not that special'.
I reply that, of course, I'll help.
Mrs Grumpy is followed by Mrs Irritated.
'Why do people who ‘opt out’ of society, expect support? If you live in my country, and use its facilities and services, from libraries to public lavatories, you have to contribute. There’s no such thing as ‘There’s no such as thing as society’. Listen up, we’re all in this together'.
Why does LIDL sell cat food labelled ‘for the sterilised and castrated’? Indelicate.
Why did I buy chocolate-coated
Are there female zips? If the ‘keeper’ sits on one side rather than the other, is it like buttons on a shirt? Is it sword-related? Do boys mind wearing hoodies with female zips? If there are female zips.
Why is the man who is laying a new gas main in my road, smoking? Why is his mate standing watching him with his hands in his pockets?
If I eat a chocolate-coated
brazil now, will it spoil my
Why can’t I buy one kipper? There’s always two in a boil-in-the-bag, so there’s always one left over. So sad.
Leftovers, like charity advertisements, weigh heavily on my conscience. They sit miserably, in the fridge, abandoned, like Victorian orphans, inexorably fading away without fuss. But, what is one to expect? What can I do with two boiled potatoes? They're neither one thing nor the other.