Someone wished me a ‘happy New Year’ yesterday. I think they may have missed the cut-off point for this.
It’s a terribly British problem but when exactly is it socially appropriate to stop saying ‘happy New Year!’? It feels like we’ve been shrouded in grey skies, beset by biting winds and plagued by slippery pavements for weeks.
Aside from sodden Uggs (aka Sluggs), January’s biggest fashion problem is Hat Hair. Hat Hair occurs when you leave the house wearing an on-trend woollen hat, only to arrive at your destination, remove said hat – and then realise that your hair is plastered to your head and flatter than a pancake.
As I type, I’m currently battling the dilemma of whether to remove my hat and expose the inevitable Hat Hair or keep it safely hiding my flattened tresses. Outside, this bushy beast passed for something relatively fashionable; now that I’m wearing it indoors – sans coat – it looks like a giant toilet brush.
It’s so cold that I’ve become obsessed with ridiculously hot baths. It’s not even that our apartment, aka the Holiday Home, is even that cold (the heating’s been on for four years because the husband and I never did work out how to turn it off); I’ve just got The Perma-Chill Within. I literally cannot function at home without clambering straight into a scalding bath to warm my cold bones.
But the ultimate weapon against The Perma-Chill Within is the hot water bottle. Anyone who doesn’t use the trusty bottie is seriously missing a trick.
Simply fill it up from the kettle (ignore the naysayers who warn against this), pop it under the duvet and it will heat the bed all night (White Company cashmere cover optional). I’ve even been known to leave the house with one strapped to my back. I’m now just one step away from the ultimate statement of slobbiness: the slanket.
In other mundane/ inane news, my cleaner (she of the bizarre presents; details here) has finally returned from her extended break in Poland. Thank the Lord. (Yes, I have a cleaner. I’m far too important educating the next generation to iron my own smalls).
However, I fear she might have taken leave of her senses. Evidence as follows…
ME: Hi! Bit of a strange question but do you know what you did with the pillowcases that were on our bed? I wanted to wash them but I can find only the sheets…
CLEANER: So sorry Katy! I will ask my friend. She clean the bed today. She not answer her mobile. Oh I am so very sorry about this. I don’t check her today very carefully.
ME: Don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll turn up!
CLEANER: She still not answer her phone. I can come and sort this out now because I don’t feel so good about this.
ME: It’s fine. I was just a bit puzzled. Please don’t worry.
CLEANER: I come to house now to sort this out.
ME: There’s no need to do that. It’s fine!
CLEANER: I am so sorry! Maybe she put the left this cases on the pillow and she put new cases on top?
ME: Hi! You’re right – she has. I’ve found them!
CLEANER: Oh my good! I am so very sorry. Next time I do the beds. So so sorry Katy!!! I am really sorry!
ME: Please don’t worry. Have a great weekend.
CLEANER: Thank you. I am one more time SO SO SORRY!!!!
Reading these messages, you probably now think that I keep the kowtowing cleaner locked in a cupboard and occasionally beat her with a mop.
But honestly I couldn’t be a better employer: I always make sure I’m out when she comes, eat and drink her strange Polish gifts out of guilt, and have given her jobs with at least eight other friends. I even clean up for the cleaner. Who does that?
Following The Curious Incident of the Vanishing Pillowcases, by way of apology she presented me with a fine bottle of… Zubrowka Bison Grass.
I’m not sure exactly what it is but I can only assume from the picture that it’s a highly potent Polish vodka, mixing the blood of a bull with the semen of an ox.
Thank God for Dry January.