“We want to make salt water taffy,” says Eldest.
“What’s that?” I say.
“You know, it’s like toffee. You boil it in a pan.” He says.
I know this is a bad idea and I want to say no but I can’t think of a reason.
“Okay. But only if you don’t make a mess. At all. Anywhere. And you clear everything up and put everything away exactly where you found it.” I say. Generously.
I’m grumpy because I’ve hurt my back. I don’t know how I did it; it could have been playing tennis last week. (I say playing but I can’t really play, I worry that the tennis coach will be cross with me so I anxiously grip the racket and this hurts my arm.)
Or, I could have done it carrying heavy bags back from Sainsbury’s last week when I was trying to be Green. I had to collect Youngest from school on the way and he claimed to be too exhausted to carry his own bag and trumpet, so I carried everything including his jacket and my own jacket because it was hot, (remember that?) and it was a long way.
Or, it could have been from sitting in the theatre watching Les Miserables at the Barbican last week, in the upper circle, in very upright seats, for three hours.
Or, it could have been from carrying the ludicrously heavy vacuum cleaner up three flights of stairs to Hoover-up the sick in Eldest’s room (see last blog).
Or, from holding the phone under my chin for a very long time while doing the house work and waiting to talk to BT about the broadband, or rather, the lack of it. (Nine days without.)
Or, it might have been from typing because I’m working on an article, and I’ve recently written 13,000 words for something else.
I don’t know. All I know is that my back hurts. Or it might be my neck, or my shoulder, or, my back and neck and shoulder; I’m not sure. I’m only sure that there’s pain and I can’t move my head properly and it’s preventing me from getting a good night’s sleep.
So, it was particularly unfortunate that I had to bend down and stick my head into a low, narrow kitchen cupboard for ages because of a mysterious, reoccurring slick on the floor: a slick that arrived at almost exactly the same time as the salt water taffy-making episode. (Which was a disaster by the way. It was black and solid and inedible.)
And sure enough there’s a large tin of golden syrup on its side without the lid on properly, the trail from which resembles a long, sticky, amber-coloured BP disaster. Every time I think I’ve got it, I find more of the stuff oozing from some new crevice. When I finally finish I have golden syrup in my hair and my back is hurting. A lot. Or is it my neck?