The Panic Attack Is Scheduled For Monday

                           Parisian street in 1936 by Maynard Owen Williams for National Geographic

 

Less than two weeks until we blow this joint…  and we still have no visas. Dealing with the French Embassy has been both comedic and tragic.

Monday, we panic. But until then, there is too much to do.

Over the next few days we have a Sydney farewell, a family party, in-laws sleepover, a combined farewell/birthday party for the kids and two of the kid’s birthdays. I am losing track of the to-do lists scrolling in my brain, and this morning, in one of our manic information-exchanges (the current mode of our relationship) my lists fused and I asked Keith to grab me a unicorn if he popped into Bunnings. If only!

Biggest lass is sick with the nasty  virus that has sweeping the land. So amongst the sorting and cleaning and admin of the week, I’ve been administering cuddle therapy on the lounge and watching Chefs Table and Yonderland with my hot and sweaty little friend. This morning T-Bone (who keeps trying to kiss his sister in the hope of catching the get-out-of-school-sickness) was wildly scratching his head. ‘Stop that!’ I said. I have been ignoring the scratching for a couple of days. Cannot face the implications. Then T-Bone told me that the headmistress had said yesterday: ‘Every time I look at you, T-Bone, you are scratching!’

How I laughed! Then I violently hounded him out of my bed to cover his head with chemicals. There were five humans in the bed-built-for-two this morning,  and at least three of us spent a very restless night with the biggest having fever-nightmares. At 5am, we finally slept,  listening to the BBC Women’s Hour podcast.

Still, the to-do list is covered with satisfying scribblings-out, and all is on track so far. Appliances repaired, furniture mended, endless emails sent.  (Don’t mention the visas.) I even went to the GP this morning to fill some pre-emptive scripts (I’m reliably informed that French doctors are all about the suppositories, and I’d rather not put anything up the Bulli Pass if it’s not strictly necessary.)

The amount of stuff sent to the op shop is epic. I have cleaned and sorted every cupboard in the house, packing only what we can carry and saving for storage only what we might need in a year. It’s been extremely satisfying. Yesterday I sorted all the bathroom cupboards and found, amongst the assorted crap, an old and exceedingly strange cellophane-wrapped cake of ‘Peni-Wash’ bought at some ancient Asian market and that sometimes I enjoy placing on a the pillow of a visiting guest.  Peni-Wash didn’t survive the extreme cull, so I am clearly, finally Reaching Adulthood. I was happy, however, to happen upon the eponymous ‘peppermint foot spray’ and ‘foot cooling lotion’ that lurks in the cupboard of every home, relic of some long-ago regifted Body Shop basket. Probably there is only one of them, cycling through the land in an endless journey of disappointment.

However, my little Pudding has had a sore foot for a few days, and I haven’t paid much attention to it, distracted as I am. So I saved it for her, and after school I presented her with ‘foot medicine’. It was the best day of this budding doctors life. First we sprayed, then we lotioned, then I carefully bandaged the appendage. ‘Now, you’ll need to repeat this treatment quite a lot, Pudding,’ I told her. ‘Can you handle it?” ‘OF COURSE!’ she shouted. I would wager the opinion that it is the very first time that the Body Shop Peppermint Foot Spray has met with such enthusiasm.

I am writing this from the hairdresser where Danielle is trying to rescue my wild mane.  ‘Take the witch out of the bitch, Danielle,’ I said. ‘I am not up to Wollongong standards; and this may take some sorcery but you need to bring me up to Paris level.’

She nodded silently. She is a magician. Moore St Hair, local friends. Tell Danielle I sent you.

Wish me luck with le Consulate, comrades. I will keep you posted.