I’m meant to be packing up our apartment in Dengue Villas today. It’s hardly a big deal as we are not actually moving out of the building, merely up 7 floors. To look at the place though you’d think it was. Empty packing boxes are strewn around the sitting room and piles and piles of books lie everywhere. Paintings, rolls of canvas, tubes of paints, brushes and endless empty jam jars litter every available surface, and heaps of clothes (most of which are unsuitable for hot climates or don’t fit anymore) are draped onto the back of chairs and sofas. It’s not looking promising at this stage but by lunchtime I mean to have some order in the place, I mean too, but I probably won’t.
Earlier this morning I went into the kitchen to check out the cupboards and remind myself of what exactly it was that I threw into the back of them 10 months ago and have since forgotten. As I opened the first cupboard (or rather the cupboard door unhinged itself and fell off into my arms) I found not one, not two, not three, but four cake tins. What on earth possessed me to bring four cakes tins out to Jakarta from London this time a year ago? I’ve never baked a cake in my life and I have absolutely no intention of starting now. I can only imagine that whilst packing up our London house I must have either (A) been very drunk, or (B) had some romantic notion that my new life in the Tropics would be spent entertaining ‘interesting’ bohemian and arty types that I’d pick up during my sojourn here and that my days would be spent wafting around in a cloud of flour and a halo of icing sugar producing perfect Victoria Sponges and Madeira cakes and entertaining the cream of Jakarta society at my infamous tea parties which would then carry on into the small hours. Well Fuck that! The nearest I’ve got to reaching those giddy social heights was an invitation to a Scottish country dancing evening back in April ( rapidly declined) and a gracious invitation from a matronly expat woman dressed in twin-set and pearls to ” a buffet supper, chez-moi” (also rapidly declined) Those cake tins are going straight into the trash and they are most certainly not going to be given a return ticket back to London whenever it is that we finally pack up and leave Indonesia.
It’s amazing how much crap you can accumulate in 10 months. I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but Irishman is definitely the main culprit here. He is the most terrible hoarder imaginable. I mean do I really, amongst a million other things that he’s secreted away into dark recesses of our flat, want to pack up the dried up, wizened Lizard that he found behind the curtains the other day? Or the hornet’s nest, obviously sans hornets, which he bought back from Bali under the pretext that he, might, one day draw it. Or the mountain of magazines picked up from airport transit lounges during our travels, or the various tribal masks, gas masks, toys, plastic guns and other useless paraphernalia that he can’t resist buying for his performance art. Talk about living with a magpie. No, talk about living with an artist.
When I’d had enough of probing through the kitchen cupboards, I decided to start on the bedroom. I opened one of the drawers and there hidden amongst the tangle of laddered 60 denier black tights, loose cotton buds, mis-matching pairs of gloves, odd socks and a saucy negligee that’s never seen the light of day, let alone a night of passion, was my Kegel8 Ultra pelvic floor exerciser (if you don’t know what it is, Google it right now) I bought one of these terrifying machines last year. I blame my dear friend Sophie. She showed me an article that had been written about them in The Observer magazine last spring one afternoon after we’d been walking our pack of dachshunds together on Hampstead Heath. At first it started as a joke, two friends having a laugh together, but then I started to get paranoid, no seriously, really paranoid that well you know…maybe I needed one. So I did, no, I mean I bought one. The neat little pocket sized appliance arrived just 48 hours later complete with full instructions and two sets of probes. I decided not to tell Irishman about my purchase and to see if, maybe after a few days (if I was really lucky), weeks (if not so lucky) or months (if things were so bad that only vaginal rejuvenation surgery might be the only option), that he might start to notice a difference. I never got further than day 2 before Irishman found out. I’d like to say it was because of its efficacy, but it wasn’t; instead something went horribly wrong with my plan. It was the evening and after dinner I decided to furtively insert probe and get on with some ironing (the instruction manual stated quite clearly that ‘ you can go about your daily tasks whilst using this device’ (or words to that effect) anyway Irishman, none the wiser, was in the sitting room watching TV. Suddenly out of the blue, I did a violent sneeze and the sodding thing which I’d put on full power (for even ‘faster results’) got snarled up between my labia and the crotch of my jeans. I can only liken the pain to something akin of being stark naked, straddling an electric fence and bouncing up and down on it. I SCREAMED SO LOUDLY that he came flying into the kitchen and asked what was wrong. The Game was well and truly up.
So now we have cake tins for the trash, a thrice used battery operated pelvic floor exerciser for the trash, possibly a wizened up lizard for the trash and, guess what?
Lunchtime has been and gone. Told you that I wouldn’t be sorted.