16 March, 2007

a slightly surreal day


















Okay. I fully accept that I have, in the past (all right, also fairly recently) made some internet-purchasing errors. Not serious errors. But somehow the cat litter I order doubles, or even triples in quantity before it arrives. Not that we won't use it, but still, storing 40 kilos of cat litter in a relatively small flat can pose unusual logistical issues. My friend Becky can relate to this, once having accidentally ordered something like ten years' worth of guinea pig bedding all at once. Fair enough.

However, after my latest screwup (don't count on using the guest bathroom anytime soon unless you want to share it with a lifetime's worth of Klumpfenbildende Katzenstreu), I thought I was finished. This morning, unaccountably, arrived YET another enormously heavy box. "Cat litter," John said succinctly. "But how? I haven't ordered any," I protested. "You have no idea," he replied, and that's probably true. "You know what you've done?" he asked. "No, go ahead, what have I done?" "You've enrolled yourself in the Litter of the Month Club. This month it's "Kiwi and Vanilla," next month "Pine Nuts and Sundried Tomatoes." You're done for."

As if that wasn't enough, then we turn on the news as we're getting dressed to go see a (yet another) house. In Hammersmith. John suddenly said, "Wait, that's where we're going." And it was, tragically and oddly enough, the same street where a rare and vicious murder occurred yesterday afternoon. Hmmm. "Well, it can't hurt to look at the house," John said.

So as we're approaching it this afternoon, we come upon an enormous traffic jam, and television vans, snappy-looking presenters, and the location itself, crowded with bouquets of flowers (why don't the people donate the flowers to the hospital which doubtless tried to resuscitate the victim? much more useful than lying on a pavement). "Lordy, it's not even a block away from the house we're seeing," I said. Double hmmmm. The estate agent met us at the house and said regretfully, "I can't tell you how upset the seller is. Today, of all days, just when her house is going on the market." A slight disarrangement of relative bad luck, I would say, considering that an actual person had died, as compared with her potential drop in property value. But such is London real estate these days. That seller probably does find her misfortune to be quite on a par with murder. It reminds me in a sick way of the line in "When Harry Met Sally," when Harry wonders why the New York Times never thought to combine the obituaries with the real estate section... "Mr. Smith leaves a wife, three children, and a lovely two-bedroom duplex on Central Park West with a fireplace..." All succumbs to the irrepressible energy of real estate.

And it was a nice house, too. A real fixer-upper, but with potential. John has all the vision for this sort of project, while I prefer to sit back and imagine our first dinner party in the kitchen that as yet doesn't exist.

Ah well, it's Friday, we're all together, and after a good night's sleep I'm sure all will look brighter. And hey, maybe tomorrow will bring "Parmesan and Cheddar" litter. You never know.

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