Because if I didn’t mess everything up much of the time, there’d be nothing to write about, right?
Yesterday I bought a big ole handful of fresh prawns, and thought, I’ll do this properly, and use the shells and legs and brains and stuff to make stock for soup.
Quite why I decided to undertake this shortly before I was to leave to get the bus to get the train into the city for a friend’s Very Massively Important exhibition opening, I do not know. Anyway, I threw the shells and legs and brains into a pan and started boiling away.
After a while, I removed the shells and legs and brains, and put potatoes into the stock to boil. Then I took the shells and legs and brains outside to the bin.
It was when I came back inside that I realised the whole house boomed with the smell of prawn shells and legs and brains.
Didn’t think this through.
I had that moment of...can I get away with it? Because what with the fourth-quarter decision to start the prawn peeling and stock making, I was already in a might-need-to-put-your-foot-down-a-bit place vis à vis getting myself out of the house in time to make the bus.
Good sense, in the form of realising I’d be the person on the bus and the train and in the gallery about whom people whispered, ‘Crikey, that woman reeks of fish’, prevailed. I poured the stock and potatoes into the blender to soup them up, and hopped in the shower.
Tick tock, tick tock. Out of the shower, poured the soup out, filled the blender jug with dishwater to soak. Sat the blender jug on the counter.
Aha! I see you got there before me! If only you’d been here at that moment, instead of now, to remind me blender jugs don’t have a bottom. The blender blade bit just sits underneath with a seal. Setting the thing down on the blade bit makes it pop up inside the jug. A tidal wave of fishy water slapped into my front in the manner of a perfectly executed Soak the Bloke booth at the village fete.
Tick tick tick tick tick.
I wiped down, dressed up, threw towels over the fish-flooded floor, and got the heck out.
I’d checked my route on the public transport website. I’d typed in the street the gallery was on, and it told me which train station was closest. At no point in the process did it occur to me to think, “Gee, I wonder if Aberdeen Street is by any chance the longest street in the city, encompassing two different train stations?”
It took me ten minutes (with two false starts; I have no inner compass) to walk to Aberdeen Street from the station. I reached it at number 189. The gallery was at number 12.
I missed the speeches, but on the plus side, nobody was heard to remark that there was a strong smell of prawn shells and legs and brains in the vicinity. And today, I’m having soup.
And washing the towels.