but you get the general idea, yes?

stuff breeding stuff. having got too untidy for the kids to be expected to clear it up by themselves, as there isn’t anywhere to put anything until a good third of it has been disposed of by someone who doesn’t consider a permanently deflated rugby ball to be a priceless relic. children’s toys – current and defunct – wellies, beach shoes, all strewn haphazardly across the floor, patiently awaiting the day when I have a surge of Mary Poppins like energy and whisk them all away into their homes.

and today was the day. taking at most fifty percent of the time I thought it would take. (why IS that? why do I build these tasks up in my mind into insurmountable mountains?) order restored, lost objects greeted with joy, including my cold-weather running gloves, hurrah.

floor a sacred empty space by 6pm. felt like drawing a chalk pentacle on it and sitting cross legged inside it surrounded by candles and chanting anti-clutter spells.

at which point Mr P returned shattered after a tough day at his school for lion tamers and, after admiring the beauty and order within, made a (rare) beeline for the beer fridge in the corner of the garage.

this fridge is our old one, relegated to the garage and mostly used at Christmas, and for storing booze. when we moved here I decreed that we should keep a few bottles of white wine in there, along with Mr P’s beer – ‘to save space in the kitchen fridge’ 😦 and we all know what that translates as, yes? to conceal from one’s other half how much one is actually drinking. or even to hope that one is doing so. because if he doesn’t open it for several days he won’t see how much is there. whether I’ve topped it up in the last day. whether I’ve managed to find online another bottle of that ‘special’ wine we were saving but which I drank on a Tuesday night because there wasn’t anything else left. ow ow ow.

nowadays I don’t open it sometimes for weeks. hurrah! so didn’t know that the shelf inside the fridge door was failing, and so when Mr P opened it two bottles of white wine crashed to the floor. calamity. wine EVERYWHERE. giving off that huge reek, instantly. poor chap looked at me beseechingly and very quickly a deal was struck in which he would cook supper and I would clear up swimming pool of sauvignon blanc and shards of broken glass.

well. yes, slight fed upness with mess, but very quickly subsumed by relief that the shelf had held out till after the blitz and that I was not picking slivers of glass out of my children’s booze-drenched shoes and toys.

but overwhelming, vast, flood of gladness that I am here now and not back where I was a year ago. when if that accident had happened at that time, I would quite possibly already have been outside a very large gin and not capable of driving. and there is no source of alcohol within walking distance, and if those had been the last bottles I would have had to go without that evening. probably would have picked enormous row with poor Mr P over something else, resenting him massively for wasting my precious, precious drug.

and tonight, it smelt vile. and it wasn’t cheap wine, but its aroma was repellent to me. puddles of acrid, poisonous liquid. ugh ugh ugh.

mopping up, counting blessings, and – this is really important – remembering and forgiving myself for my past behaviour.

I am more thankful than I can adequately express at how much my life has changed.

12 days to go to one year.