OK – I’ve not had the best day in the world. The kitchen lurches towards completion and today the oven turned up. It’s a lot more sophisticated than my old one – which basically was just a warm box – and required much reading of the instruction book and under the breath muttering.
However, we got there in the end – the light came on and it roared into life. I bunged in stuffed peppers, fish cakes and four jacket potatoes. Task completed, I returned to the Christmas Story – something I need to get a move on with after a telephone call from Accent Press this morning which covered such wide-ranging topics as my failure to understand megabytes and their purpose, my failure to deal rationally with deadlines, Hazel’s non-use of a bucket in a field in Wales, my stupidity in completing the next St Mary’s full-length novel instead of the Christmas Story, exactly why didn’t I have a kitchen yet, the pre-orders for Dark Light, why hadn’t I finished the Christmas Story, making A Bachelor Establishment free for a while, and why the bloody hell hadn’t I finished the Christmas Story yet?
I’ve completely forgotten where I was. Where was I? Yes – the oven. And my failed attempt at catering.
I have to say oven technology has moved on a bit. I reached in to see how things were going – you know, give everything a bit of a poke but everything was ten times hotter than I was expecting and I burned myself really badly on a potato.
I shrieked in pain – all those people who think Max is based on me have no idea how wrong they are – and somehow – don’t ask me how – the potato leaped from the oven and rolled across the floor, finishing up under the units, obviously, because the plinths aren’t in yet and I had to crawl about on my hands and knees and retrieve a red-hot tuber from – obviously – the furthest and most inaccessible corner.
It was still burning hot so I slung it back into the oven asap and it bounced straight back out again bringing the other three with it. They all rolled across the floor, one in each corner where they lay oscillating between incandescent and inaccessible.
I eventually got them bundled back into the oven and, worried it might have cooled in my absence, I very, very gently placed my last unburned hand on the fishcake and the crust caved in and the next minute I was up to my wrist in a lump of molten lava – or fishcake as it misleadingly said on the packet.
I swear, at this point, I didn’t have a single unburned digit. I’d only been cooking for twenty minutes and I’d already lost the use of both hands. Imagine the state of me by Friday.
I’m now sitting watching The Big Bang Theory and holding a pot of frozen yoghurt in each hand. Yes, I know I look ridiculous. No, I don’t care. It’s been made very clear to me that NOTHING must stand between Accent Press and the receipt of the Christmas Story so enough whimpering and more work. And, for anyone still interested, I’m only eating sandwiches for the rest of my life.