Adjust your feelings about me as you must, but in public bathrooms, I usually don't use the toilet seat covers. Mostly, I think they are silly, an illusion of protection more than the real thing, not unlike all of us taking off our government-toppling shoes at the airport. From time to time, though, in places I deem more questionable than others, I will employ them. I am not immune to the delights of a false sense of security. Recently, in an airplane WC, I thought I spied some visible droplets, which is a good seat-cover usage situation. Afterwards, though, when I tried to coax the paper into the bowl to be flushed, it seemed to have adhered to the seat with perplexing determination. And that is when I realized that I had neither set the seat cover nor my own arse on the seat, so much as the rim of the bowl itself, a surface baptized by who knows how many gracious seat-raising cross-country urinators. Oh. And oh dear. That moment seems emblematic of how everything has been from mid-May until now. Accidentally sitting on the rim of a public toilet on the way to a funeral--but!--avoiding the worst having used a seat cover.
Things got done. Everything was messier than I intended, but not disastrously so. And suddenly (finally), after a breakneck gallop through school-year spring, we've arrived at the threshold of summer. This year I really wasn't sure we'd make it. But we did. Phew.
You could be forgiven for thinking I would never write anything again, but I am here to reassure you. There were dozens of school events, a death in the family, ten years' worth of office to pack, and general exhaustion, but this is the moment I turn the page. I have a few days to catch my breath and do some laundry and then, come Friday, I get on a plane and embark on an adventure. An adventure that will begin, obviously, with ensuring that the seat is down, but then will get much more exciting: a Glasgow flat, the Globe Theatre, an Amsterdam canal, a café in Copenhagen, a view over Berlin, a tea shop in Paris, a lake in Switzerland, a library in Dublin. So many things (and invisible in that list, but hiding just around every corner, many people I love). I plan to tell you all about it. Even when it all goes awry (read: escalators).
Stay tuned, is what I'm saying. The good part's coming.