More walking today as I took my daughter to her football lesson, via the post office where I had a parcel to pick up. Ah the excitement, what could it be? It was taking me a good half mile out of my way, so it better be something good. Actually I needed the exercise so it didn’t matter too much. The only danger was that on the already long walk my daughter might need the toilet. But luckily she’s still young enough to go on a potty in the street and it only be mildly contentious. If it happened in Shepherd’s Bush that wouldn’t be a problem. As is well documented on here, adults regular defecate here in broad daylight and it is generally considered to slightly improve the area and give a nudge up to property prices. But if a baby pissed in the streets in Chiswick, even in a potty then there would be questions in parliament.
Phoebe clearly aspires to live in Chiswick, because even at 23 months she seems to be fully potty trained and held everything in until we were at our destination. I’d like to take the credit for this toilet prodigy as an appreciation of the ridiculousness of bodily effluent is really the main skill I bring to parenthood. But it’s all down to my wife and Phoebe herself. I am sure that once she is old enough to understand my daughter will appreciate me sharing her uric journey with you.
Anyway the item of postage better be worth this risk. I thought it was going to be something mundane, but it was a large parcel from my management containing post that has been sent to them. In this instance it was a huge hardback book from Taschen. I receive these quite regularly from some unknown benefactor, but I have no idea why. They are arty and sophisticated and thus very much unlike me, a man more obsessed with children’s wee (his own children, he’s not sick). So whilst not wishing to appear ungrateful to my mysterious art-loving benefactor, I am ungrateful, because due to their size they don’t fit through my letterbox and I always seem to be out when they arrive and also because they are sent to my management I have to pay the postage to have them delivered to my home.
I suspect many of you are sitting there thinking, “Hey, I’d like to get to the level of notoriety where every three months someone would send me an informative and probably valuable book for free, and I am going to become a comedian so that I can achieve that goal.” But it’s a curse. More so when you’re not trying to lose weight.
Admittedly this one looked interesting. It was a collector’s edition about David Hockney. But I don’t have time to look at art any more. I have bums to wipe (only two, my own and my daughter’s - given the breaking news at the end of today I thought I’d better make that very clear).
It’s really strange to feel put out by someone else’s generosity, but maybe it’s partly because as the book always arrives without explanation of who it is from (and I don’t believe it is from Ian Taschen himself) it feels mildly passive aggressive. Like someone is trying to wind me up. And that they have a copy of my schedule and always work out the time to send it so it will arrive when I am not at home. If it is you sending me the books, then thanks for your mysterious generosity, but I don’t really get any use out of them and you’re costing me about a pound a month in postage, so can you please send them to someone who would like them?
I was taking an old coat to the charity shop so I decided to add the book to the haul. I couldn’t find a charity shop in the part of Shepherd’s Bush I was in (luckily probably as they would have been confused about what the book was and used its shiny pages for inefficient toilet paper), but once in Chiswick I did find one charity place amongst its upmarket establishments. I handed the book over the lady. “Oooooh Taschen” she said, very excited, like I had just handed her the Mona Lisa. I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake. But Chiswick gets what it deserves. A better lifestyle than the rest of us plebs.