As I write this I am a little inebriated. I’m currently sitting in my garden on a Saturday afternoon drinking a bottle of pink sparkling wine, which does not appear to subscribe to such platitudinous labels as Champagne, Cava or Prosecco but is rather its own thing. Not that I could tell the difference between any of the aforementioned descriptors in any case, so I’m as well drinking the budget option. I didn’t purchase the wine in question, rather it was bought for me by my boss a month or two ago for being good at my job. Or more accurately for being able to convince an Ofsted inspector that I am good at my job, which, as anyone who works in education in England will tell you, is not actually the same thing as being good at one’s job but tends to be of more value to one’s employer. In this case the value of this achievement being approximately equal to a reasonably priced bottle of pink sparkling wine.
I’ve certainly had worse tipples in my time, though I am more of a beer drinker by trade and, if compelled to drink wine, I tend to favour the redder, non-sparkling variety. But I’m perfectly content to drink pink sparkling wine. I might normally reserve such a bottle for a celebration and to be shared with others, but in these Covidy times I tend to have only my three year old daughter for company most days (Mrs Proclaims is around but inclined to keep a clear head when I am available to provide childcare so that she can fully focus on her doctoral studies) and Little Proclaims, though expressing an interest in daddy’s drink, is more interested in bubbles of a different kind. In this case she is mainly focused on the bubbles emanating from two battery-powered bubble-making machines – one a handheld device with a plastic unicorn’s head and the other an equally plastic faux lawnmower. As well as blowing bubbles, the latter also plays a short and repetitive tune, which I think is the opening part of Under the Sea as performed by Sebastian the crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. I could be mistaken about the origins of the tune, but I am definitely unmistaken in how profoundly irritating it is. I pity my neighbours, who are no doubt also suffering as a result of this incessant melodious noise pollution, but I am not going to risk the wrath of Little Proclaims by switching it off. It would be to little avail anyway, she is more than adept at switching it back on. Besides, it makes no sense to try to match wits with a three year old after drinking the best part of a bottle of wine. I’ll need to have a few gins before I’m ready for that challenge.
I may, as I say, have saved the bottle of wine for a more suitable occasion, but I once made the mistake of always saving wine gifts for special occasions (preferring as I say, to drink beer as a general rule) and what I discovered is that I acquired quite a collection of wine over time as wine turns out to be quite a common gift and celebratory occasions tend not present themselves as often as I previously anticipated.
These days I just drink when the mood takes me and, as it turns out, that mood is not at all uncommon.
So this afternoon there are a fair amount of bubbles in my garden.
And arguably some very questionable parenting going on.