Lottery winning lemon trees..

The daydream starts off small. Almost low key.

Fed up with chewing only on the left side of my mouth cos I desperately need to fix the teeth on my right side, I was thinking how great it would be if all I had to worry about was steeling my pride to actually show a dentist my nashers. If I actually had the cash to flash, the humiliation would be short lived and the pain of orthodontic treatment welcome. No more fake-demure, closed-mouth smiling. Bonjour open-mouthed guffawing and best of all,  bye bye chew-avoidance food choices! I could eat crusty baguette, steak, apples, and toffee all day.. most days.

Back to the real world and cottage cheese whilst I mull over the other basics that my lottery win would sort out.

I muse the imagined pleasures of: never counting or budgeting; not even noticing the end (middle in my case) of the month approaching; meal planning without considering pasta, rice or potatoes (I love all three by the way); being able to just say “great idea, lets do it!” when the kids or friends suggest an evening/day out or holiday plan; buying them shoes in multiples and before the last lot have to be binned; and paying someone to clean….just so we could sit, eat and talk together for the precious spare few hours we have at home.

I’d finally get the electricity circuit checked and modernised. How happy would I be to never again worry about the boys plugging seventeen appliances into one mega adaptor? The defunct air-conditioning system would be fixed, as would the extractor fan that only ever blew shit into the flat, before it kicked the bucket completely. Our circa 1952 bathroom suite would be cremated and replaced with anything simple and practical that isn’t the colour of nicotine. Our tiny beige kitchen, complete with broken electric hob, temporary (its been 3 years) second-hand gigantic microwave oven and empty space where the fitted fridge-freezer packed in last year, would be revved into 2017. Vibrant and efficient. Nothing fancy. IKEA will do us just fine.

I’m a virtuous hour into fantasy family building and benevolent gestures before the daydream starts to creep beyond the entirely necessary or charitable boundary: If the lads learn to drive in the Toyota then I’d have to get a new car. I never liked the Toyota anyway, but it’d be great for them….though I just can’t decide between an Alfa or a Merc… I do quite like that stunted Range Rover thing too….What if, instead of paying someone to clean, what if I just didn’t work at all? Then I wouldn’t need help to free up family time….though, in all fairness, I could probably still do with a cleaner. I mean doesn’t almost everyone have a cleaner nowadays? It isn’t normal that I cant even afford what my parents could – I’m now muttering to myself – How pathetic that I struggle more than they did at my age? I mean, shouldn’t generations be striding ahead of those previous? My head is swelling with senseless irritation as my daydream drags me into the irresistible quicksand of “can definitely survive without” territory.

I’d need a place in Seville, as well as Provence and probably Barcelona. I’d keep the family apartment in Brussels as a sort of bolthole for when I’m in town. Or maybe the boys could share it if they want to stay in Belgium? But then I’d almost certainly have to buy the one next door (which isn’t on the market) and knock through. I mean it just wouldn’t work for the two of them as it is (we’re four in the real world and our apartment is home and a happy one).

I’ve totally abandoned my morning to hedonistic reverie at this point and am loving each imagined detail. My beautiful Provençal villa. Al fresco dining all hours with happy family, friends and neighbours. No-stress travel, hopping between locations, with Provence as the hub, buzzing with life and happy noises. We have the time to listen to each other, to enjoy each other, to care for each other. No one is worried they need to run off and do something else. We have time, quite simply and everyone is relaxed and smiley. There are no deadlines, no disappointments, no resentment, no discomfort. Money can’t buy happiness perhaps, but in my fantasy world, it goes a long way towards nurturing the good seeds that we have already sown.

My daughter resuscitates me from the suffocating burden (not) of imagined wealth. She’s hungry. I havent fed her for at least two hours and despite being taller and stronger than me and being accompanied by an equally capable friend, it seems that they may actually starve if I dont personally feed them every couple of hours. It takes me a cruel minute or so to leave lala land and get my chef’s hat on. I resent my son talking to me about where I need to taxi him from and to at 5pm. It feels just as when you’re prematurely disturbed from deep sleep and know that if you can just get back there quickly then you might be able to finish the dream….but you never do. Oh the frustration… I need to get back to my lemon trees…

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