During the rugby world cup last year I had an idea for a book called ‘How to seduce Jonny Wilkinson and other routes to happiness’. It was a book looking at what makes women happy, how we can be happier and so on.
Obviously I have no idea how to seduce Jonny Wilkinson (short of dressing up as a rugby ball and hurling myself over some posts) but that was to be what publishers call the “narrative arc”. On my quest to eternal happiness I would set out to achieve what most of the females (and some males) in England wanted to do at the time.
My agent didn’t like it. I mean she liked the idea, but she doesn’t fancy Jonny Wilkinson. So we opted for something that perhaps more women can relate to; pink nail varnish. And this morning I realised how right she was (although the book never did get written, the publisher didn’t like the idea, or pink nail varnish).
I sat on my bed after two weeks of interrupted nights due to the mosque outside my window, around me the children wailed, and fought, and argued and yelled. I reflected on the previous day when I had spent all my time trying to secure a flat that fell through at the last minute. I thought about the day ahead when I would have to find some way of keeping the children from murdering each other and all the horrible admin chores I need to get to grips with but just can’t muster up the energy to begin.
In my hand I had a bottle of pink nail varnish. ‘Violet’ it is called, from M&S since you ask. Slowly I opened the lid and began to paint my nails. The glossy, fuscia pink (more than violet) colour slid onto my toe-nails effortlessly, like a lump of melting butter on a piece of warm toast. I finished one nail and was pleased with the result. The children came and yelled at me.
“Go away please,” I said, Zen-like, without even looking up from my shiny toes. “I am painting my nails.”
Miraculously they did go away. I painted the remaining nails. At the end of it, I felt so much better. And my nails looked so much chirpier than before. Which I guess might be part of the reason why I felt better.
Whatever, I am happy, and I have not even met Jonny Wilkinson.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008